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Sun Apr 14, 2019, 12:58 PM

Are Americans (Really) So Dumb They Don't Know Fascism When They See It?

https://eand.co/are-americans-really-so-dumb-they-dont-know-fascism-when-they-see-it-34cae64efa72

How Come When The Prez Says “Animals”, No One Uses the Word “Fascism”?

I was greeted this morning by the spectacle of a President calling refugees and immigrants “animals” on Twitter. But that wasn’t the truly disgraceful thing. I scrolled through my Twitter feed, hoping. Would this be the day? After all, no one had done it so far. Not in the New York Times, not the Post, not CNN, not MSNBC. Perhaps, perhaps. This would finally be the day, wouldn’t it?

I mean, this was over the line. And how many more lines are there to be crossed? So I checked, and checked. Chris Hayes, Jake Tapper, Beto (I think), pundit after pundit, politician after politician. They were vehement in their outrage and condemnation. But there was something missing. The most important something of all, as Orwell taught us — his test, which we’re still flunking.

Not a single person I could see had the courage, grace, sense, or wisdom to use the simple but accurate word, concept, idea, historical lesson, “fascism.” (In fact, looking at my Twitter feed, I was the only one who did. And nobody much seemed to care. Don’t cry for me, dummy. Cry for you.) Because all of this raises a simple and serious question. It’s an ugly and inelegant one — but I think it has to be asked at this point — so forgive me.

<snip>

After all, fascism has very simple, very complete criteria. What are those criteria? Americans pretend as if this is some kind of grand philosophical endeavor…some kind of post-modern game…”hey, the truth of fascism can’t be known!” And yet the checklist for what fascism is — and what it isn’t — couldn’t be simpler. Insult people who disagree with you? You’re just a jerk, not a fascist. Use racial slurs? You’re a racist, and you could be a fascist. But support, call for, encourage, do all, or indeed just enough, of the following things — demonization, dehumanization, collective punishment and blame, expropriation, dispossession, genocide…atrocity…institutionalize them in the hands of the state…and my friend, congratulations: you are a fascist.

<snip>

Let me ask it again. If the entire world, beginning with it’s children, knows fascism when they see it…why don’t Americans? The adults? Not just “average” Americans — but their luminaries, their so-called best and brightest? Their leaders? Thinkers? Intellectuals? What does it say when a man like Chris Hayes, the horn-rimmed golden boy of feel-good liberalism, with his own media empire…apparently doesn’t know fascism when he sees it? What the? Did he not go to grade school? Was he educated in the 1300s? When a single New York Times or Washington Post columnist doesn’t?


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Reply Are Americans (Really) So Dumb They Don't Know Fascism When They See It? (Original post)
hedda_foil Apr 14 OP
WhiskeyGrinder Apr 14 #1
certainot Apr 14 #28
WhiskeyGrinder Apr 14 #36
certainot Apr 14 #39
Perseus Apr 14 #44
riverine Apr 14 #2
rampartc Apr 14 #34
abqtommy Apr 14 #3
onecaliberal Apr 14 #4
Mc Mike Apr 14 #5
sandensea Apr 14 #24
certainot Apr 14 #30
Mr. Ected Apr 14 #6
luvtheGWN Apr 14 #38
redstatebluegirl Apr 14 #7
Solly Mack Apr 14 #8
plimsoll Apr 14 #21
Solly Mack Apr 14 #26
Atticus Apr 14 #9
maddiemom Apr 14 #18
CrispyQ Apr 14 #10
no_hypocrisy Apr 14 #11
beachbum bob Apr 14 #12
saidsimplesimon Apr 14 #15
ananda Apr 14 #13
BadgerMom Apr 14 #14
Baltimike Apr 14 #16
struggle4progress Apr 14 #17
Kablooie Apr 14 #19
whathehell Apr 14 #20
smirkymonkey Apr 14 #22
sandensea Apr 14 #23
loyalsister Apr 14 #25
SMC22307 Apr 14 #27
PatrickforO Apr 14 #29
stopbush Apr 14 #31
winetourdriver01 Apr 14 #32
doc03 Apr 14 #33
KPN Apr 14 #35
Yavin4 Apr 14 #37
vlyons Apr 14 #40
TygrBright Apr 14 #41
lastlib Apr 14 #42
lastlib Apr 14 #43
Firestorm49 Apr 14 #45
INdemo Apr 14 #46
SHRED Apr 14 #47
Grokenstein Apr 14 #48
LuckyLib Apr 14 #49
appalachiablue Apr 14 #50

Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:03 PM

1. The point is some people are just fine with it.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:36 PM

28. because most americans get the direct and indirect fascist buzz from 1500 rw radio stations

and simultaneously see no pushback from the left.

msnbc just had on another pitiful panel attacking fox and not a single mention of what sets the table for fox and what makes it 'acceptable'. fox is the cartoon cliff notes for talk radio. rw radio is invisible to liberals and media and the city-dwellers and their political analysis is as useful as if they're studying fish without water.

limbaugh and an army of a few hundred radio parrots hiding behind call screeners on stations licensed to operate in the public interest and often supported by university and pro sports programs, decide what fascism is and what socialism is, and how many cowardly death threats are aimed at omar, aoc, schiff, and nadler. and they will decide how long it will take dems to take down trump, what kind of concessions and compromises they will be forced into, how hard and death-defying it will be for judges, juries, and GOP politicians to do the right thing, and how much damage trump will get away with.

all because the 'left'/dems/libersals' organizations can't see the forest for the trees and keep wasting donation and activism on the symptoms of not challenging rw radio, the biggest political mistake in history.

all they have to do is start polling for it, digitizing it with the new AI-enhanced transcription, monitoring and studying it until the invisibility cloak is lifted, and with a few protests and boycotts the ad industry will finally have to start asking their radio clients if they really want to support trump, global warming denial, fascism, racism, islamophobia, and death threats aimed at democratic representatives and senators and investigators trying to do the right thing.

then political talk radio will be democratized and the 20-1 monopoly will be destroyed by the 'market forces'.

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Response to certainot (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:48 PM

36. No, more because people are struggling, and want direction, and hear populist

messages from Trump on TV, from their friends, and online. They want an easy answer, and populist demagogues fit the bill.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:15 PM

39. those 'populist' messages you refer to

messages from Trump on TV, from their friends, and online


are largely established with repetition only talk radio can do. the cons don't believe dems want millions of illegal aliens to vote (or 'hillary wears army boots') just because they got it in an email or on facebook. they believe it because it's a ramped-up version of 20 years of unchallenged radio repetition of racist immigrant hate and lying used to pass voter suppression legislation.

they don't support a giant talking orange asshole because he's likeable, they support him because the trump team studied 1000s of hours of talk radio in 2014 (said sam nunberg to gabriel sherman for NY Magazine 4/3/16) so he could piggyback decades of attacks on liberals, democrats, and hillary, channel the talk radio gods, and co-coordinate with the russian trolling ops without direct communication.

suddenly not ignoring talk radio would be the single most offensive and damaging offensive move by democrats. the real fascists and racists are few but their megaphone is the loudest and until dems stop ignoring it they're going to keep swaying apathetic and too-busy americans their way and the city dwelling liberals and media are going to keep letting them pretend they're a lot bigger than they are.

if trump or putin would pay $1000 for a one hour radio infomercial 1200 stations x 15 hrs/day is worth $5BIL of fascism and lies/year. most of the other rw media depends on that unchallenged repetition (locally coordinated, unlike fox) to remain unchallenged.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:24 PM

44. I don't think they know what it means, I think they think they are immune to the consequences

Who ever said "Ignorance is bliss" was someone who did not understand about consequences, and that is what happens to those people who support the buffoon, they think they are immune to the disaster they are creating. Some of them will benefit from it, but the majority will not, even those with tons of money who have supported the buffoon will fall on their faces, what they don't know is the buffoon wants their money too, and if he succeeds in becoming a dictator, he will only need to take it, and he will. That is exactly what happened in Venezuela, a lot of very rich people supported Chavez and when Chavez didn't need them anymore, he took their businesses, their properties, everything, which is the same that Castro did in Cuba.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:03 PM

2. The acceptance of various forms of fascist regimes is not limited to the USA

Brazil, Turkey, Eastern Europe come to mind.

Italy and Spain may tilt hard right soon.

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Response to riverine (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:44 PM

34. phillipines is classic

and there are definate plans for venezuela.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:04 PM

3. I agree that fascism is a problem

and not only in the US. We can see a worldwide resurgence of fascist thought and tactics. Yes,
we fought fascists in WWII and we're having to do it again now. That's a sad commentary on the percentage of people who accept and support fascism. I thing that even now the anti-fascists are in the majority but we have to act to stamp it out before the shooting starts again.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:04 PM

4. I don't think it's so much that they don't recognize it, as it is they're okay with it.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:08 PM

5. It's a 10% of the population proposition.

When the nazi repugs think they have an actual hard core 10%, we'll hear about it from them.

Til then, it's just them murder mouthing empty threats of civil war and fascist take over.

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Response to Mc Mike (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:28 PM

24. +1

And - like Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, and most other fascist regimes - behind that trend is big business.

They want as many voters as possible to be so radicalized, that no reforms - however modest - could ever be possible.

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Response to Mc Mike (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:38 PM

30. amplified by 1500 gop, nra, and putin radio stations that

liberals, dems, and the left ignore

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:09 PM

6. The masses have been so brainwashed into jerking their knees upon mention of "socialism"

They think it's only a political retort to call their fascism by its real name.

Just as they believe that the Mueller investigation was a political hit job when in fact it was aimed at a fascist takeover of America as just a small part of a worldwide epidemic.

America's greatest enemy is Americans. Stupid, ill-informed, angry Americans.

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Response to Mr. Ected (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:52 PM

38. What are Americans actually taught in school about fascism?

I'm suggesting -- not much if anything at all. I came to that conclusion just a few weeks ago while watching Jeopardy. Two contestants were American and the other was Canadian. The final question was about WWII, regarding France's defensive line (ditch) against German invasion. Only the Canadian knew that the answer was the Maginot Line (and that's because we all were taught as much as we could possibly take in about both world wars in history class). The 2 Americans hadn't a clue. That's when I realized that, if American kids ONLY learn about WWII from the time the US entered the war, and if they only learn about the exploits of American soldiers (and this can be verified, sadly, by several war movies recently) then they probably have never been taught about the fascist regime of Mussolini, nor that while the word NAZI is short for National Socialist Party, it had nothing whatsoever to do with socialism. Considering that less than 30% ever receive post-high school education, and that less than 30% even have passports, it's really no surprise that they don't recognize fascism when it's right on their doorstep.

Please correct me if my assumptions are incorrect.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:10 PM

7. Yes they are.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:14 PM

8. Yes

Not all but far too many ...and most of those think it's actually the "American way".

Fascism has been in America since the 20's. Since its inception by Mussolini.

It traveled back across the pond and took on a decidedly American conservative flavor.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:21 PM

21. I think Umberto Eco

Called the KKK the first proto-fascist organization.

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Response to plimsoll (Reply #21)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:32 PM

26. I can see that. The roots of it, the thinking and ideas behind it - long been around.

Mussolini coalesced them... put a name to it. Brought them together in a singular ideology.

When it hit America, the ideology, it was given an American makeover - god (Christianity), flag (wrapping oneself in a symbol over the expressed and lived form granted by the Constitution), country ("real" America for "real" Americans)...and guns (war, law & order, "defense" - what became a symbol for the meaning of freedom).

Appeals to and the shaping of patriotism. A conservative flavor.

Took feelings and thinking already present and expanded them, preyed on them, pandered to them...integrated them as part and parcel to what it means to be an American. Even as other thoughts existed, America's brand of fascism took hold. Been at odds for a long time now.

Hate of others, sense of being superior...my kind our kind...everything else a threat.

Etc..

Sickening, really.





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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:17 PM

9. Woody Guthrie's guitar featured a clearly visible "This machine kills fascists!". Woody also

co-wrote the song "All You Fascists Bound To Lose".

But, that was back when it wasn't considered bad form to call bullshit "bullshit".

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Response to Atticus (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:13 PM

18. Woody Guthrie also wrote "Old Man Trump" about the Donald's daddy.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:22 PM

10. The author should distinguish between the corporate owned media & Americans.

I believe that some of our journalists are censored, certain words & topics, not allowed by corporate.

Also, America is not unique in not seeing fascism at their doorstep. Interviews with Germans often revealed that they were surprised how quickly it happened. That said, i think there is a contingent of our population that is A-OK with fascism as long as the administration hurts the people it's supposed to hurt. But I think we also have a large group who are conditioned to believe that it can't happen here, & until it affects them or a loved one personally, they won't see it.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:22 PM

11. 3 reasons: ignorance, stupidity, and/or denial.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:24 PM

12. 40% are fine with it as long as they are in charge

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:08 PM

15. Thanks bob, you went to the bottom line.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 01:42 PM

13. Yes

nt

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:01 PM

14. Reading my Twitter feed, yes, a whole lot of us see it.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:10 PM

16. yep. nt

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:12 PM

17. Who cares what we call them? What matters is organizing against them

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:19 PM

19. We are too privileged. Oue whole lives we are taught that it can't happen here.

And we've never experienced it ourselves as a country so we become blind to the truth.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:20 PM

20. Trumpers -- a minority -- are not reflective of "Americans" in general?..

Trumpers may not "know fascism when they see it" dumb -- The rest of us do.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:22 PM

22. At least half of us.

I have seen this coming for a long time. And now it's here.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:25 PM

23. A lot of them see it - and like what they see.

I don't doubt that there's at least 20 or 30% of our fellow Americans who would gladly see those they hate (minorities, artists, lib'ruls) be sent away in rail cars.

It may sound harsh; but there's really no denying it. Indeed, some will tell you that outright.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:31 PM

25. It's a knee jerk response

People reject the term because they think Holocaust and Hitler. It shuts down any dialogue.
Fascism does also limit the discussion to the nazi leadership because the good Germans are not common knowledge.
If we have to get into a history lesson, we will fail to make the point because the conversation veers off into different directions.
There needs to be a more relatable way of talking about the damage in progress.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:35 PM

27. Many of them are OK with it. The question is...

how do we beat them? Especially with right-wing media coming at them 24/7...

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:37 PM

29. Civics got watered down, and high school kids don't get

any information on socialism, communism, fascism, totalitarianism and all the other isms. Not to mention cults.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:39 PM

31. Conservatives have long co-opted outrageous actions, statements and beliefs.

tRump is a master of this.

Their feigned outrage - which is actually simple projection - serves to insulate them against criticism from their foes. This gives them the room to be fascists, because their opponents natural reaction is to look to reason and facts to combat them. Their opponents take a “don’t stoop to their level” stance, which is exactly what the fascists depend on to advance their agenda.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:39 PM

32. They know

People of today forget how much grief President Roosevelt got when he made speeches against Hitler's Germany. Fascists are a sizable chunk of the population of the USA.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:42 PM

33. Yep

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:48 PM

35. Apparently.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 02:52 PM

37. So long as they are favored by the Facist leader, they don't care.

If the Facist favors their group (i.e. White, Christian, heterosexual), then they don't care.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:17 PM

40. I've been calling them neo-Fascists for ages

You left out what I think are the defining characteristics of Fascism, which is an economy run by monopolistic capitalists, power maintained by military and militarized police, and suppression of opposition and dissent.

Many many people cannot recognize Fascism. Hell they don't even know what democratic socialism is. They don't read history or think for themselves. They justwatch Faux News.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:17 PM

41. Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Those who do are greatly outnumbered. n/t

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:18 PM

42. yes, they are.

In their dim awareness of the history that is "taught" in schools, they believe that fascism was defeated, and thus, ceased to exist, in World War II. They are oblivious to the remnants of it that remained, and which have since risen again in the USA, and the rest of the world as well. They are only vaguely aware that fascism is *something that's bad*, and so we don't apply it to the president and his minions--When. It. Does. Apply.

How do we overcome it? I dunno. I only know we need to. RAPIDLY.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:22 PM

43. I would like for everyone to read this:

The Fourteen Defining Chracteristics of Fascism


It is WELL WORTH understanding what we are up against in America today.

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:


1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:38 PM

45. I'm all in with you.

We’ve been “nice” when there is no longer time to be nice. Time is running out and nobody seems to care. This is serious stuff.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:47 PM

46. I have said many times that Trump is using the Hitler playbook

and that of Mussolini

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 03:56 PM

47. 75% supported the Iraq invasion

This country is filled with bigots and racists.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 04:06 PM

48. They don't understand what socialism is, why would they understand fascism?

Throughout the thread, comments suggest that people don't get it, that people support it, or that people get it but don't care because they think it won't affect them. I believe in the Combo Platter; generally they THINK they get it, they THINK they support it, and THINK they won't suffer its consequences...but only because they don't ACTUALLY understand it.

An entire generation has been raised under Limbaugh-style disdain for education and experience (and reality) in favor of "gut feelings" and "belief," and the endless assault by Republicans on public education standards. No civilized nation that gave a tinker's damn about its future would EVER have indulged "Teach the Controversy" nonsense for an instant, but we did.

Now the stupid is coming home to roost.
The stupid, it burns, but it doesn't just burn the stupid.
It burns everything else.
Down to the ground.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 05:22 PM

49. Yes.

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Response to hedda_foil (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 06:57 PM

50. Repost:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/13/florida-graveyard-american-public-education

~ "All they need is one solidly ignorant generation and Fascism will win." - CD Comments Thread Winner

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