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“.