1. Why we call the Tea Party and their leaders in Congress racist:
a. Destruction of voting rights & open promotion of white supremacy. See The Tea Party’s Legacy of Racism by Robert Parry
To this day, much of the American Right has refused to come to grips with the idea of non-whites holding U.S. citizenship. And, there is now a palpable fear that the demographics of democracy might finally eradicate white supremacy in the United States. It is that last-ditch fight for white dominance – as much as anything else – that is driving today’s Tea Party.
b. Support for Anti-immigrant laws. See Peter King’s remarks at Anti-Immigration Rally Kicks Off Push to Block Law Change
c. Slavery was ended through a civil war 150 years ago. That promotion of the Confederate flag argues for a different outcome of that war should be self-evident.
2. The term “fascist” should not be used just because you personally don’t like someone and are trying to deliver the ultimate insult, or because you don’t agree with their opinion. We use it instead, and in this case, to describe the Republican Party’s hard core based on the society they are working to bring about, one where power and rule of law will reside only with those who promote that agenda; wealth will become even more concentrated, and dissent suppressed through vast surveillance. The most aggressive of the Republicans want a government which provides no social services, leaving people to the mercy of the market, repressive laws and so-called “traditional” values.
Revolution describes the
extreme remaking of U.S. society called for by the section of the ruling class identified with the Republican Party. To them, church and the family—and traditional fundamentalist Christian religion and draconian, repressive family values—must assume a radically greater role in the functioning of society. God, guns (in the hands of racists, anti-immigrant vigilantes, and fascists), and religion are asserted with a vengeance…virulent dog-eat-dog, look-out-for-#1-individualism, as they rail against “big government.”
Dennis Loo in Reaping What You Sow: the Radical Right, Fascist Norms, and the Future describes the current government shutdown as
a foretaste of the radical right’s deadly serious agenda to take sole power, irrespective of their increasing unpopularity and irrespective of the supposedly sacrosanct rules, principles, laws, and customary ways of doing things in this country. Their targets for overthrow include the Constitution’s separation of church and state as well as all of the institutions and arenas of society. This is their attitude, about which they are entirely sincere: “We want it all and we are not going to stop until we get it, because God’s on our side and anyone who stands in the way will be beaten to a pulp because we are the lambs of Jesus.”
Henry Giroux in The Ghost of Authoritarianism in the Age of the Shutdown describes the last few decades when
it has become clear that those who wield corporate, political and financial power in the United States thrive on the misery of others. Widening inequality, environmental destruction, growing poverty, the privatization of public goods, the attack on social provisions, the elimination of pensions and the ongoing attacks on workers, young protesters, Muslims and immigrants qualify as just a few of the injustices that have intensified with the rise of the corporate and financial elite since the 1970s.
Naming fascism for what it is does not mean fascism will happen here, or that it is inevitable. It means we should face the reality that the forces who brought the shutdown are very dangerous, and do all we can to create a political situation where society goes in another direction altogether.
In The Shutdown, the Showdown, and the Urgent Need To Repolarize… For Revolution, part of the challenge – to act with a different morality - is captured here:
There is the basis to fight for and live a different morality—a morality based on ending and getting beyond exploitation and the narrow calculations of “me against the world,” one based on emancipating all humanity—a morality of putting one’s life and energies to that and daring to say “this is morally right—and the morality that either reinforces or leaves untouched a world based on exploitation and filled with oppression is wrong.”
World Can’t Wait’s 2005 Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime said “YOUR GOVERNMENT enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.” Eight years later, it is even more correct.