I was listening to an American talk radio jockey joke about us killing an entire race of people in revenge. Joking about turning their country's deserts to vast fields of glass. Laughing about it. It was all just a joke. Genocide as a casual weekday afternoon drivetime joke. It was not liberal anger that simmered inside of me at that moment. It was human anger. It was fear, too.
World War II was the world arrayed against countries who we ultimately found had turned to the question of a race of people they didn't like and dealt with it through genocide and terror. America was the leading country prosecuting that war. American soldiers wept as they saw the skeletal figures standing hollow-eyed at the fences of Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz. We are the country who has acknowledged our own pogroms of Native Americans and Africans and made at least some effort to deal with it, to make it right. I know the effectiveness of those efforts can be questioned...but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about how what I can only think of as Fascist ideology having crept while we weren't looking into the public dialogue.
I'm not the only person to notice, that's for sure. Here is the most in-depth article I could find on the subject - Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An exegesis.
I am not saying that Republican = Fascist. That's a tried and true, not particularly intelligent liberal attack on the opposition. In fact some more rabid conservatives have actually turned and hurled it back at liberals. Historically, America needs that balance of conservative and liberal thought. It has worked for us. As a matter of fact, I believe that there are a good number of classically conservative thinkers who find the slow infiltration of people who would even joke about the genocide of another race, another nationality appalling. In an effort to continually hammer away at what they think is a pro-America standpoint, a handful of far-right conservatives as exemplified by that radio talker have slipped over the line from good solid American conservative into Hitler's territory.
The Baath party run by Saddam Hussein in pre-war Iraq was a fascist organization - see The Syrian-Iraqi Baath party and its Nazi beginnings. On the strength of that knowledge alone a war against such an ideology is easy to defend. But when Americans with public positions of any kind can even joke about something like genocide we have begun to deteriorate in our own way. I know, you may think I'm a day late and a dollar short. But better late than never. It could also be said that perhaps I'm making way too much out of it. It was a joke, fer chrissakes. Jokes are like myths, though...they often containt a fragment, a grain of truth. Grains in the guts of oysters cause pearls as nacre metastasizes around the source of irritation. Shouldn't we all be wary of the slow-growing pearls of evil in our own heart as a culture?