Day: July 26, 2020

Background Briefing: July 26, 2020


The Deep Roots of Fascism in America

We begin with the observation falsely attributed to Sinclair Lewis that “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”, something we recently witnessed when AG Barr used government thugs to clear Lafayette Square so that our “Orange Duce” could stride from the White House to the Church of St. John to condemn the violence he had inflamed while holding up a Bible. Joining us is Sarah Churchwell, a Professor of American Literature and Humanities at the School of Advanced Study of the University of London and author of Behold America: The Entangled History of “America First who has an essay at The New York Review of Books, “American Fascism: It Has Happened Here”. We discuss how fascism has deep roots in American history with the Ku Klux Klan, our version of murderous stormtroopers, and in 1940 Hitler’s German-American Bund claimed 100,000 followers with summer camps indoctrinating recruits into an “America First” version of the Hilter Youth. Nazi propaganda also spewed forth from the popular Christian nationalist anti-Semite Father Coughlin’s radio broadcasts which reached 30 million Americans. With the vulgar public liar Buzz Windrip, Sinclair Lewis’s populist president-dictator from It Can’t Happen Here having disturbing similarities to Donald Trump, Sarah argues that today we are watching an American fascist order pulling itself together.


Fascists Always Fail and So Will Trump

Then we speak with Michael Hirsh, a senior correspondent and deputy news editor at Foreign Policy who is the author of Capital Offense: How Washington’s Wise Men Turned America’s Future Over to Wall Street and At War With Ourselves: Why America is Squandering Its Chance to Build a Better World about his article at Foreign Policy “Why Fascists Fail: History’s autocrats have been the architects of their own demise. Even if he seizes power, so will Trump“.


McConnell’s Congress Takes Care of the Donors First With Leftover Crumbs for the American People

Then finally with the end of the $600 a week unemployment benefit and the moratorium on paying rent now expired, while the Senate leader Mitch McConnell dithers promising a new stimulus bill will reach the House in a few weeks, we look into this corrupt example of the priorities of the Congress who take care of the donor class first, then throw crumbs from the leftovers to the American people. Rob Johnson, the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking who was the Chief Economist of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and the U.S Senate Budget Committee, joins us to discuss how Trump is appointing cranks and charlatan to the Fed to booby-trap the economy so that his successor will have to untangle a minefield of impediments.