“The disturbed soil of a mature democracy in crisis.”

August 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Historical, politics straight up, Reality Bites | Leave a comment
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In his acceptance speech, Goldwater made the infamous statement, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” The assertion, meant as a defense of conservatism, merged in the public consciousness with statements in which Goldwater advocated the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Vietnam and argued that Social Security be made voluntary.

Ku Klux Klan members supporting Barry Goldwaters campaign for the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention, San Francisco, California, as an African American man pushes signs back.  1964 Jul. 12.  Warren K. Leffler, photographer.  (U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress)

Ku Klux Klan members supporting Barry Goldwater's campaign for the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention, San Francisco, California, as an African American man pushes signs back.

Sara Robinson has been watching the signposts that let us know whether the United States is headed toward fascism. She makes the case that “if we’re not there right now, we’ve certainly taken that last turn into the parking lot and are now looking for a space.”

All through the dark years of the Bush Administration, progressives watched in horror as Constitutional protections vanished, nativist rhetoric ratcheted up, hate speech turned into intimidation and violence, and the president of the United States seized for himself powers only demanded by history’s worst dictators. With each new outrage, the small handful of us who’d made ourselves experts on right-wing culture and politics would hear once again from worried readers: Is this it? Have we finally become a fascist state? Are we there yet?

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