Nov 21, 2015

Republicans Driven by Fear into Unreason and Hysteria

Barbara With, a citizen activist and public intellectual living in northern Wisconsin, asks: "Is it my PTSD from being in Paris during the attacks or are other people stunned, shocked and sickened by people who reject the idea of helping refugees from violent atrocious war? Something has definitely happened since last Friday to this world. Something that leaves me tremendously sad." (Facebook)

What has happened to the United States since November 13 is a rush towards fascism, abetted by 47 Democratic House members such as Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse, Wisconsin) who voted for the ludicrous American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 this week.

In the "United States we are witnessing one of the most morally calamitous reactions to a refugee crisis in the country’s history," writes Sasha Abramsky in The Nation. "There is an odor of early fascism, or rather of the hysteria that precedes the march away from democracy, to much of this Trumpian rhetoric. An odor of the street fight. An odor of the iron fist. It is an acrid smell, a mid-century aroma tinted with totalitarianism and historical ignorance."

None of us should be surprised that the leading Republican Party candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump, is openly calling for suspension of the First and Fourth Amendments, and the targeting of a minority religion.

Other candidates try to out-do each other—as they have all Summer and Autumn—in incessant warnings to be afraid, the other is upon us. Wisconsin is well-represented by Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson and its entire Republican congressional delegation steeped in hysteria.

Writes Abramsky, "I see powerful figures such as Trump beating up on helpless refugee children. I see a stampede on the right to exploit a catastrophe, to exploit the war crimes of madmen, for partisan political gain. It is, quite simply, shameful. To block access to America for refugees—in particular refugee children—fleeing the barbarism of the Syrian war is as unsavory as was the turning back of ships filled with desperate Jews in the period leading up to the Second World War."

Sixty-one years ago, facing similar imbecility in Congress led by Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wisconsin), journalist Edward R. Murrow famously rebutted, "We will not walk in fear of one another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our own history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes which were for the moment unpopular."

Fear is the essence of the Republican Party today, and The Party requires feeding for its objectives, open fascism. Somehow, Rep. Kind while living in the same state as Scott Walker no less and others missed that boat.

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