Saturday, June 21, 2008

John McCain:Obama Seal - Progressive Fascism's Cautionary Icon

Saw this on the news and was reminded of a book that I taught to my students at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, IL way back in the 1970's and '80's.

Like the character of Sinclair Lewis' novel, Buzz Windrip, Barack Obama sweeps throngs of people up in whirlwind of pagentry and windy rhetoric.

He slid into a rhapsody of general ideas--a mishmash of polite regards to Justice, Freedom, Equality, Order, Prosperity, Patriotism, and any number of other noble but slippery abstractions.

Doremus thought he was being bored, until he discovered that, at some moment which he had not noticed, he had become absorbed and excited.

Something in the intensity with which Windrip looked at his audience, looked at all of them, his glance slowly taking them in from the highest-perched seat to the nearest, convinced them that he was talking to each individual, directly and solely; that he wanted to take each of them into his heart; that he was telling them the truths, the imperious and dangerous facts, that had been hidden from them.

"They say I want money--power! Say, I've turned down offers from law firms right here in New York of three times the money I'll get as President! And power--why, the President is the servant of every citizen in the country, and not just of the considerate folks, but also of every crank that comes pestering him by telegram and phone and letter. And yet, it's true, it's absolutely true I do want power, great, big, imperial power--but not for myself--no--for you!--the power of your permission to smash the Jew financiers who've enslaved you, who're working you to death to pay the interest on their bonds; the grasping bankers--and not all of 'em Jews by a darn sight!--the crooked labor-leaders just as much as the crooked bosses, and, most of all, the sneaking spies of Moscow that want you to lick the boots of their self-appointed tyrants that rule not by love and loyalty, like I want to, but by the horrible power of the whip, the dark cell, the automatic pistol!"

He pictured, then, a Paradise of democracy in which, with the old political machines destroyed, every humblest worker would be king and ruler, dominating representatives elected from among his own kind of people, and these representatives not growing indifferent, as hitherto they had done, once they were far off in Washington, but kept alert to the public interest by the supervision of a strengthened Executive.

It sounded almost reasonable, for a while.

The supreme actor, Buzz Windrip, was passionate yet never grotesquely wild. He did not gesture too extravagantly; only, like Gene Debs of old, he reached out a bony forefinger which seemed to jab into each of them and hook out each heart. It was his mad eyes, big staring tragic eyes, that startled them, and his voice, now thundering, now humbly pleading, that soothed them.

He was so obviously an honest and merciful leader; a man of sorrows and acquaint with woe.

Doremus marveled, "I'll be hanged! Why, he's a darn good sort when you come to meet him! And warm-hearted. He makes me feel as if I'd been having a good evening with Buck and Steve Perefixe. What if Buzz is right? What if--in spite of all the demagogic pap that, I suppose, he has got to feed out to the boobs--he's right in claiming that it's only he, and not Trowbridge or Roosevelt, that can break the hold of the absentee owners? And these Minute Men, his followers--oh, they were pretty nasty, what I saw out on the street, but still, most of 'em are mighty nice, clean-cut young fellows. Seeing Buzz and then listening to what he actually says does kind of surprise you--kind of make you think!"

But what Mr. Windrip actually had said, Doremus could not remember an hour later, when he had come out of the trance.

Can't Happen Here? The Hell it Can't.

Obama will not do a Townhall. Only Leni Reifenstahl productions. The new Obama Seal is a cautionary icon. Pay attention and ask questions. Read Lewis's novel.


Anonymous said...

I'm seeing flashes of Truimph of the Wills! OMG

Anonymous said...

I like Sinclair Lewis, and I like your post, but I'm trying to sort out how "progressives" can be "fascist."

I see, and use, "progressive" in terms of extreme left-wing ideology, which can be equally messianic.

Interesting speculation, in any case.

David Barry O'Connor said...

The first thing I reflected on when I saw Obama with his presumptive seal was Il Duce and his fasces. Used to express authority, even before it was officially granted, is Obama's finesse. If we think back to how authoritatively he spoke as keynoter at the last Democratic convention, we cannot deny, even to ourselves, how he has postured and been promoted as "The Man".
Yet, we're living amongst a citizenry void of historical memories (thanks to our 'educators' {?}) who defer decisions to a media (Medea). They wait for the media to give them bits to learn by rote, void of thought; propaganda. Mass hysteria to them is a Celtics' victory celebration.
Tell the truth all we want, they'll not see it.
We are in greater peril now from within than enemies from beyond.

Ricky Bones said...

I wonder why the Weekly Standard made such a big deal about this. The NSRC uses very similar logos and they are a political group. Wonder why there wasn't that much scrutiny -

typographica said...

Hey now, McCain used a very similar seal in his first run for federal office - was it OK when he did it?