Saturday, December 17, 2005


Well, it can! Sinclair Lewis published IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE in 1935. Lewis predicted of a Corporate/Fascist takeover that begins with demagogic populism and ends with armed militia, State control of the media, racism, and eventually, concentration camps and executions. IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE has a setup and a resolution. The resolution is heavy-handed-- a prediction of a type of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia in the United States. The setup is remarkably prescient of today. Consider a few aspects of the novel: -- A President lacking in intellectual capacity but blessed with a Zelig-like ability to appear as a regular guy and everyone's drinking buddy. Sinclair wrote:"...almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his `ideas' almost idiotic...his celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store. . . [who would] jab his crowds with facts and figures - figures and facts that were inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely incorrect." Sounds like someone who misunderestimates things. -- A mysterious Presidential advisor cum puppet master, a wizard at politics and P.R. who "scientifically" builds up his candidate over seven years and then engineers the President's populist campaign, one that includes "tax reform" through the promise of painless, debt free grants of $5,000 to every American family. Hello Mr. Rove! -- A holier-than-thou Presidential advisor who engages in homosexual orgies. I guess we'll wait on this one -- but the point is that they all project the 'holier-than-thou' image. -- A blatantly pro-Christian and anti-feminist Administration that opposes the teaching of evolution. Just think of it -- teaching evolution in the schools! Taking away womens medical rights. -- A Presidential Administration dominated by Big Business and run in the name of, and for the benefit of, Big Business. Hello Haliburton! -- An evangelical Christian radio minister who commands a virtual army of followers called the League of Forgotten Men. Hello Pat Robinson! -- An administration whose first objective is to elevate the power of the Executive by simultaneously weakening the role of Congress and all but dismissing the Supreme Court. Read today's news! -- An administration that maintains complete control over information flow, asserts editorial control over the mass media, issues false and misleading pronouncements, suppresses independent reporting, and doctors its own statistics. Read today's news. Paying papers to print bulshit in Iraq. -- A mass exodus of Americans to Canada, evolving eventually into an Underground Railroad when America's borders are sealed. All today's talk of 'sealing borders' suddenly seems very ominous. Think of the the 'volunteer' border guards. -- A President surrounded by like-minded yes men, isolated by his staff from the truth, and increasingly removed from contact with ordinary citizens. The man in the bubble. -- A Presidential Administration that concocts a phony war with Mexico to create an external bogeyman and distract the citizenry from the country's true problems. Iraq. Sinclair Lewis wrote IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE seventy years ago. He was ahead of his time but he saw what could happen. IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE -- Well, it can! It is happening now. Read it. And think. And tell others. And demand impeachment of Bush and Cheny. And their conviction and imprisonment. And put all cabinet members on trial in an international court for war crimes. Impose civil fines upon them too -- (Do a web search on what's called a "1983 Action.") -- for using the 'color of law' to deny people their civil rights!


Blogger The Fat Lady Sings said...

You are so right with the 'Zelig' analogy - Bush does seem to have chameleon genes - no matter what the situation, he finds a way to wrap it around himself like a flag, and then hide in plain sight. Very astute observation.

9:32 PM  

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