Freedom to Fascism - A Bumpy Ride
October 14, 2004
By Sheila Samples
"There's no end to the rascality of these flinty-hearted bastards..."
- Rep. John Dingell (D.Mich) speaking of Republicans, quoted
on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Nov. 11, 2003
What is the matter with the Republican Party? As one born within
a tiny, tree-shaded Republican enclave in Missouri, raised by compassionate
family-values-oriented Christian conservatives, and whose entire
family remains staunchly, even militantly conservative, I think
I have earned the right to ask that question.
So - what the hell is wrong with you guys?
History bumps along from dateline to dateline with no regard for
party affiliation. That's why last week during the second presidential
debate, when President George Bush slid off his stool, assumed his
arms-akimbo "Super Hero" stance and childishly blurted out, "You
can run, butcha can't hide," I was jerked into the realization that
it's not possible for such a horrid, vacuous little creature to
be the cause of the rampant madness zigzagging throughout our society
Bush is the effect of it - the natural result of a cruel,
thoughtless and destructive movement within the Republican party
that has lain dormant from its inception, but like Stephen King's
evil "Christine," shivered into life on November 22, 1963.
Both parties have been running and hiding ever since.
This is not a treatise on the assassination of a popular American
president, nor of the massive manipulations of an investigative
commision to cover it up. That tragic November day marks the "bump"
in our history that began the evolutionary implosion of the Republican
party into neoconservatism and the sheer, bleak cruelty of a loveless
Before that fateful 1963 bump, New York Govenor Nelson Rockefeller
was truly the face of a kinder, gentler Republican party. Rich,
philanthrophic, and middle-of-the-road, as Assistant Secretary of
State for Latin America in the 1940's, Rockefeller was responsible
for the success of FDR's "Good Neighbor" policy. During his four
terms as governor, Rockefeller began large-scale welfare and drug-rehabilitation
programs, reorganized the New York transportation system and built
major public works projects.
At the 1964 convention, Rockefeller pleaded with a booing crowd
to "keep the Republican party the party of all the people." He warned
them of the danger of allowing extremists to gain influence, and
of the threat they posed, not only to the party but to the entire
nation. "These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror," he said.
"They have no program for America and the Republican Party."
Rockefeller sounded the alarm that hateful neoconservatism would
only get stronger and more destructive. "They operate from dark
shadows of secrecy," he said, and his warning that "extremist groups"
would ultimately subvert the values and morality of the Grand Old
Party were lost in a wave of jeers - "We want Barry! We want Barry!"
Rockefeller, in what was considered possibly his finest moment,
lost the ideological battle for the party to Arizona's "Mr. Conservative,"
Barry Goldwater. The miracle it would take for either man to win
the presidency didn't happen, of course, but the ideology embraced
by the conservative wing of the party would result in a Nixon, a
Reagan, and two Bushes - all swept along under the evangelical influence
of a Pat Robertson and the warmongering cabal of New World Order
If ever there was a "flinty-hearted bastard," it was Barry Goldwater.
In his acceptance speech for the nomination, he brazenly admonished
his followers, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice...
and moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue." Although Goldwater
lost in a landslide to Johnson in 1964, he succeeded in putting
a new face on the Republican Party. He achieved his goal of shifting
control from the "liberal" Eastern wing to the radical extremists.
"First let's take over the party," Goldwater told his aides. "Then
we'll go from there."
That's exactly what they did. And, they're still going - still
imploding, still evolving. The faces change... yet remain the same.
They do not intend for their "forward movement" to be halted and,
as the election date looms, they're increasingly desperate. Frantic.
Shrieking. Lying. Totally out of control.
And that's just Rush Limbaugh. The self-proclaimed Most Dangerous
Man in America.
If Limbaugh - Rush... El Rushbo... Rusty - is not the "face" of
the Republican Party, he is its heart and soul - and its mouth.
He's the coward who crouches behind the "golden microphone" at the
Exellence in Broadcasting (EIB) AM Radio Network and spews hate
and filth 15 hours a week, wallowing ecstatically in his own vomit.
He's the guy - married three times, divorced three times - who brags
that he's a shining example for the "yoots" of America.
He's the guy who accused the President of the United States of
murder, the First Lady of resembling a grotesque Pontiac hood ornament;
the guy who referred to the First Daughter as the "White House dog."
He's the guy who recently called John Kerry, a respected US Senator
and Democratic presidential candidate, a "stupid SOB."
Limbaugh's the guy addicted to Hillbilly Heroin (OxyContin) now
facing ten felony drug counts who once declared that "too many whites
are getting away with drug use. The answer," he said, "is to find
the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them
up the river." For once, as he so often reminds us, Rush is right.
A trip up the river for Limbaugh just might heal some of the wounds
he continues to inflict upon this nation's once proud Republican
There are many frightening things about Limbaugh, but none more
so than the influence he exerts upon his millions of robotic "Dittohead"
listeners, many of whom I suspect would do anything he asked them
to. He launched them into a scary crusade against the music group
The Dixie Chicks, one of whom dared to criticize George Bush. Think
how easily they accepted his explanation of the torture, abuse and
even murder of Iraqi citizens held captive at the now infamous Bahgdad
Abu Ghraib prison.
When a caller suggested in early May that the helpless pile of
naked bodies - the hooded, electrically-wired figure forced to stand
on a box - were nothing but "fraternity pranks," Rush shrieked,
"Exactly! Exactly my point! ... This is no different than what happens
at the skull and bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's
lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and
then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good
time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking
about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of
emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?
Three months later George Bush, the Dittohead in Chief, called
Limbaugh (who is an "official
unpaid advisor" to the Bush/Cheney Campaign) from Des Moines,
Iowa, to explain that we really could win the war on terror
after previously admitting to Matt Lauer that we could not
win the war on terror.
If that's not enough to make the few Republicans who still have
the ability to think for themselves remove their partisan earphones,
carefully back away from AM radio, and race out to make an honest
effort to retreive their party from the edge of the abyss, maybe
they should consider that Bush 41 routinely calls Limbaugh during
campaigns and that Vice President Dick Cheney is a regular caller
to the "Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies."
I would like to think there are some Republicans who would agree
with those of us who think it a bit strange that three of the most
powerful men in the world, when faced with a critical necessity
to address all the citizens of the United States, would choose to
call a foul-mouthed, lying, egomaniacal college drop-out and stroke
a bunch of Dittoheads.
Republicans don't seem to realize that they are no longer individual
members of a coherent "party," but are merely part of a mean-spirited
and dangerous movement that is theatening to sweep away democracy
as we know it. For example, on C-SPAN's July 31 Washington Journal
show, Kellyanne Conway, CEO and president of the Polling Company,
angrily demanded, "Where does the middle class get the idea they're
entitled to a big house, foreign cars and tuition for all their
kids? We got off track in the mid and late 90s - we need an administration
that will get people back to the reality."
Reality? Well, according to George Bush's little brother and Florida
governor Jeb Bush, some people just can't handle the truth. Jeb
once told retired Naval Intelligence Officer Al Martin (cited in
Bushwhacked, Sept. 2002, by Uri Dowbenko):
The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now.
You can't deposit the truth in a bank. You can't buy groceries
with the truth. You can't pay rent with the truth. The truth
is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like
an albatross - all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you
think that the million or so people in this country that are
really interested in the truth about their government can support
people who would tell them the truth, you got another think
coming. Because the million or so people in this country that
are truly interested in the truth don't have any money.
Each generation of Republicans appears to get a little more malicious,
more dangerous to the common good, more, well, flinty-hearted. Oklahoma
Republican Senator James Inhofe, who is no less than God's spokesman
here on earth, was recently outraged at the release of photos of
the Abu Ghraib inhumanity. "These prisoners wake up every morning
thanking Allah that we are torturing them instead of Saddam," Inhofe
snarled self-righteously during a nationally televised Senate hearing
on the abuse.
Where have all the good guys gone? Where are the "Rockefeller
Republicans?" Do they all buy into the "new" conservative ideology
by ultra-right-winger Adam Yoshida in Insight Magazine, that
social programs shouldn't be viewed as an effort to "help" anyone
because those who depend upon the government are "beyond help" anyway?
Yoshida does not advocate cutting off benefits, because he warns
doing that "will simply rouse them from their stupor and get more
of them to the polls on Election Day. Rather," Yoshida continues,
"we should consider maintaining (or even increasing) their benefits
while, at the exact same time, making it harder for them to vote."
This compassionate conservative admits that it "might cost the
government some extra money in the short-term to keep the dregs
relatively happy and silent but, in the long term, it will be a
great investment, as fewer of them vote and therefore allow us to
make up for the money spent by electing wiser governments which
will allow for faster economic growth."
Yoshida says keeping the "dregs" poor but happy is "a necessary
amputation. We will discard a diseased limb to save the whole."
Americans - both Republicans and Democrats - must face the reality
that, since November 1963, we have evolved from a government of
all the people to pacification and amputation of the most vulnerable
and needy among us. Think about it.
Americans are on this trip together, and together we must work
to change direction. We can no longer run and hide. Because we are
hurtling headlong into a deadly fascist wall. And that final bump
will be fatal.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma based freelance writer and a
former US Army Public Information Officer. She will accept praise
and atta-boys at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaints and death threats should be directed to her cousin, Junior
Samples, at BR-549.