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Fascist America: Have We Finally Turned The Corner?

The author offers one of her periodic assessments of America's potential to go fascist. And the news is better than it's been in years.

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To make matters worse (for them), they're also reacting to the loss of power by digging themselves ever deeper into their own hole. Most of the Republican establishment knew from the jump that the war on women was a political disaster in the making -- but the Tea Party extremists, driven by that ticking clock, couldn't be persuaded to let it go. That recklessness may well cost the GOP the election. Now that the pushback has started, the GOP has locked itself into a self-destructive cycle in which no change of course is possible. As long as it keeps spinning this way, the odds of a Fascist America will continue to diminish by the month.


In the meantime, the danger of political violence may actually get worse. Right-wing domestic terrorists are at their most virulent when they're furthest back on their heels politically. Over the course of the next decade -- as the very different priorities of that younger, more urban and diverse voter cohort come to dominate the nation's political agenda --  we can expect to see an uptick in violent retribution as the most militant members of the far right make a desperate last stand for their vision of the country's future.

As usual, the biggest trouble will likely come in the states where the friction between far-right conservatives and this new emergent electorate has already heated up to the flash point -- Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, and similar states where the old guard had been counting on fascist solutions to keep a new generation it fears under control. Alternatively, the violence will start in these states, but be directed against coastal big-city targets seen as representing the decadent society the far right refuses to accept. Either way, the more ground they lose, the wiser we'd be to expect them to try to take their frustration out on the rest of us.

A Final Word

Some may think that in saying we've probably passed the critical switch from a likely fascist future to a likely not-fascist one, I'm somehow suggesting that the threat is passed, or that struggle is no longer required, or that we can all pack up and go home now.

To be very clear: I am not saying that. In many ways, the real fight -- the one that pulls up the American economic, political and cultural order by its floorboards and lays down the foundation for something better, freer and more humane, fair and durable -- is only just beginning. What I am saying, however, is that the tide has turned to the point that we are not unreasonable to believe that our preferred future has a strong chance of coming to pass. Our enemies are noisy and well-funded, but they are also small in number, crazy and increasingly despised. Everywhere, the growing, rising, creative part of the country is soundly rejecting them, and the future they were offering. And on our side, there are signs of uprising everywhere -- the first green shoots of a new world in the making, one that will we will spend the next 20 years bringing into fruition.

As long as that vision continues to spread, there will be good reason to believe that the future will most likely belong to us.


Sara Robinson, MS, APF is a social futurist and the editor of AlterNet's Vision page. Follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to AlterNet's Vision newsletter for weekly updates.

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