SAN DIEGO, August 13, 2014 —On July 30, 2014 I wrote an article for CDN entitled “Impeaching Obama: Good idea or Democratic bait?”
My point was that although politically, impeachment may be an unpopular move for Republicans, Obama nevertheless deserves to be impeached.
One reader responded with the provocative comment, “Beats the hell out of the war mongering fascist imbecile who preceded him!”
Normally, I either ignore such comments or offer very brief responses, but this one deserves some attention.
Putting aside that tired tactic of playing the “George Bush wild card” whenever one is unable to answer for Obama, it would be nice if people understood what a word like fascism actually means before carelessly tossing it around.
One of the definitions of fascism offered by Merriam Webster Dictionary is “A tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.”
When a president openly admits that he will sign an executive order simply because Congress won’t pass the kinds of laws he wants, that is a tendency toward dictatorial control.
When a government tells its citizens that they are going to buy a product (such as health insurance) whether they want it or not, that also smells like fascism.
When companies are told to supply health care for their employees, even coverage for certain types of birth control which might violate a religious conviction that was previously upheld in our Constitution’s First Amendment, that too is autocratic rule.
When a government lies about an attack such as we had at Benghazi, saying it was the result of a video and arrests the person who made the video, claiming the arrest was for parole violations all the while bragging to the parents of the victims that he was really arrested for insulting Muslims, fascism once again rears its ugly little head.
While we’re on the subject, we should remember that fascism often comes into power and stays in power by pitting rich against poor and calling for a redistribution of wealth such as candidate Obama did when he said openly to a plumber at a public meeting who felt he was being taxed too much, “ I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Often wealth redistribution is referred to not as fascism, but rather socialism. Descriptions such as fascist are reserved for a regime like Hitler and the Nazis.
And yet, Hitler also came into power by pitting rich against poor. In that case, most of the rich were cast in the role of “Jews.” But the Nazis did redistribute wealth after they came into power. Even though Hitler also described himself as an enemy of Communism, there was very little difference between the Communists and the Nazis (whose name actually includes the term “National Socialist.”)
Both parties called for wealth redistribution. The major difference was that Communists expressed their convictions globally while Nazis centered around the patriotism of their own country.
Before I get another reader’s comment, no I am not comparing Obama to Hitler, at least not Hitler the mass murderer. But Hitler’s early rise to power and other tactics of ambitious men with socialist agendas? Absolutely that compares to Obama. It is also a form of fascism.
So if you plan to defend our president by using the name fascist to describe his opponents or to describe the previous administration, you might want to first stop, breathe, and take a moment to understand what the word actually means.
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net.