Why the Republican/fascist analogy is both right and wrong
It is no longer necessary to use the methods that Nazi Germany used to obtain a like hold on the population and implement a comparatively hard form of fascism. I set out the reasons why I believe this to be true herein.
Control mechanisms and media psyops are much more subtle now than they were in 1930s Germany and a significant share of the populace - possibly as high as 40% exists in a paranoid, twilight world of pre-brainwashing/conditioning. Pre-existing bigotry and the impossible-to-overstate effects of religulous dumbing-down have already pushed that segment of the population into a willingness to believe literally anything they are told by their authority figures. They have been reduced to a state so pathetic they would happily vote to liquidate themselves if they were told it was the will of lily-white, blue-eyed, Caucasian Republican Jebus and the almighty R party that they do so to get the uppity blacks, latinos, women and gays back where they're "supposed" to be. Offer them a 50% pay cut and a subsistence existence to realize that goal and they'd be on it like a duck on a june bug. Never before has there been so carefully manufactured a group of people who are such absolute zilches they will destroy themselves with a smile on their faces. That is terrifying and has no real precedent in human history of which I am aware. These people aren't like the masses of Germans who "went along to get along" - this is a huge base of lemming-like "people" whose true-believing minds function at about the same level of a six-year old that still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The belief is absolute and the critical faculties are ZERO, facts be damned.
Another reason that TPTB are so successful is that they hold absolute power over all the major media. Which systematically marginalizes everything and everyone that doesn't serve their corporate fascist vision not by eliminating them but by making them invisible in the mass media. They electronically disappear rather than literally disappearing and the effect is the same. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the media propaganda, which as Goebbels proved, is by far the best and most cost-effective way of controlling the masses
They don't need concentration camps, which might attract public or international attention - they can already spy on everyone in the country. Dissent need not be stamped out on a mass level when it cannot mobilize effectively, and the responses to Occupy showed that effective mobilization is now a thing of the past. Individual dissenters, even giants like Chomsky, pose no threat, so why bother publicizing them by arresting them? Media erasure is much easier and cheaper.
They don't need messy, hard-to-hide death camps - they can passively cull the herd by making health care inaccessible to the "undesirables." Goldman can always engineer the necessary commodity shortages to facilitate starvation as an adjunct, and do it all in the name of free-market capitalism. Nothing can be done about the omniscient "free market." Suck it up or die, preferably the latter.
Two actual similarities do need to be mentioned. (1) The militarized police are starting to look an awful lot like a super-Gestapo, accountable to absolutely no one; (2) "War Forever" is now the official state policy.
It is still fascism, without question, but it is a subtler fascism that has learned the lessons of history all too well.
Evangelicals as a percentage of the population keeps going down, and the number of 'unaffiliated' or 'nones' keep rising.
They and their fellow travelers have an influence far beyond their seeming numbers and have had for about forty years now. And the pimps, umm, preachers, rake in zillions which go to nefarious purposes.