Are you a fascist?

DudleyMoore“I thought I was just doing great with you!”

Apologies for the bad pun from Arthur.

But you see, fascists look just like you and me. They sound like you and me. They may be educated. They may be ignorant. They may be eloquent. They may be on the Left, they may be on the Right.

The truth is that fascists usually defined themselves as being neither Left nor Right but a combination of whatever policies helped to win power and “rejuvenate” the nation.

 The Telegraph, United Kingdom

What makes you a fascist today, in America, is that you support our democracy only when that democracy gives you what you want. Once there is any danger that it no longer will, you turn to fascism. You don’t call it fascism, of course. No, in true Orwellian fashion, you ascribe to your opponents the fascist qualities you, yourself, exhibit.

You would destroy America in order to preserve it.

If you’re not sure whether you are one, read this list of “unifying principles.”

  • Hatred of democracy. Power should be held by those strong and clever enough to seize it, preferably a dictator.
  • The necessity of violence. Force is a legitimate way to achieve power and war is good because it binds us together.
  • Biology as destiny. Men are born to work, women to have lots of babies. Europeans are inherently superior thanks to a mix of breeding and education.
  • National identity. People are better off sticking to their own, and competition between nations is inevitable and even a constructive force in history.
  • Politics is everything. There is no aspect of society that is separable from political theory and action, a view that climaxed in totalitarianism, as depicted in George Orwell’s novel 1984.

 The Telegraph, United Kingdom

If you exhibit any of these qualities, you may be a fascist, or on your way to becoming one. Please, for the sake of yourself, your family, and our nation, call the Fascists Anonymous Hotline and seek help.

Be like Butch

I am trying to understand the reasoning of a man who is willing to let our children get their heads blown off in school so he can own an assault rifle.

It’s difficult for me because I have been exposed to a different example. My DI’s in the Air Force, for instance. My friends and relatives who served in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The members of my family who are still on active duty. My daughter, who is about to be deployed. Her husband who works 14-hour days training pilots for the USAF. And Butch Desens.

We bought our current house from Butch, back in 2008. More than 80 years old at the time, Butch was tall and still stood ram-rod straight. He was gentle, kind, and attentive to his wife. You’d never know he flew P-47’s in WWII. The first time he got shot down over Germany, he was captured and locked up in a prisoner of war camp. He escaped, made his way to his side of the lines, and promptly climbed aboard another P-47. The second time he got shot down, he was captured and locked up again. Once more he escaped. And again he made his way back across the lines and climbed aboard yet another P-47. The third time he got shot down, he was imprisoned, but did not escape. His camp was deserted by the Nazi guards shortly before the Russian Army reached them. That time, he almost starved to death walking back to the Allied lines.

Butch and pilots like him climbed back into their P-47’s because they cared about the people back home. They cared about their own families and the families of their neighbors. About the families across town. The families in the next town over.

When I read about men who believe that it’s acceptable to subject our children to 290 school shootings since 2013 on principle, for whatever the reason, I don’t understand. Not in light of the example set by Butch Desens.

menwithassaultrifles

I’m sure those men believe that by owning an AR-15 they are exercising their right to defend themselves and their families under the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. That they are resisting the tendency of even the best-intentioned governments to intrude into the lives of their citizens. Some even believe that subjecting our citizens and our children to mass shootings, whether at school or a concert, is the price of freedom.

Do we really need an AR-15 to protect ourselves? Perhaps we do, perhaps we don’t. I’m sure that, whichever side we are on, we can marshall arguments and statistics to prove we are right.

But it’s not about who’s right. Not to me. To me, it boils down to the kind of man I want to be. Do I want to be like Butch Desens, who put himself at risk to protect the lives of children, or do I want to be the kind of man who lays the risk on our children so he can protect himself?

Me, I’ll stand on Butch’s side of the line, and give up my right to own an AR-15 or any kind of assault rifle if it decreases the chance that our children will get shot up in school. And I’ll ask my friends to take their assault rifles and ammo to the Sheriff’s office. To follow the example of these men.

You might argue that there is no statistical proof that by turning in their AR-15 law-abiding gun owners will help reduce mass shootings in schools. Of course there isn’t any proof: we haven’t tried it, yet. Butch didn’t have proof that the Allies would defeat the Nazis before he dedicated himself to the effort. But he was willing to try. If you don’t understand why he would do that, perhaps you should meditate on these lines of John Donne. Guys like Butch knew them by heart.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.