5 Ways to Build a Fascist-Proof America
Sara Robinson, Campaign for America's Future
Rights and Liberties: If we want to build a fascist-proof America for the long haul, we must stand up now for everything we believe and everything we are.
How in the hell did we get here? And more to the point: How do we get back out?
The first question is depressingly easy. This is precisely where 40 years wandering in the right-wing moral, cultural and economic wilderness has left us -- and, in fact, where it was always intended to lead us.
A liberal democratic society is a complex system that's designed to be very resilient and self-correcting in the face of all kinds of extremism. But the health of that system -- especially its natural immunity to would-be attackers -- ultimately depends on just one factor: It cannot survive without people's ongoing confidence in a functioning political contract.
When it's working right, this contract guarantees the upper classes predictable, reliable wealth in return for their investments. It promises the middle class mobility, comfort and security. It ensures the working classes fair reward for fair work, chances to move ahead and protection against very real risk that they'll be forced into poverty if they can't work any more.
Generally, as long as everybody gets their piece of this constantly renegotiated deal, everybody stays invested in keeping the system going -- and a democratic society will remain upright, healthy and moving mostly forward.
For the past four decades, conservatives have done everything in their power to dismantle that essential contract, and thus destroy our mutual confidence in the fundamental agreements that allow any democratic system to function. (None dare call it treason -- but a solid case could be made.)
This isn't news: by now, most of us can recite the litany, chapter and verse, of the all the many ways they hacked away at America's essential ability to function as the Constitution intended.
But the biggest loser, as always, has been the working class -- the people whose only real power lies in their sweat and their numbers. Their faith in the promise of democratic self-government has been shattered through years of union-busting, farm foreclosures, factory exports, college grant cuts, subprime mortgage scams and all manner of betrayal, treachery, neglect and abuse.
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