OP-ED: While Republicans decry ‘socialism’ they are ushering in a new era of American fascism
On February 2, 2023, the United States House of Representatives passed H. Con. Res. 9 “Denouncing the horrors of socialism.”
OK. Outstanding. I can get behind that.
There are horrors that come with socialism/Marxism. No doubt.
In the lead-up to that February 2nd vote, certain things were brought up by Congressional members in a “just to make sure” type of clarification, such as: that any opposition to “socialist” policy implementation in the United States does not include existing Federal programs such as Medicare, Social Security, TRICARE, VA Healthcare, the VA Home Loan program, VA burial benefits, and VA homelessness programs.
Another add-on was that socialists did not attack the United States Capitol on January 6, nor has any socialist movement ever staged an attack on the United States Capitol to prevent the lawful counting of the electoral votes and the certification of a presidential election.
You know there was going to be a whole lot of maneuvering taking place before this resolution hit the floor.
There was going to be much “yeah, but…” and/or whatboutism.
But the fact remains, that socialism/Marxism is not a good fix for this country or for capitalism.
How you stymie it while embracing vibrant democracy is what’s most important.
As such, I would argue that Joe McCarthy was far more dangerous to this nation than Communism ever was at that point in time.
Nebulous assertions (aka lies) that do not allow you enough specifics to forcefully dispute the accusations will always be far more damaging than Karl Marx’s Chapter on Primitive Accumulation.
That being said, that was then, and this is now.
The February 2nd resolution spoke of “the greatest crimes in history were committed by socialist ideologues, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and Nicola´s Maduro.”
Again, no argument.
In fact, there was not a whole lot of blowback from Democrats either with this Republican-sponsored bill.
The majority of Democrats, 109 of them, voted with their Republican colleagues.
One hundred did not (86 voted against while 14 voted present).
Rep. María Elvira Salazar of Miami-Dade, Florida (a sponsor of the bill) stated the resolution “would make a bold statement that the People’s House unequivocally denounces this cruel and unjust ideology.”
Spot on. I agree. She is to be commended.
Though to be fair, often times her rants, along with many South Florida politicians, seeking to curry ultra-conservative favor, is synonymous with the fable “The South Florida Republican who cried Communista, Communista!”
What is in the resolution is 100% spot on if that is the gist of it and nothing more.
However, insinuating that differences of opinion, and/or to hold liberal points of view you may hold in line with viewing a Che Guevara webinar or attending Ho Chi Minh class on baking, is nearly as equally dangerous and surely disingenuous.
Socialism/Marxism surely cannot be the only issue that Salazar, Diaz-Balart, and other rabid anti-Marxists stand for, can it?
Secondly, a citizen is a congressman/woman’s constituent whether the elected official got their vote of not.
So while this declaration is important, and I will give you that, now that it is “in the books” as they say, can other issues be focused upon?
In a 2021 Axios poll, 18-34 year-olds were near evenly split between those who view capitalism positively and those who view it negatively (49% vs. 46%).
It closed from 58% versus 38% only two years prior.
48% of American women viewed capitalism favorably, down two points from two years earlier.
Thus, it is obvious, this poll has gotten the attention of both sides of the aisle.
It is equally obvious that huge changes in mindset took place from 2019-2021.
You can fit an entire life time of events in that two-year period from a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) pandemic, to a tumultuous election, to lies about it being stolen, to an attempted coup.
Furthermore, this poll shows that the old Republican way ( especially here in South Florida) where you call people that don’t agree with you “Communista, Communista” may now be met with “Thank you, and what is the problem with that?”
One must be very careful with false accusations.
But I think there may be another reason why this sharp pro-opinion to the far extreme left may be unfolding.
And it goes straight to the heart of hypocrisy exhibited by the very people who penned the aforementioned resolution.
There is a total denial and/or lack of resolve to address, head on, the growing right-wing extremism and fascist, freedom curbing tendencies being illustrated by American politicians (primarily of the Republican Party) and the highest court of the land.
In other words, people are turned off.
If they remain impressionable, the next poll numbers will be far worse than what was exhibited in 2021.
Whether you care to hear it or not, the United States has taken a very dangerous turn to the extreme right.
A woman’s right to choose is overturned, a Supreme Court justice then questions inter-racial and gay marriage.
Black history cannot be taught in college unless Governor DeSantis and his henchmen agree with the curriculum, while wearing a mask and/or getting vaccinated during a pandemic is declared weak.
Or in Florida’s case, some horseshit word called “woke,” in which endless attention is being paid to drag queens and drag shows while a push to allow every citizen in Florida to carry a gun concealed is sane.
Republican House members stand with Putin over Ukraine ( a nation that was invaded), Proud Boys sit on the Executive Board of the Miami-Dade County GOP, a Proud Boys hanger-on who, along with the Proud Boys attacked Congresswoman Donna Shalala’s office in 2018 because Nancy Pelosi pad a visit, has been elected a Miami-Dade Commissioner.
Yet, a fairly elected State Attorney from Tampa was removed from position by the governor when disagreement ensued.
What is this nation’s infatuation with fascism? Is there one?
Perhaps better stated, for those, me included, who are adamantly opposed to socialism/Marxism, “Why is there not the same ferocity against fascism?”
Now I have brought that up before, only to be told, “Just because we disagree and my opinion is very conservative doesn’t make me a fascist.”
Yeah, but isn’t that the same argument you make with the socialism with someone liberal.
Ahh never mind. I need to find a new approach, it seems.
My hypothesis, hence, is America is far better without socialism/Marxism and fascism.
Recent steps have been taken by Congress to showcase the dangers of socialism/Marxism.
The same must now get done with the other extreme.
Action needs be taken so that there is a greater focus back on the middle.
It seems that was the goal for the Congressional resolution last week. Fair enough.
Now keep it from titling out of control toward a state of accepted soft fascism followed, obviously by the real thing.
Since the esteemed sponsors of last week’s resolution were good enough to include a who’s who of socialist/Marxist treachery, let me respond in kind with merely two names and some of their earliest thoughts for this is where I believe the present state of those politicians with far-right, freedom revoking tendencies are taking their proverbial marching (or goose-stepping) inspirational orders from: Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler.
No, no, and NO!
I am not at all saying our politicians have any affinity for these two examples of the devil incarnate.
Rather, I am saying that there are certain policies/actions that when studied, and scaled down can fit to size right here, right now.
And I have no doubt they or some staffer have researched the exact same thing.
Remember my claims of nebulous attacks earlier?
OK, so now it’s your turn to prove me wrong.
In Mussolini’s Doctrine of Fascism, the keystone is its conception of the state, of its essence, its functions, and its aims; with fascism, the state is absolute, individuals and groups relative.
Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the state.
Additionally, “Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State — a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values — interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people.”
In other words, the variety of opinion need not exist.
The state will determine which values are of merit.
Mussolini continues, “Fascism, in short, is not only a law-giver and a founder of institutions, but an educator and a promoter of spiritual life.”
“A promoter of spiritual life” has a similar feel to American Christo-Fascism currently in play.
So a transfer to Hitler takes place.
One must realize that in his genesis, Hitler was very much inspired by Mussolini.
Hitler had a follow up, an unpublished sequel to Mein Kampf.
Why wasn’t it published? Good question.
Capitalism seems to be the answer.
In 1928, Mein Kampf had its worst sales since it first came out.
Had the follow-up came out, it would have to compete against the Bible of Nazism.
They also did poorly in the elections of 1928, getting just 2.8% of the vote.
They were down and out.
1929 brought about a world depression.
You get the idea.
One must always watch for the proverbial 1929s.
Hitler and Mussolini both had concerns and fear of the far left and as such, surely dealt with an iron fist from the far right.
Currently, taking the American people to a “place” the far-right Republican politicians believe they need to be at seems painstakingly similar to the origins of the National Socialist movement.
Variety of opinion is surely not welcome.
The national conception will not be determined by previous patriotic notions of state, but rather by ethnic and racial perceptions.
Once more, this sounds much like the free and growing rein allowed to the far-right extremism in this country right now.
Otherwise, you would hear politicians in the Republican party (e.g. right here in Miami-Dade County) raise concern.
They do not. They dare not. Just loud concerns about socialism/Marxism.
In the end, however, as spoken in Hitler’s words, we all must now, heed the warnings, the words, and take them to heart even if time elapses; for patience is most surely a virtue, an ally to seek on a future battlefield.
For Germany, a future alliance with Russia has no sense, neither from the standpoint of sober expediency nor from that of a human connection.
He goes on to add it would prevent us from seeking the goal of German foreign policy in the one and only place possible: space in the East. (This was written over a decade before the Nazi Germans and Stalin’s Soviet Union signed a Non-Aggression Pact.)
Don’t talk yourself out of what you see, what you hear, what you know.
Fact is, the warning signs are always there and they are always broadcasted.
It is called leakage.
It takes place with active shooters and terrorists as well in some shape or form.
Often times, we wave our hand as to disregard them.
That would be a mistake right now because things like these rarely start with a massive bang but rather with a smoldering heap that some how reignites into a small flame that over time will consume the entire forest.
Our rabid anti-socialism/Marxism politicians best take notice.
Because while we are looking to the far- left for the massive attack to come, and writing resolutions, the army from the far-right will walk right through the door that we left unlocked, perhaps purposely.
David Magnusson is a retired police chief with 36 ½ years of law enforcement experience having spent 30 of these years with the Miami Police Department retiring as an assistant chief. He was chief of the Havelock Police Department in the Marine Corps City of Havelock, North Carolina, home to Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. He returned to South Florida as chief of the El Portal Police Department.
He chaired the COVID and Domestic Violent Extremism Committees for the Association of Miami Dade County Chiefs of police. He teaches about Hate Crimes, Violent Extremism, and Inclusive Policing to law enforcement agencies.
A historian, Magnusson has written on military and presidential history topics. He is a diehard baseball (St. Louis Cardinals) and boxing fan. Magnusson resides in South Florida with his wife. Their children and grandchildren are never too far away.
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