Hot Air

Something’s Rotten

For a very long time I’ve resisted the terms fascism and police state to describe the happenings in this holy land.

I figured the folks who threw these words around were drama queens and kings, prone to hyperbole and panicky language. Hell, I’m prone to hyperbole, as Pencillistas well know — but I use it for comic effect. Too many others, though, have employed the rhetorical device to make whatever case they have for or against Barack Obama and other Murrican saints/sinners seem that much more urgent.

I’d hear or read the word fascist and roll my eyes.

Now, no more.

There is indeed a fascism here. This is truly a burgeoning police state. When cops start killing people willy-nilly, when prosecutors and Grand Juries and courts say, Hey, that’s cool to more and more homicides of citizens, be they petty criminals or innocent victims, when police departments large and small armor up like an occupying army, well, then, we’ve got a rotten problem.

Police Militarization

We hated the Nazis, the KGB, the East German Stasi, Lon Nol’s Cambodian thugs, even Bull Connor’s deputies and Alabama state troopers for their brutality. We called them fascists. We understood that they ran police states.

In the case of the Americans just mentioned, we comforted ourselves by saying, What bad guys! They weren’t real Americans. Those were isolated incidents. We’re better than that.

We weeded out our fascists — or so we hoped.

And then in the 21st Century, we started calling everybody and everything we disagreed with fascist.

A Congress and a President imposing a national health insurance program on the citizenry is not fascism. Nor is a passel of benighted fundamentalists claiming that dinosaurs strode the Earth with humans or that global warming is a hoax.

What defines fascism more than anything is the drawing of blood. Governments regularly draw blood — both of their own citizens and of those from far off lands — but most have the decency to try to hide it, to excuse it, or to apologize for it.

Today, though, American police officers are drawing blood and many of us — way, way, way too many of us — not only are excusing it, we’re cheering for it.

Fascism only works when the people demand it. Many Americans, babies, are demanding it today.

There’s your fascism. There’s your police state.

It’s here. Now.

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