The Silly Seriousness of Silly People Being Seriously Silly
You have to see this to believe it. A pdf of an ad in Monday's NYT by a group called The World Can't Wait. Sure, it has the usual Bush-as-Hitler stuff and uses the required slurs "fascist" and "fascism" several times. But the interesting part was the utter collapse of faith in the Democratic Party and yes, even in the democratic process itself.
"There is not going to be some magical 'pendulum swing.' People who steal elections and believe they're on a 'mission from God' will not go without a fight. There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into 'leaders' who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people."Wow. Timothy McVeigh couldn't have said it better himself. I had no idea things were this bad. (Help! Help! I'm being repressed!) What are we to do? After leading us to the edge of armed insurrection, what do these anti-democrats, these 21st Century Francos propose? A campaign of assassination? Mob attacks on regime installations? Does our only hope lie in mass violence against the State?
No. A demonstration. THAT'S their big answer? We're supposed to be suffering under the iron fist of fascist religious fanatics determined to "radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come." And their solution is to (seriously, this is a quote) "Bring the Noise"? They want to make a lot of noise during the State of the Union Address. Woo, I can feel the fascist religious fanatics quaking in their jackboots. Can't you hear them in their bunkers? "We only have God on our side and they have drums, banging pots and car horns."
The silliness is stunning even from the Hollywood/media elite who have refined silliness to an industrial product. The signatories include the usual suspects Gore Vidal, Vonnegut, Pinter, and Steve Earle and the Jane Fonda-Martin Sheen-Alice Walker trifecta. But Jonathan Kozol? Somehow Cornel West of Princeton manages to sleep at night despite the millions of fascist dollars that flow into his employer every year. (I'm sure Dietrich Bonhoeffer took Reichmarks from Hitler right up until he was executed.)
This is silly because none of these people, from "Imam Tabib Adbur-Rashid, Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood" to "Howard Zinn, historian" believe what this. None. This is a rhetorical document in the worst sense of the phrase. They don't believe Bush is a fascist or like Hitler. They haven't lost faith in the Democratic Party. I'll bet my Christmas binus thath in 2 years these same people will be out working for the very "savior from the Democratic Party" they now denounce.
How do I know these people aren't serious? Because their actions speak louder than they hysterical words. When Thomas Mann realized what Hitler and the Nazi Party intended for Germany he fled to Switzerland. By 1936 he was living in the US. Mann even convinced W.H. Auden to marry his daughter Erika to get her out of the Germany. (This was significant since both were homosexuals.) Thomas Mann didn't stay in Germany, making millions for crappy films and organizing noise demostrations. And Mann wasn't alone. Lots of Germans fled the Third Reich before the War.
If you seriously believe your government is run by fascists you don't bitch, you leave. Didn't these Hollywood bozos see Love and Death? After Napolean invades Russia, Sonja asks Boris, "Are you suggesting we fight?" Boris replies "No, I'm suggesting we flee. F-L-E-A. Flee. Luckily I was Freestyle Fleeing champion two years in a row."
Also, if these people really believed Bush was a fascist who "will not go without a fight" the very last thing they would want to do is gather in large groups. Fascists love handling large demostrations the old fashioned way, with bullets. Didn't they watch Tiananmen Square? For a bunch of ex-Maoists they seem to have forgotten their Mao. I thought political power grows from the barrel of a gun, not the banging of a drum.