The Echo of Fascism

Published: July 22, 2019

By Jim Lichtman
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We’ve heard it all before.


You may laugh it off, but this is what fascism sounds like.

Don’t be fooled just because there are no tanks in the streets or brown shirts running around arresting people.

Fascism, according to the American Heritage dictionary, is “A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.”

While we are not there yet, it begins when a populist demagogue comes along and tells you that he or she is to blame for your lot in life; that people that look different, pray differently, speak differently should “go back to where they came from,” even though where they came from is America.

That’s what fascism looks like.

“China,” he says, “you go there now, roads, bridges, schools, you never saw anything like it. I love China… [The U.S.A.?] “We’re dying. We’re dying. … We’ve got nothing.”

Does anyone tell him to “go back”?

He ridicules any news outlet that is critical of him by calling them “the enemy of the people,” and only supports those news sources that report the party-line propaganda… even when it’s false… even when news anchors, on their own network, challenge the false statements made by their pundit colleagues.

But when it comes to mainstream media, he continues his fake news spiel.

“The Washington Post Story, about my speech in North Carolina and tweet, with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News… – July 21, 2019.

This is what fascism sounds like.

“I’m unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country,” he says. Mexicans are “rapists.” White nationalists are “very fine people.” A judge born in the U.S. cannot be an honest broker in judging a real estate deal because he’s of Mexican heritage.

That’s not only racist, it’s fascist. And we’ve seen it before.

During the Klan scene from the film, Mississippi Burning, a populist speaker mimics what has been sold as America’s greatness too many times in in our past.

“I love America. I LOVE America.”

He points to the FBI agents investigating the deaths of three Civil Rights workers.

“They HATE America.”

Is that the America you want again?

We’ve had are share of demagogues. In his book, Voices of Protest Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression, historian Alan Brinkley quotes FDR appointee Gen. Hugh Johnson as telling a crowd in 1935, “You can laugh at Father Coughlin. You can snort at Huey Long, but this country was never under a greater menace.”

New York Times critic Robert Sherrill wrote about Long in 1982. “The Kingfish had gone national; he was taking his spellbinding harangues to Americans everywhere via radio, with stunning success. After a typical broadcast in 1935, he would receive up to 60,000 letters through the NBC network and more than that through his own Senate office.”

Father Coughlin “had a national following of about 40 million people, the largest radio audience in the world. …

“Smart alecks like H.L. Mencken,” Sherrill wrote, “tried to dismiss Long as ‘a backwoods demagogue,’ but millions of Americans – not only the poor, but large segments of the middle class, too thought he made good sense. These groups usually overlapped in their support of Coughlin’s ideas.

Indeed, “Brinkley says that the middle class was especially attentive.”

Twitter has replaced radio with an even greater audience for those who fall under his populist spell.

“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country.” — July 21, 2019.

Is that the America you want?

Is that the America you believe in?

Don’t buy it.

If you do, you’ve lost your soul.


  1. I agree Jim, our president does say things that he shouldn’t. Unfortunately his base loves it. He speaks like a fifth grader, but people like simple language. Keep up the good work. Thanks

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