I wrote yesterday about the threat of fascism in America. That, of course, got me thinking about how and why we're heading down that path, if we are.
The GOP has long held they are meant to rule America. The last election showed that their current coalition of corporate lords (who like capitalism as long as they're on top), racists, Fundies, and fiscal conservatives (who were on vacation during Bush II) is no longer enough to put them back in power. Expanding this coalition is close to impossible because various factions refuse entry to other groups not already in the fold. Therefore, returning to power with this coalition is close to impossible. The GOP leaders form the elite side of the equation mentioned yesterday.
The other half of the equation are the ones who have been thinking along these lines: Democracy brought us abortion. Democracy, spread among even stranger immigrants, has knocked Christianity from its perch as the de facto state religion. Democracy has brought us a crushing national debt. Democracy has allowed women and non-whites to enter the power structure (even a Latina on the Supreme Court!). Democracy has brought us minority rights and hate crime laws. Democracy has brought us gay rights and gay marriage. Democracy bailed out the Wall St. thieves who caused this current recession and let them go without punishment. Democracy is going to take away affordable health care. Democracy wants to take away my guns. Democracy has given us a black president!
Who needs Democracy?
Thus, the mob side of the equation, full of people convinced that democracy is not their friend. This mob is small enough that it cannot take power through democracy, thought they are strong enough to make the GOP unappealing enough to keep them from holding power.
So if these two factions cannot gain power through democracy their remaining option is to take power outside the democratic process. In other words: through violence.
A strong indication that we are on the road to fascism is the existence of violence. So far, only one of the congressional town meetings has been violent. We're not there -- yet. In the meantime, watchers are noting that all the other ingredients are in place. Kindling has been stacked, fuses have been laid, and matches struck.