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It Can Happen Here


It Can Happen Here

David Kotz

On November 8 the rise of a right-wing nationalist regime in the United States became a realistic possibility, if not now then in the coming years. Such regimes stress nationalist and patriotic themes, play upon and intensify fear of minority ethnicities and/or religions and/or other long-oppressed groups, promise to resolve festering economic problems of ordinary people, and direct the blame for such problems at a convenient scapegoat such as foreigners or immigrants rather than the real causes.


While I agree with the theme, I think the one factor that distinguishes us from other societies that have fallen prey to this type of lunacy is that we are not a homogeneous society, and that in fact white males are a small minority. Granted, they now have control of the money and guns. But their ability to maintain this stranglehold on power is, eventually, doomed.


I hope you are correct.


Nobody can govern long w/o the consent of the governed...our condition is unstable and that's the time when change is possible. The change for tyranny or the change for freedom is in play.


The US is very culturally different from Europe. We have the Old South culture for one thing. We also have a culture based on people living in the plains and the desert of the southwest where populations are relatively small. We also have the history of the frontier. Economically the US is doing quite well. We have had job growth for over 80 consecutive months and we have by far the largest economy in the world. Many of our metropolitan areas are probably among the world's richest. Crime rates are down in most US cities which probably indicates that poverty has declined. Our suburbs are generally thriving. So unless you out into the more remote rural area it would be difficult to tell anything is wrong. I think what we have is manly a backlash against the country become more liberal and more secular. Many people, particularly people who never quite bought the separation of church and state, probably feel the country has been stolen from them by the highly educated graduates of Ivy Leagues and other great universities. Their children have had to study evolution in public school and then in college are told by professors to re-examine everything they believe in. They have also been fed lies about various racial and ethnic groups for years by Rush Limbaugh and others. They have seen a gradual erosion of their political power as white Christians as both whites and Christians are getting smaller in percentage. Throw in the increasing economic inequality which particularly adversely affects people without college educations living in rural areas and it can lead to a white nationalist movement, even here in the probably most diverse country in the world.


Where do you live? Cities around the country have terrible homeless problems. We just had 4 homeless deaths in the last month i.e. a 52 year old women who was kicked out of her room for being behind for one month, a 27 year male, and 2 others who succumbed to the 20 degree weather.

Economically the capitalists and their minions are doing well. The regular workers who sometimes work two jobs freeze to death on the streets as they cannot afford rent.


Such regimes stress nationalist and patriotic themes, play upon and intensify fear of minority ethnicities and/or religions and/or other long-oppressed groups, promise to resolve festering economic problems of ordinary people, and direct the blame for such problems at a convenient scapegoat such as foreigners or immigrants rather than the real causes.

This paragraph describes the behavior of both the "right" and the "left" Political Elites in America, though the author is clearly gunning for the "right" - which is admittedly worse about this behavior than the left, but not by a lot. Neither "major party" wants to address the real issues, they just want to get into power and stay in power by sowing false fears and false hopes.

If it's not the Muslims who are the root of all our problems, it's the Russians. If it's not the Liberals who are ruining America it's the Deplorables, clinging to their guns and religion. Etc, etc, etc.


The answer to fascism?


While your story sums up some of Portland's regional deficiencies, we are also victims of our successes. Maybe we should blame the NY Times and all those travel magazines for selling Oregon to the wider audience of the world's entrepreneurs, adventurers and vagabonds. We seem to like the company of all three here.
It is projected that Oregon will have 5.5-6 million residents by 2050, possibly more. The West Coast will seem quite crowded to many folks, as well. Learnimg how to care for all of them, house all of them, find opportunity for all of them, etc., will be quite a feat. " To whom much is given, much is asked ". We'll find out about all that pretty soon, right?


If Sinclair Lewis was still alive, one would expect a sequel to the book: IT CAN,T HAPPEN HERE, TO: IT IS HAPPENING HERE!


Thanks Julie for making that critical point. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." The ruling establishment have been really successful in dividing this nation and it's voters. They have lied and betrayed us all, and encouraged us to buy into their, 'us against them' mentality, which has given them free reign to spend our treasure for endless wars, income inequality, corporate welfare, and much more that doesn't benefit the masses, only them and their extremely wealthy friends and business associates. Why can't all of us see this? Why did 120 million of us on November 8th vote to prolong this miserable system of government that doesn't serve us? The ruling elites, the billionaire class, have been preaching hate and fear 24/7 for so long through the MSM, and we keep buying into the us against them speech until we start to finally believe it. Do you even know who the 'us' and 'them' are? It's us! That's right. The ruling class, more commonly known as the Democratic /Republican Establishment have been convincing the majority of us, to vote against our own best interests by instilling us with hate and fear. Folks, there is never, ever going to be any way of reforming this kind of behavior, this kind of ultimate betrayal of our trust by these two morally corrupt political parties. Take the 2017 pledge to find a new political party that puts People, Planet, and Peace before Profit. We as a people deserve more than what we get from our blind faith in political parties that lie and betray us. I guarantee you that once you understand that you never have to support corruption in your government again, you will begin to feel whole again, and the experience will change your life.


We have a homeless problem as well. A lot of the homeless are undocumented immigrants who often live in the woods. And there are other homeless as well. But the vast majority of people around here are not homeless and thousands live in beautiful large homes. Although I think incomes around here are pretty good a big problem is that property values have never fully recovered from 2008. The public library isn't open for as many hours at it used to be. And the school system, which has always been considered one of the better ones, has made cuts in staff and programs that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. This is an area in which Hillary Clinton clobbered Bernie Sanders in the primary and did likewise to Donald Trump in the general election so I think for the most part people were quite satisfied with the status quo if that is what Hillary represented, although she did have some very progressive policies on a number of issues.


Yeah right! Progressive Hillary. I apologize for my sarcasm Lrx, but as I got to the bottom of your comment, when you used the words, 'progressive' and 'Hillary' in the same sentence, my BS detector went off. Keep pushing those lines though. There's always 2020.


My retort need not go beyond quoting your delusion.


I think there are at least a dozen reasons why folks voted against democrats. The editor of one of our local rural papers says he has talked to a lot of folks and their main issue was the rising cost of health insurance.


Until a LOT more people take off the 2-Corporate Party BLINDERS not much will change. It's EASY to see hwo messed up the GOP is with their backward theocratic racist./sexist/homophobic BS.The DEMOCRATIC Party has better PR: just remember the wonderful DIVERSITY SPECTACLE they put on at their Convention in July. But, one has to look at POLICIES & there one sees a BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS when it comes to CORPORATE ECONOMICS (benefiting the top10% or so) & ENDLESS WARS. Too many liberal/progressive people BLAME the GOP for anything BAD while IGNORING how the Corporate Democrats have played their role. How many have still NOT looked CLEARLY at the CLINTON ADMINISTRATION with it's NEO-LIBERAL (that is CORPORATE) economics of "Free trade", austerity ("welfare reform" w/Bill & Hillary COLLABORATING with NEWT GINGRICH) helping create MEDIA MONOPOLIES (Telecommuications Act), EXPANDED "War on Drugs" (jailed TWICE as many people as REAGAN did)/laid foundation for Prisons-Industrial Complex & private prisons (1994 crime bill), DE-regualton of Wall St & Big Banks (2000 right before Bill left office)--that PAVED THE WAY for 2008-9 economic meltdown. Democrats are NOT "doves" as we can see with President Obama taking us from TWO wars to SEVEN. What we get from Democrats is BETTER SPEECHES...but, mostly the SAME policies (w/'a few breads crumbs thrown to We The People). All the talk about "Obama's Llegacy:" has yet to look squarely at hi sactual POLICIES---instead dong the ;BLAME THE GOP" game. "The Republicans BLOCKED Obama!" liberals cry out...yet, somehow the Republicans DID NOT BLOCK Obama when he bailed out Wall St/Big Banks, when he EXPANDED the corproate take-over of public schools, when he sells weapons to 'both sides:" in many conflicts & expanded U.S> wars. Funny how that works...& NONE of these things are really looked at as "Obama's legacy"--but,they should be. Until we STOP WASTING TIME with the Democratic Party not much will change,. Finally as for those who say progressives whoul;d "take over the Democratic Party" WE'VE TRIED THAT FOR over 40 YEARS---the last time being the BERNIE SANDERS' campaign! In relation to fight over hwo new DNC Chair will be, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D_CA) recently said "People don't want change." There's your answer, progressives: the DEMOCRATIC PARTY WON'T CHANGE.