What if the question wasn’t one of “liberal or conservative” but one of “democratic or fascist”?

As if I needed to make my blood boil more in the heat wave that is radiating across San Diego, while listening to NPR on my drive home, I began to hear the voice of Mitt Romney booming from my radio. I instinctively reached to change the channel when I heard the question “What do you think Washington is right now, liberal or conservative?”

“This I gotta hear,” I thought.

With the rhetorical question “is our government liberal or conservative?” framing his RNC speech, Romney attempted to claim that we live in a country that leans far too far to the left, that we have a liberal Supreme Court (yeah, Alito et al or SOOO liberal), and that we are all under the spell of ‘big government liberals.’

Now, it would have been nice if Romney had defined for his listeners exactly what he meant by ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ as these are very slippery, complex terms. For now, let’s suffice it to say that ‘liberal’ seemed to be used by Romney in the catch all insulting way it is by many Republicans and neo-conservatives – it supposedly means one is too easy on “terrorists,” that one supports “government dependency” (yes, because believing social services like education and healthcare are the purview of the government is so sadly dependent…), that one cares WAY TOO DAMN MUCH about the environment and wants to make the US “dependent on Middle Eastern Tyrants” (MR’s words, not mine!). Romney even suggested that liberals are to blame for high gas prices. Yeah, Mitt, that has nothing to do with the big oil industrial complex, global militarization, and CONSERVATIVES blockage of getting the US off of the oil sauce. (See, for example, the wonderful documentary Who Killed the Electric Car. As a hint: it wasn’t liberals.)

While many would call me ‘liberal,’ (my dad, in fact, likes to call me a ‘bleeding heart liberal’), I choose to call myself progressive. This is partly due to the fact that many self-proclaimed liberals and leftists have of late widely diverged from tenets I hold dear, and also because I think ‘progressive’ more correctly sums up my beliefs. You see, we progressives want to PROGRESS society forward by bringing about changes that benefit all people, not just people in the United States, not just people with white skin, not just people with sausage and waffles (my son’s way of referencing penis and testicles). Conservatives, on the other hand, want to CONSERVE the status quo. They want to keep things as they are. Heck people, it says it all right there in the word!

But, let’s get back to good ol’ boy Mitt. What if the question wasn’t one of “liberal or conservative” (as in his speech) but one of “democratic or fascist”? Well, if he was asked “Is this country right now democratic or fascist?,” I am quite sure he would loudly proclaim that we are a democratic nation, that we are, as the closing words of his speech proclaimed “the hope of the world.”

Yet, as you can read and view here, here, and here, the United States currently exhibits all of the warning signs of fascism. In fact, Romney’s speech inadvertently conceded this fact when he characterized the US as an Orwellian society. As he said, “It’s time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother.” Now, Romney used this line to insinuate that the ‘liberals’ who supposedly rule this country are the party of ‘Big Brother’ (he apparently has never read the novel 1984 or he would now that BB is far from liberal). Yet, what is true in this line (although I am sure he didn’t mean it in this way) is that we indeed are under the leadership of ‘the party of Big Brother.’

Big Brother and the fascist society depicted in Orwell’s novel thrived on perpetual war, on keeping the masses overworked and undereducated, on controlling not only all media but language itself, on demonizing sexuality, on hatred, prejudice, sexism, racism, etc. Sound familiar? Sound a little bit like the US? Would you like to CONSERVE these ‘values’ or might you be interested in PROGRESSING society – changing society – in ways that benefit all humans, not just those with money, power, white skin, certain religious leanings, and who belong to certain clubs (Bohemian Grove, PNAC, etc).

Indeed, reading 1984 feels more like reading non-fiction these days.

Sadly, the key question we need to be asking is not “Is the US liberal or conservative?” but “Is the US becoming, or is it already, a fascist state?” How about posing that much more important question in your next speech Mitt? Or, do you wish to continue to allow “retreat in the face of evil extremism”? (A hint here Mitt, the ‘evil extremism’ I refer to is that of the corporate elite and their lackeys that rule the globe, NOT to the people you so broadly paint as evil – i.e. liberals, people of the Islam faith, and people of Middle Eastern descent.)

If I needed reminding why I am progressive (which I didn’t), Mitt certainly gave it to me… (In fact, listening to the coverage of the RNC makes my ‘bleeding heart liberal’ self want to cry, throw up, revolt, move to another planet…) If McSaim and Pain win, oh goodness, well it will be just as depressing (if not more so) than the last two stolen elections.

So, to end on a more positive note, let me close with a progressive shout out: “Go McKinney!”

7 thoughts on “What if the question wasn’t one of “liberal or conservative” but one of “democratic or fascist”?”

  1. “Is the US becoming, or is it already, a fascist state?”

    my answer:

    “four legs good….two legs bad…”
    “all animals are equal but SOME are MORE EQUAL than OTHERS…”

    professor…if anyone dares to watch ANIMAL FARM and NOT be alarmed by what has taken place during the last 20 years….i question their humanity (not to mention sanity), period.

    anyone for roast pork? talk to me in november!

  2. Do they not realize people from many other countries look to the US as a country that is quite conservative? Do they not realize how many countries see universal health care as a simple basic right? Yeah, I don’t understand these politicians that think US is so liberal.

  3. Hmmm … I’m appalled that the right is still in a state of denial. You know what the problem is? And I’m just pulling stats out of my ass here — probably 3/4th’s of the conservatives have never even heard of Orwell, much less 1984 or Animal Farm (no pun here). They really need to pick something up that doesn’t say “Holy” on it. I’m just saying.

    But on a serious note, I don’t mind being called a liberal even though the pukes of the right try to stigmatize it in MSM. I would agree that ‘progressive’ seems to be the way to go for 21st century liberalism, especially amongst the feminist communities. As for me, I hide when liberals can’t get back to their core values. It’s resulted in two presidential losses that could’ve changed the direction of this country. And I’m holding by breath for this one.

    Hey, prof, how about a post on Palin? It doesn’t get any better than this! You know, White female, hard-core conservative, 5 kids, pregnant unwed teen, quintessential American family, pistol packin’, super-life, yada yada yada … =)

  4. Actually the correct definition is “Marxists or fascists” since the so called “progressives” are nothing but a new faint lipstick on the old pig of Marxism. Not to mention many “progressive bloggers” openly flaunt their Marxist leanings while I have yet to find conservative bloggers quoting Hitler or Mussolini.

  5. Hmmm, is faint lipstick on a pig comparable to lipstick on a pitbull? Seems somewhat like comparing Marx to Hitler and Mussolini.

    As a heads up Zane, Marx is ideologically placed a wee bit differently than H and M. You may want to open a few books and check this out. While you’re at it, perhaps you should read Animal Farm to see who the pigs are. As a hint, calling someone a ‘pig’ is linked to the idea that pigs are greedy. You know, as in they want to conserve all the power and money and privilege for themselves.

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