"When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross".Democrats seemed to constantly fret over the so-called religious right. There were even accusations that, under George Bush, America was on the verge of becoming a theocracy.
Back then, I pulled out my old copy of Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here" about the fast, and furious rise of fictional President Buzz Windrip - who plunged the United States into a fascist state.
Dems seemed stuck on that one quote. I noted a couple of other things.
Windrip was a Democrat.
Here are a couple of lines from Windrip's campaign speeches:
"Call me a socialist or any blame thing you want to, as long as you grab hold of the other end of the cross-cut saw and help slash the big logs of Poverty and Intolerance to pieces."or how 'bout:
"I have no desire to be be President. I would rather do my humble part best to be a support of.... or any other broad-gauged but peppy Liberal. My only longing is to serve."How was Windrip's campaign initially received?
"Now listen Dad. You don't understand Senator Windrip. Oh, he's something of a demagogue - he shoots off his mouth a lot about how he'll jack up the income tax and grab the banks - but he won't - that's just molasses for the cockroaches...What kind of prior political record did Windrip have? Chapter 4 offers a few clues:
"Windrip caused the building of of impressive highroads and of consolidated country schools; he made the state buy tractors and combines and lend them to the farmers at cost."
"He preached the comforting gospel of so redistributing wealth that every person in the country would have several thousand dollars a year (monthly Buzz changed is prediction as to how many thousand), while all the rich men will nevertheless be allowed enough to get along, on a maximum of $500,000 a year. So everybody was happy about the prospect of Windrip's becoming president."Looking at the "prophetic" writings of Sinclair Lewis' fascist boogey-man in his 1935 pre-election state, I saw more in common with modern Democrats than I did Republicans when were were mid-way through the Bush years.
But the descriptions of Windrip's campaign and philosophy seem to stand out even more now that we're nearly six years into Barack Obama's terms as president.
Under Windrip, Congress was disbanded. Obama hasn't gone that far. But he's made a big deal of actively trying to circumvent its role in government when it fails to fall in line with his agenda.
How much farther will Mr. Obama push his Windrip-like actions during his remaining time in office?
Windrip's attempts to fundamentally transform America eventually erupted into civil war.
How much farther can Obama's divisive policies continue to push America apart; will America continue to keep at least the appearance of a peace?