Five years ago, antiwar liberals calling the Bush administration fascist were labeled as kooks, marginalized by their own party leadership, accused by conservatives of treasonous thoughts worthy of federal punishment, even deportation. A few years pass, the policies hardly change, and the political dynamic turns upside down: Tea Party conservatives accusing the Obama regime of fascist impulses are compared to terrorists, accused of being racists, told that their hyperbole is a real threat to the country’s security.
The establishment derides both groups for their fringe outlook on America, convinced that the United States is anything but a fascist country. After all, isn’t America the nation that defeated fascism in the 1940s? Sensible conservatives and liberals agree with that.
The unappreciated reality is that when the patriot right and radical left refer to the U.S. system as fascistic, they have part of the truth but not the whole analysis. This is due to the blinders both sides wear as it concerns state power. Moreover, the criticisms sometimes fail to take account of America’s very unique strain of fascism. This political program is distinct in every nation, always taking a different form but with some general themes in common. U.S. fascism is a most insidious mixture of the key ingredients while maintaining the necessary nuance to snooker the masses, the media, and the respectable folks across the spectrum.
The FDR-Bush Program of Economic Corporatism
First, and this is key, we must look at the economic system. The liberals are proud to have had a role in creating its socially democratic elements. The conservatives are proud of America’s towering financial and military institutions. Republicans and Democrats all pretend America has a free enterprise system, attacking greedy profiteers while crediting themselves for the benefits of capitalism, blaming laissez faire for all our problems while dissonantly congratulating themselves for having supplanted it with sensible regulation and safety nets once and for all.