Are You a Fascinista?
by BobRubadeau
 Bob Rubadeau
Mar 07, 2011 | 3538 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Madison, Wisconsin has become the new ground zero in the fight for the soul of our country. As Mark Twain reminds me on my screen saver each day, the difference between the right word and the almost right word is “the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” What word would best describe the bizarre new mindset of that very narrow majority of voters in the 2010 mid-term elections who are lining up to the right of George Will and Ron Paul? I have tried, but it seems you can’t spit out “Tea Baggers” with the same vehemence and spite as “liberal” in the currently vogue, yelling matches that pass for our country’s political debate. We, the people, need a lightning bolt to even the playing field.

Liberal in the dictionary is defined as: 1. Favoring individual freedom and nonrevolutionary reform. 2. Broad minded or tolerant. 3. Generous. How can Beck, Limbaugh, and Coulter make that simple, well-meaning word evoke images of a horned devil pitchforking a litter of Golden Retriever puppies? It would be easy to blame it on plain ignorance, bigotry, 9/11, a bad economy, and the Fox Network, but the real culprit is a convenient apathy on the part of more than one in every two of us who don’t take the time to vote. Nothing in a sustainable, working democracy is as wasteful or dangerous as an uncast ballot. The truth why many of us don’t feel voting is important is the 50 year old, coordinated propaganda campaign from groups like Focus on the Family, the Enterprise Institute, and the Republican National Committee, that have insisted: all politicians are untrustworthy, greedy, and incompetent; while our candidates are somewhat less so. The real message is: it doesn’t really matter if you vote or not, because it doesn’t really matter who wins.


Having run political campaigns for forty years, I have spent a lot of time and resources on getting the right people not to vote. I apologize, and it won’t ever happen again. Our country and the high ideals it was founded on are being played like a patsy by those who stand to make the most money, or gain the most power, off our inability to focus on our government’s real purpose for existing. Government is meant to protect and defend its people. We, the people, need to rally around a term to describe the champions of this new fringe of the far, far wrong. Let’s create some meaningful push-back to protect our country’s working class from the end game of unethical, uncontrolled corporate influence peddling that is presently bolstering the Republican Party. The Conservative course of action is obvious, create public policy that insures the continued profits of its high-rolling political donors.


The train wreck on the horizon for our brave experiment in representative democracy is the billions of corporate campaign dollars that are now, and will, in the near future, open like a flood gate. While citizens are strictly limited in the amount and timing of their political donations, no such limits are currently placed on business/corporate special interest groups. They can spend what it takes in pre-profit dollars to make things the way they want them. Changing our nation’s government for their own specific corporate interests is now a legitimate business expense. This change in campaign funding laws, brought on by a party-line Supreme Court decision last year, will give every narrow-minded and intolerant wing nut, with a divisive wedge-issue agenda, a well funded podium to stand on and to broadcast from. Before we fade into a nation defined by those we love to hate, we need to give the other five billion human beings on our planet a relevant term to describe and understand the ongoing battle. My candidate for that moniker is “Fascinista.”   


Fascist is an overused epithet, and would likely get a Jeopardy thumbs up if you answered: “What is a bully?” The dictionary defines Fascism as: a system of government driven by the extreme right. Typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with a belligerent nationalism. Scholars have trouble tracking the origins of this insidious idealogy, but agree that Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, Mubarack, and Kadafi, all chose the cornerstone decisions and confrontational blueprints of Fascist behaviors as their way to gain and hold power. The proven, traditional early warning signs that identify this co-opting and subverting of democratic ideals are: Disdain for Human Rights; Rabid Nationalism; Identifying Enemies as a Cause for Suspending Citizen Rights; Glorification of the Military; Obsession with National Security; Rampant Sexism; Controlling Mass Media; Religion and Government Intertwined; Corporate Profits and Power Protected; Labor Power Suppressed; Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts; Obsession with Crime and Punishment; Fraudulent Elections; Rampant Cronyism and Corruption; And, Concentration of Wealth and Economic Power in a Small Minority. Does this sound familiar?


I chose Fascinista because it sounds elitist, frivolous, dangerously foreign, feminine, and there is very little chance any of the “corporation owned bullies” soon to be branded with the term would choose to embrace it. Fascinista sounds like an apt description of a personality who values their own conclusions over all others, exudes the arrogance in polite conversation of a drunken evangelist, is violently confrontational by nature and action, and embraces a four word bumper-sticker solution to every complex problem and human condition. The term was coined by a fashion blogger who captioned a picture of North Korean dictator, and Fascist devotee, Kim Jong-il modeling his latest dapper military pantsuit. The new dictionary entry for Fascinista would picture an open mouthed Sarah Palin in red camo with a matching Uzzi on a Gucci shoulder strap.


Our own American brand of Fascinista vigorously believes that: Our country owes its primary reason for existing to the unqualified support of unfettered capitalism and the well being of the multi-national corporations who now dictate the global economy; Workers are to be treated as simply commodities, paid at the lowest possible level for maximum corporate profit, used throughout their working years as an expendable, interchangeable commodity, and then discarded; The nearly century old “safety net” of taxpayer funded and endowed governmental programs for our working class is really an unearned, unnecessary “entitlement” for lazy, freeloading loafers; A high performing, free public education system is an unnecessary and wasteful taxpayer expense that should be privatized; The rearview mirror of business deregulation is how we need to drive our national economy forward; And, finally, that a smaller, hands-off government, focusing on selective right-wing priority interventions, should, for example, exert total control over a woman’s reproductive organs, but, would stay out of the way when a psychopath wants to buy an automatic weapon at a gun show.


Liberal didn’t get to be a hated word in the right wing lexicon overnight. We will have to work hard on outing red-state actions with a fitting label to brand their vocal leaders and their tactics. Governor Walker of Wisconsin and his recent chummy phone call from “Mr. Koch” certainly shows the world where the ultra-wealthy powerbrokers and minions want the right wing and the Republican Party to be when balancing our war and Wall Street induced deficit. Fascinistas are those who believe we don’t need to tap the 80% of our country’s top 500 corporations who paid zero taxes last year, while Wall Street recorded the second most profitable year in its history. Fascinistas believe that it is also unfair to tax the income of the top 1% of our wealthiest citizens, those who own the corporations, at one-third the rate they were taxed under Ronald Reagan, although their collective net worth went from 4 trillion dollars in 1980 to 44 trillion dollars in 2010. Fascinistas believe human and civil rights are meant only for those who fit into a narrow nationalistic litmus test of economic circumstance, sexual preference, and DNA. Fascinistas are shamelessly convinced that compromise is weakness, compassion is a luxury we can’t afford, and might always makes right in dealing with other nations.


Is our country destined to be a place where corporations can use propaganda, media manipulation, and scare tactics to control a chronically belligerent and wrong headed segment of our society, simply to preserve their profits? Are we a nation turning towards a policy of reactionary isolationism when the facts of global warming, terrorism, and third world poverty are sliding life on this planet towards a bleak and dangerous future? We should each take the time to make out a top ten list of why we are not now, or ever will be, labeled a Fascinista. If you can’t find ten solid reasons why the word doesn’t fit you and your daily actions, keep it to yourself, and remember to please stop calling yourself “undecided” when asked your true political affiliation. For those who don’t vote? Hey, this is all about your problem to get engaged in the future. Wake up.


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