Letters to the Editor
September 7, 2022

To the Editor:
An excellent list of the characteristics of fascism was provided by the late Italian author, Umberto Eco (Eternal Fascism, 1995). I will focus on a few. This extends beyond Trump and MAGA. All Republicans may not share all these views, but they belong to a Party that does.
Hostility to Differences. Fear of The Other, especially minority ethnic and racial groups, the poor, and political opponents. Examples: white nationalism, limitation of voting rights, government endorsement and enforcement of certain religious views, and punishment for the exercise of civil rights (Roe v. Wade). Accusing people of spiritual deviancy falls into this category.
Disregard for Norms or Institutions. Fascists accept that the Leader is not bound by rules he doesn’t like. He knows that his Big Lies are much more believable (who would tell such a huge lie?) than little ones. Institutions that question him are “unpatriotic” or sinister, especially education and non-conforming teachers.
Churning Social Frustration. Exhorting the middle or working classes to feel that economic insecurity is a plan of the political opposition, and that the pressure for equality from those they perceive as “inferiors” makes them a victim.
Characterizing The Other as Both Strong and Weak. A fascist imagines, without proof, that the opposition, “the enemy,” has illegitimately taken control of the country (the “Deep State,” “America behind enemy lines,” anything spewed by the late Rushbo, or the hysterical and infantile Tucky). Paradoxically, “the enemy” is also pathetic, effeminate, stupid and cowardly.
The Leader and His Followers are the “Real Country.” Everyone on the side of the Leader is “very special” and never at fault – like the Leader. The Leader identifies and is identified with the country itself. But holding the Leader to the same Rule of Law that applies to everyone else is “persecution” and threatens “riots in the streets.”
Machismo and Militarism.This includes misogyny, contempt for women’s rights (including her bodily rights), embrace of violent rhetoric against women and men sympathetic to their rights. Strangely, some women endorse this contempt. It also includes an obsession with deadly weaponry, mock warfare and violent displays (January 6 one example).
The Adoption of “Newspeak.” Fascist communications utilize shock, outrage, and sloganeering instead of fact-based arguments (e.g., Tucky, Gutfeld, Watters, etc.). The purpose of Newspeak is to devalue complex and critical thinking and to encourage the feeling of grievance. The Leader’s mouthpieces will tell you what to think and how angry or intolerant he wants you to be.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
“In politics practically everything you hear is scandal, and besides, the funny thing is that the things they are whispering ain’t half as bad as the things they have been saying right out loud.” Will Rogers
Trump is disliked by many. But why? Is he hated because they think he lacks refinement? Displays manners that are unbecoming for a president? Too blunt? A womanizer? He’s not a politician? Too loud? His language is course? All of the above and then some? See a trend here. It wasn’t his policies that most disliked, Trump is disliked because of how he makes you feel.
The next question is, why is Biden disliked so much? Could it be because he’s not upholding the law concerning the border? Overlooking the role of congress in favor of executive orders? Afghanistan? Not my body when it comes to vaccines but is when it comes to an unborn child? Cancelled Keystone Pipeline and thousand of jobs? Inflation at the market and gas station? Broken supply chain? Masking and mandates? Ukraine and Russia? Possible cancellation of student debt? Biden is disliked because of how his policies have affected your life.
Patti Walker,