Monday, January 08, 2007

A&L Daily links to this review of a book called "American Fascists" by a guy named Chris Hedges. You'll have no problem guessing who the so-called Americanazis are, but in case you needed a hint, he's not referring to the Osama fans out there.

Check out this bit:

Hedges concludes the United States today faces an internal threat analogous to that posed by the Nazis in Weimar Germany.

There are problems with this analogy. First, democracy in America is much stronger than it was in Weimar Germany in 1933. Nor is the Christian right as widespread or powerful as Hedges suggests. Among conservative Christians who are working class or lower class, "a dramatic majority" voted for Bill Clinton for president — that's the finding of sociologists Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout in their recent book "The Truth About Conservative Christians." A 2004 survey for "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" on PBS found that a majority of evangelicals have an unfavorable view of Falwell and that a significant minority of them are more concerned about jobs and the economy than about abortion and gay marriage.

And it isn't as if conservative Christians are the only obstacle to gay marriage: Yes, 85% of white evangelicals oppose gay marriage, but in the general population the figure is 61%. In fact, the differences between today's Christian right and the movements led by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini are greater than the similarities. Hitler was more pagan than Christian. Street violence was a key tactic of Mussolini's Brownshirts; the Christian right has focused on nonviolent demonstrations outside U.S. abortion clinics and on changing laws at the ballot box. And there's a big difference between supporting laws against gay marriage and putting gays in concentration camps.

Nevertheless, Hedges concludes that the Christian right "should no longer be tolerated," because it "would destroy the tolerance that makes an open society possible." What does he think should be done? He endorses the view that "any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law," and therefore we should treat "incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal." Thus he rejects the 1st Amendment protections for freedom of speech and religion, and court rulings that permit prosecution for speech only if there is an imminent threat to particular individuals.

Ironically, Mr. Hedges's disdain for the rights of freedom of thought, expression, and religion, and his totalitarian streak that makes him want to ban speech he disapproves of and punish those who do not conform make him much more similar to the real Fascists than the American Christian conservatives are.

Now get this. Mr. Hedges is a reporter for the New York Times. How can he claim to be an unbiased reporter when he thinks that more than a quarter of his fellow citizens are Fascists? Has his newspaper no judgment at all in who it hires?

Naturally, of course, both he and his editors would scream bloody murder if anybody tried to interfere with their own precious rights.

Note: This is how a lot of anti-American crap gets over here to Europe. Our own left wing thinks it up, and the Europeans just parrot what they hear from renegade Americans.

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