Fools, Fascists and Cold Warriors: Take Your Pick
By Robert Scheer
September 19, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Truthdig"
- Are they fools or fascists? Probably
the former, but there was a disturbing cast to the second GOP
debate, a vituperative jingoism reminiscent of the xenophobia that
periodically scars Western capitalist societies in moments of
While the entire world is riveted by the sight of
millions of refugees in terrifying exodus attempting to save
drowning and starving children, we were treated to the darkly
peculiar spectacle of scorn for the children of undocumented
immigrants and celebration of the sanctity of the unborn fetus.
Marching to the beat of that mad drummer Donald
Trump, the GOP candidates have taken to scapegoating undocumented
immigrants, in particular the young, blaming them for all that ails
us. Most of the GOP contenders appeared as a shrill echo of the
neo-fascist European movements of late, adopting the traditional
tactic of blaming the most vulnerable for economic problems the most
powerful have caused.
Forget the collateralized debt obligations and
other Wall Street scams that continue to cripple the world
economy—as the Federal Reserve Bank noted Thursday in postponing a
threatened increase in interest rates—or the massive shipment of
jobs abroad by leading companies like GE. Instead, blame the folks
who cook your food, raise your kids and pick the grapes from the
vineyards for all that has gone wrong.
None of the candidates—not even Marco Rubio, who
admitted to a Spanish-speaking grandfather who emigrated from Cuba,
or Jeb Bush, who is married to one of those Mexicans now tarred as
criminals—had the courage to cite the overwhelming evidence from the
Congressional Research Service and other impeccable sources of these
facts: Undocumented immigrants are far less likely than the general
population to commit crimes, and they pay more in taxes and
uncollectible benefits than they receive in public assistance.
No candidate mentioned that the supposedly porous
border with Mexico has never been more tightly controlled, that in
2013 the Obama administration set a record for deportations, and
that the 9/11 hijackers all had valid documentation, with our ally
Saudi Arabia providing documents for 15 of the 19. Even Trump has
yet to come up with the name of a Mexican terrorist who crossed our
How odd to hear candidates who generally trumpet a
pro-family, pro-Christian sensibility speak so cavalierly about
ending the birthright path to citizenship affirmed by the
Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. Their indifference to the
suffering of the stranger in our midst stands in sharp contrast to
Jesus’s extolling the virtue of the Good Samaritan. The attack on
immigrants comes at an inconvenient time, when Pope Francis is about
to visit the United States with his message of compassion for
millions of refugees pouring into Europe after being dislocated in
Mideast nations the U.S. claimed to be concerned with liberating.
It was a bit refreshing that Rand Paul, Ben Carson
and even Trump reasserted their initial opposition to the Iraq
invasion, so there is a slight possibility that a GOP candidate
might challenge Hillary Clinton, the hawkish big money candidate of
the Democratic Party, on her Senate vote for the war.
Paul had the good sense to observe, “Every time we
have toppled a secular dictator, we have gotten chaos, the rise of
radical Islam, and we’re more at risk.” But, as Trump noted, Paul’s
caution on imperial hubris, his opposition to crony capitalism and
his principled critique of NSA spying has reduced the Kentucky
senator to low single digit support among likely primary voters.
Unfortunately, the lone female candidate,
fast-rising Carly Fiorina, was the most militaristic contender, even
returning to the Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) insanity of the
Cold War in calling for ramping up the nuclear triad in apparent
preparation for a war of human annihilation with Russia.
“Let’s talk about the future,” Fiorina demanded
before drowning in the swamp of the past. “We need the strongest
military on the face of the planet, and everyone has to know it.”
And that means, she said, 50 Army brigades, 36 Marine battalions,
300 to 350 naval ships, and “we need to upgrade every leg of the
For those not steeped in the full nuttiness of
Cold War thinking, the triad of bombers, subs and missiles was
necessary to have sufficient military assets to survive an all out
Soviet nuclear attack so we could make the radioactive rubble that
was left of the enemy bounce higher than their surviving forces
could inflict on our rubble.
While we desperately need to break the glass
ceiling, it is tragic that we are offered two women who could
compete quite effectively for a Margaret Thatcher award.