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Letter: Fascism Comes to America

To the Editor:

Who would have thought our first openly fascist president would be a Democrat? No matter; it might have been a Republican if the timing had been different, because our so-called two party system is in reality one party with two branches differing little in key respects.

One-party dictatorship is the essence of fascism. Political opposition is suppressed; alternative candidates such as Ralph Nader and Ron Paul as well as Green, Libertarian and Socialist parties have been denied effective participation. Fascism suppresses domestic dissent. Examples are the IRS harassment of the Tea Party, the persecution of reporter James Rosen and whistleblowers Sibel Edmonds, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, and the monitoring of phones used by Associated Press reporters. With the revelations of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, we now know that everyone’s email and telephone communications can be collected without a warrant, effectively denying our First and Fourth amendment rights, all under the guise of fighting terrorism. The American public was never asked whether it was willing to give up these rights for the ephemeral promise of security. The government’s obsession with secrecy is not about fighting terrorism but to cover up information Americans have a right and need to know.

Fascism is also overtly nationalistic and militaristic. One does not have to ponder too much about our military intrusions and presence throughout the world to see the reality of American militarism, exercised often, if not always, under false pretexts. Fascism is racist and seeks scapegoats. The vilification of Muslims is far out of proportion to any real threat they present. And given U.S. military and covert operations in the Middle East, it wouldn’t be irrational for them to hate our government.

To be fair, one must realize that the chief executive is not all powerful. Presidents are expendable. Sometimes the real power behind the throne rears its ugly head as when John Kennedy ran afoul of it. All the more reason the American people must be more vigilant about what their government is doing, because we can’t depend on someone else to keep us free.

Dan Leggett

Hanover