In a Sunday post, Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman charged that a combination of unyielding ideological extremism and efforts to prevent many who might oppose said extremism from voting mean that the Republican party’s creed has “really beg[un] to resemble fascism.”
Longman noted that the DNC recently announced a campaign designed to find and register likely Democratic voters and remarked that while that project is “certainly in [Democrats’] self-interest…it’s also wholly consistent with traditional American values about...the right of everyone to vote…There is no corresponding effort to prevent likely Republican voters from registering to vote or to kick registered Republicans off the voter rolls.”
Meanwhile, Longman alleged, Republicans’ attempts to shrink the electorate via so-called voter-suppression laws “put…their entire political party at odds with the cherished ideals of representative government” and “also ha[ve] an inevitable racial component, since the best visual predictor of how someone will vote is the color of their skin.”
Longman went on (emphasis added):
I understand that it’s easy to be for the broadest possible electorate when that clearly advances your political goals, and that it becomes hard when it doesn’t. But what’s so depressing about this is that this country has sorted itself into a political alignment where one party sees disenfranchisement and disengagement as their best hope.
I also see this as a consequence of the Conservative Movement’s fervent desire not to have to change their core beliefs about anything. They don’t want to moderate their positions on gay marriage or abortion or immigration, and as those positions become giant liabilities they feel that their only option is to turn against individual voters and try to keep them from casting their votes.
This is related to all the calls for secession, for example, in the rural areas of Colorado and California. It’s really taking on an ugly tone, with expressions of racism and xenophobia combined with a growing disdain for our democratic system of government.
When you combine it with the libertarian strain in the GOP, it really begins to resemble fascism, because it’s nationalistic, race-based, often pro-corporate (although it has populist anti-corporate elements, too), anti-immigrant, and basically revolutionary in its opposition to the central government. Add in the attraction to pseudoscience and “creating their own facts,” its basic anti-intellectualism, its source of strength with the “job-creating” small entrepreneurs (anti-communist bourgeoisie) and you begin to see too many parallels with the fascists of old.
Admittedly, it more closely resembles the fascism of Franco or Mussolini than the death-camp fascism of the Nazis, but it’s a strain of politics that had to be destroyed once at great cost. And it’s growing right here in our neighborhoods and metastasizing throughout our legislatures.