The American Right’s Creeping Definition of Fascism

normandy troops

Republicans’ new thing of claiming everything is fascism requires some profound memory loss. The country was kind of founded on the idea of Americans sacrificing for each other.

Maybe that’s the problem—not seeing others as fellow Americans.

I’m pretty sure those boatloads of 18-year-olds didn’t want to run towards automatic weapons in Normandy. It can be annoying to pay taxes, but it’s nice when the fire department shows up. And the main reason so many people can read and write is that truancy is illegal.

Think about that.

If you don’t send your kid to school, you can go to jail. Pretty fascist, right?


Some short fascists in the 1950s

How is it that it’s patriotic to force 18-year-olds to die in a war, but it’s fascism to require people to wear masks during a pandemic? In both cases you have a tradeoff—good on one side and bad on the other.

In the WWII situation you have young Americans dying to save Americans. Yay! In WWI you have Americans wearing masks to save other Americans from the flu, which the government told us is killing lots of people. Yay!

But here we are in 2020—almost exactly one hundred years later—and the government is once again telling us to wear a mask to save Americans. Yet now it’s somehow fascism?

First they ask you to wear masks during a pandemic, and soon they’ll require you to send your kids to school!

Nobody, Because That’s Stupid

Yes, I know. You don’t believe this government. They’re lying. Well the overflowing hospitals aren’t lying. The tens of thousands of healthcare workers crying themselves to sleep after shifts aren’t lying. Is that all faked too? Like the moon landing?

1918 wear masks

American fascists watching a football game in 1918

No, it’s not. It’s real, and you as an American are needed.

I bet if I asked you to pick up a rifle and kill a foreigner to save an American life you’d do it. But you can’t be bothered to wear a mask to the grocery store?

Cowardice is much worse when your only sacrifice would have been inconvenience.

There’s a name for a person who can’t muster the courage to put themselves in harm’s way to save someone else. We call that person a coward. We don’t even have a name for someone who won’t save many people at only a slight inconvenience to themselves.

How about cowtard—an admittedly offensive portmanteau of coward and, well, you get it.

Look, there are places you can go in this world where you don’t have to answer when the draft is called, and where you don’t have to send your kids to school under penalty of the law. And yes—plenty of places that don’t require you to wear a mask during pandemics.

But those places don’t have supermarkets and paved roads. You wouldn’t like it. As it turns out, if you want civilization, you must act civilized.

There’s a correlation between a country’s mask compliance and its Netflix download speed. Choose wisely.

So, as a fellow American who proudly served this country in uniform (101st Airborne), I implore you to remember something.

America is a collective. We are a family. We’re not some autonomous collection of anarchist libertarians. Even as independent individuals we function as a single unit. That’s what it means to be part of a country.

Refusing to wear a mask, or to get a vaccine, doesn’t make you patriotic—it makes you an asshole.

An un-American asshole.

If you get value from this content, you can support it directly by becoming a member. Being a member gets you access to the newsletter every week instead of just twice a month, access to the UL Slack Channel, the UL Book Club, the UL Archives, and access to future member-only content.