FDR tried to prepare the country to resist fascism, against the opposition of homegrown Nazi-sympathizers like Col. Charles Lindbergh of the “America First Committee,” the anti-semitic Father Charles Coughlin, and the predominantly isolationist Republican Party. I’m fighting myself to hold back, but if there are any parallels to be drawn between fascism and American politics presently, then it is to the current administration and the Republican party, with its approach of big government linked with private big business as an adjunct-a predominantly neo-con militaristic, expansionistic, no-negotiation foreign policy; an overwrought glorification of uncritical fidelity to our country (a gross contamination of patriotism); the degradation of civil liberties; and the xenophobic and racist strands in the Republican Party. Because comparisons with the unprecedented pure evil of Hitler should probably never be drawn, perhaps we can call it “fascism light” (although the stomach churns attaching “light” to the word “fascism”).

And finally, isn’t it wonderful that Obama is desperately, but absurdly, being labeled a “socialist” and a “communist”? It reveals further theoretical confusion in the opposition and signals that the long overdue rehabilitation of “liberalism,” “liberal” and “liberalism” are apparently no longer scary enough to achieve the reaction sought by the fear-mongers on the right.

Liberalism is making an entirely deserved comeback, striking the correct balance, as it does, between the cold-blooded, dog-eat-dog heartless selfishness of pure capitalism and the dysfunction of selfless socialism.

Gregg Mumm

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