Tag: FOX

The New Fascism

fas·cism (\’fa-,shi-zəm) n.

1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

This is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of fascism. The combination of autocracy, regimentation of commerce and strong-arm tactics should make this form of dictatorial government easy to spot. And yet we have people, some of whom would claim to be well-educated, bandying the term “fascist” around when it comes to President Obama’s administration.

Obama is seeking a bipartisan solution to the problems faced by America. He is struggling to foster this bipartisanship through open dialog and keeping the public informed. A fascist would shut the people out of the decision-making process and further their own agenda without thought of what’s actually best for their citizens. Obama’s speeches address the concerns regarding his policies, and he does his best to convey that his decisions are not being made arbitrarily or in a vacuum. Just because the majority of the people agree with you does not make you a facist. It just makes you popular.

And popular people are going to make enemies. Think back to high school. The smartest, best-looking and most charismatic kids found themselves in positions of leadership and popularity. Most other kids accepted that they wouldn’t be included in the popular kid’s circle and moved on. Some tried very hard to be included in that circle. And some tried to carve out a niche of their own by pushing around kids smaller than they are.

When people feel marginalized, when it seems that someone has taken power away from them in an unfair manner, they get angry. In a classist society such as ours, the people working day in and day out under back-breaking conditions with this sort of attitude look up to those living in luxury and feel a seething sort of hatred. Since this is a democracy, all the people need to do is wait for the next election to sue for a change of leadership. But some people are not so patient. Some feel they must take action now. Some rally support from the working class, push forward speeches that are laced with vitriol and hatred, and shout down anybody who dares speak up against them. This is a situation the world has seen before.

In Germany, back in the early 20th century, a sentiment prevailed among the working class that the first World War had been brought to an end by internal political sabotage. They believed that the people in power, in this case German Jews, had steered their country on a course that would take it far from the intents of its founding. They festered, complained and plotted, and in 1934, the Nazi Party rose to power with Adolf Hitler as its Führer. The Nazi party, from its beginnings, was charartarized by a singular autocratic agenda, social regimentation (i.e. putting the Jews under the heel of the ‘superior’ Aryan race) and control through force and fear. Their rise to power came from those in the working class supporting men who cried out for justice against those who seemed to be taking their country in the wrong direction.

Today, in America, several men and women are crying out for justice against those who seem to be taking our country in the “wrong” direction. They appear on Fox news, at tea parties and town hall meetings. They are characterized by a singular autocratic (perhaps even theocratic given the central place God is given among them) agenda, social regimentation (ensuring the Liberals do not push forward their plans to destroy all America stands for) and control through force and fear. If I can pick out the parallels that exist between the American Neo-Conservative movement and the National Socialist party of 1930’s Germany, you can bet others around the world have as well, and it probably makes them very nervous.

This country was founded on the notion that every citizen is entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong you might think they are. I know there are people who are opposed to health care reform or economic stimulus or pursuing peace instead of war. They’re allowed to think that, even if I believe they’re wrong. Should we meet, I’d want to try to get them to understand the other points of view that exist, not necessarily verbally strong-arm them into agreeing with me. You don’t have to yell to get your point across. As I have mentioned before, this is not ancient Sparta, and you won’t win by being louder than the other guy. If your only goal in talking to someone with a different political opinion is to shout them down and call them stupid or crazy instead of actually listening to what they have to say, you’re not being a good American. You’re just being a bully. And if you’re doing this in the course of furthering your own political agenda, you move up from bully to jerkass.

All I’m really trying to say, here, is that before you scream to the rafters about the fascistic mote in someone else’s eye, you should really do something about the fascistic beam in yours.

Double Standards

Courtesy Salon.com

It’s staggering how much can change in a few short years, isn’t it? During the previous administration, if you spoke out against the President or his policies, you were quickly shouted down as a moron at the very least, and possibly called a terrorist sympathizer or a Communist. Nowadays, if you speak a word of protest against the President and what he stands for, pundits come out of the woodwork to laud your patriotism and common sense, and you just might land yourself a show on Fox News.

Back when the words “Mission Accomplished” were first getting batted around in reference to the wars in the Middle East, saying that the wars were being mishandled got you called a coward and you’d quickly find yourself being sanctioned by any conservative within earshot. Talk about health care getting mishandled now, and you’re a hero. I could go on but I’d rather not belabor the point.

More and more a double standard is emerging. If your political party is in power, anybody who disagrees with you should be rounded up lest they begin an insurgence or secession movement. If they aren’t, it’s a moral obligation for you to protest their policies as loudly as possible and if they won’t listen, maybe it’s time to secede. The more the issue is examined the more ridiculous it becomes. I’ve said before we should treat our disagreements more as debates and less like open warfare. Shouting louder than your opponent in order to win an argument last worked as a system for political disagreements in the days of ancient Sparta. As eager as I’m sure Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh would be to grow manly beards and comport themselves in leather thongs (ew…) if that’s what it takes, I doubt Ann Coulter or Andrea Tantaros would be that keen on the idea.

How about this: Let’s put down the defaced photographs depicting Obama as Hitler and stop acting like we’re on a slippery slope into a Stalinesque meat grinder. Let’s actually talk about our differences of opinion and work together to find a common solution between them, rather than pointing out every potential character flaw and scandal as reasons why the opposition’s reasoning is stupid. Because, clearly, the errant behavior of a couple people within the party show the moral bankruptcy of the party at large, since political parties and ideologies are obviously a homogeneous group of individuals with identical viewpoints and lifestyles, so if one of them is a Communist, the entire group is Red.

Not that such reasoning applies to the Republican party, of course. If it did, their party is composed entirely of pederasts and closet homosexuals.

Let’s Talk About Fox

Faux News courtesy ediablo.com

First and foremost, if you didn’t see Jon Stewart talk about the drastic ‘liberal’ turn FOX News has taken of late, watch the clip below. Trust me, it’s worth your time.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Fox News: The New Liberals
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Healthcare Protests

I’ve had a problem with Fox’s coverage of politics for a while, and not just because they’re conservatives. It’s fine to disagree with the policies of the government – that’s why we have the First Amendment. One should be able to voice their opinion without fear of harm in a free country. However, while I can tolerate a difference of opinion, I have a very different feeling over what has been highlighted here, albeit in a very comedic way.

Fox News is full of hypocrites.

When there was a Republican in the office of the president, an attack on that president’s policies were unpatriotic, stupid, and possibly an indication of a terrorist frame of mind. Now that a Democrat is in office, it is clearly the duty of a fine, upstanding American citizen to point out how socialist, racist or fascist their policies are, especially if a given policy is all three at once. Expanding the amount of wiretaps put on Americans isn’t fascist if it’s a Republican claiming to protect the country, but trying to fix what’s wrong with health care is clearly fascist because it takes money away from people who have growing piles of it.

When last I checked, this was a country with a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” To me, that means that everybody contributes or even sacrifices for the betterment of the country as a whole. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free,” proclaims the Statue of Liberty. There’s no stipulations to that – no color restrictions or religious bias or base income requirements. Now, that might be considered a socialist frame of mind by some, but in my opinion, those who consider a tendency towards charity and goodwill to those less fortunate as socialist are more fascist than they realize.

Fascism, after all, a political ideology that follows the same lines as Darwinist evolutionary theory: “Only the strong survive.” In a free market economy, this could be interpreted as “Only the rich survive.” Instead of promoting the rise of an Aryan race, a lot of conservatives talk about not “spreading the wealth around” and letting the rich hold onto their assets while the poor wither and die in obscurity and silence. They’d be quite pleased if the disenfranched simply ceased to exist, though I’m sure they wouldn’t say “put the homeless in concentration work camps” out loud. Fascist societies of the past saw abortion as a crime against the state, opposed homosexuality, and spread propaganda through media domination and scare tactics. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Women have the right to choose what to do with their bodies, the disenfranchised need help to get back on their feet, and every citizen of a free country should have access to health care without worrying about extravagant bills or obfuscatory ideas such as “pre-existing conditions.” These, to me, are not opinions, but rather moral imperatives. And if that makes me a socialist, I’ll start speaking Russian and eating more borscht.

But I know for a fact I won’t be saying things to contradict those imperatives four years from now. Unlike some people.

“Fake” news vs. “Real” news.

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show

I was planning on writing some fiction today. It’s Friday, after all, and that’s the schedule I established for myself. But in light of last night’s riveting discussion about abortion on The Daily Show, and seeing the continuing anti-Obama rhetoric spewing out of various conservative camps, it was time for me to discuss why I get my news from a so-called “fake” source as opposed to a “real” one like, oh say for example, Fox News.

I have a problem with Fox on a fundamental level. At the cinemas, they’ve gotten into the habit of doing very unclean things to beloved stories & characters, like the X-Men. On the television, they cancel good shows like Firefly and Sarah Connor Chronicles and more often than not do bad things to the remaining shows, like 24. And then there’s their “news.” I use the quotation marks with news because Joe Scarborough or Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity will read a single headline and, rather than investigating the issue at hand, will do their utmost to verbally illustrate how subject X is against everything they believe in and everything that is morally and intrinsically right, then proceed to shout down anybody who tries to voice a dissenting or even neutral opinion. Everything to them is white or black, right or wrong, and they’re always on the side of white and right.

Everybody’s going to have their opinions, and we’re all entitled to keep and defend the ones we form as individuals. Look at Jon and Mike. They’re intelligent and opinionated adults who differ on a rather delicate and large issue. However, rather than the conservative shouting down the liberal, the two of them sit down and discuss, at length and in detail, the nuances and difficulties of the abortion issue. It’s a serious discussion, yet it’s done in an intelligent way that shows respect to both sides. If this is “liberal media bias,” I think we could all use a bit more of it.

Let’s say for example that President Obama does something that we don’t agree with. How do we best address the issue? Do we look at the entire situation, try to determine why he made the decision he rendered, and how we can inform him and the government at large that we disagree? Or do we grab the nearest media outlet and scream at the top of our lungs, calling him incompetent, asleep at the switch, communist or Muslim or whatever the conservative buzzword is that day? I’m not saying that conservatives aren’t entitled to their opinions, it’s just very difficult not to feel that the likes of the Fox battalion are less journalists & columnists and more schoolyard bullies that never grew up.

And that’s without touching Rush.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that if we treated political and social issues more like debates and less like open warfare, society as a whole would be a lot better off. Unfortunately, I’m not featured on television or radio news media, so I doubt my opinion will count for much. At least I know that in America I’m entitled to have it and cannot be condemned for it.

Unless I’m trying to discuss it with Bill O’Reilly.

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