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Monday, 18 January 2010 06:25

Jonathan Westminster: The 15% Solution, Serialization, 1st Installment: Preface

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BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY

This is the 1st installment of the serialization of "The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022." The author is the pseudononymous “Jonathan Westminster.” A full guide to the series, including an archive of all the published chapters, can be found at the lower right of the Home Page of www.tpjmagazine.us. This project is likely to extend over a two-year-period. The book is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of Constitution Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press.  We begin with the Preface.

Preface

"For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong."      H. L. Mencken

"Posterity: What the Founding Fathers wouldn't have talked about so glowingly if they had known we were going to be it."

Jacob Brauda, Editor, Speakers Encyclopedia, Stories, Quotes, and  Anecdotes

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."   Edmund Burke

"We're on the verge of taking [the Republican Party] back as prelude to taking back our country as prelude to taking back the destiny of America, and when we get there, my friends, we will be obedient to one sovereign in America and that is the sovereign of God himself." 

Patrick Buchanan, The Nation, D. Carr, 3/11/96

"What happens when the people you patronizingly encouraged because you thought they were engaged in style and metaphor, turn out to have meant exactly what they said."

Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, May 8, 1995, p. 7.

Introduction

I have written this book in anticipation of the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the United States, which will occur on July 4th, 2048.  The book is a chronicle of the rise and fall of  the Fascist regime in our country during the years 2001-2023.  It presents a bare-bones view of the events of the Fascist Period, as it could have been seen contemporaneously to those events.

Further, it shows how the origins of each major step taken by Right-Wing Reaction during the Period, in most instances represented by a major document, can be found either in what is now called the U.S. pre-fascist "Transition Era," 1981-2001, or in events that took place in one  or another of the fascist states that existed in other parts of the world between 1922 and 1945.

Certainly making no claims of equal quality, the book is intended to be in the tradition of the 20th century writers Jack London's The Iron Heel and Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, as if they had written those books with 20/20 hindsight.  While this book is written with that benefit, those two great works were not. Regardless of level of quality, however, the principal goals of this book are similar to those of its forebears: to show the American people how, if the time and conditions are ripe, a fascist take-over of our national government can occur primarily through Constitutional means; to describe the predictable results of such an occurrence; and further to suggest how it might have been prevented. 

The Historical Perspective Presented

This book shows in historical outline what happened when Right-Wing Reaction gained power and then proceeded to do exactly what it had said it would do if it did so, no more, no less.  Many 20th century sources are used to explicate the then-stated goals of the Right-Wing Reactionaries, ranging from the 1992 Republican Party Platform, to fund-raising letters of one Reverend Jerry Falwell, to position papers of the litigatory arm of the Rev. Pat Robertson's "Christian Coalition" (the chief national political organization of the old Religious Right), called the "American Center for Law and Justice."  All sources are referenced in the text either by the name of the principal author or if none is listed, by the name of the publisher.  The reference sources are listed at the end of each chapter.

This book does not deal with then-projected outcomes of Right-Wing Reactionary policies over which there was in the late 20th century considerable scientific controversy.  Thus for the most part excluded are, for example, in the environmental arena (except for natural resources policy) the predictable effects of global warming caused by human activity (Stevens), the marked destruction of the ozone layer, and the sharp decline in biodiversity.

Many of the predicted environmental disasters caused or significantly abetted by Right-Wing Reactionary policies did indeed occur, and our people are now paying dearly for them.  However, in the late 20th century, the outcomes of those policies could not have been predicted with nearly the accuracy of those predictions that could then be made of the political and economic outcomes for the country if Right-Wing Reaction took power.

Through its presentation and analysis of major documents, the book shows how the three branches of the Right-Wing Reaction in the late-20th century U.S., the Republican Right, the Religious Right, and the Far Right (such organizations as The Order, the Aryan Nation, the Posse Comitatus), over time formed a working coalition and took full political power at both the national and state levels between 2001 and 2009.1  They did so by in the first instance following the electoral strategy developed by the Christian Coalition, called "The 15% Solution" (see Chapter two).  Hence the title of this book.

As is now well-known, once in power, Right-Wing Reaction achieved virtually all of its stated goals in the political, social, and economic arenas, and then some.  In the beginning at least, through the electoral process they did this entirely by legal/constitutional means.  The predictably widening use of force and violence came later.  And the more profound results of the takeover, such as the creation of the New American Republics came later too, but predictably as well.

The Structure of the Book

This book has three sections.  Section I sets the stage. Chapter one, "Prelude to Fascism," is an essay written in 1995 by one Dino Louis, a political analyst of the time.  (Several late 20th century analytical and prescriptive essays or notes for essays by Mr. Louis, concerning major socio-political issues of the Transition Era are included in the book, in Appendices II - VII.  There is no record that anyone with any political power or influence ever paid any heed to Mr. Louis' recommendations.  (For a brief biography of Mr. Louis, see "The Historical Voices," below.)  Chapter two presents an overview and outline of the book.

Section II, the book's longest, for the most part features selected historical documents which marked major events of the Fascist Period.  Annotating, highlighting, and punctuating each of the documents are writings by four selected observer/participants of the time.  They provide comments/perspectives/reflections from several different points of view.  The bulk of the text, however, is provided by me in (longer) "Author's Commentaries" and (shorter) "Author's Notes."

Section III presents a retrospective chapter (20) by me considering "What Could Have Been Done" to prevent the national nightmare from ever occurring.  Appendix VII, an essay by Dino Louis on his untried political/ideological strategy for preventing the rise of Fascism, called "The New Patriotism," can be read in tandem with Chapter 20.

The Historical Voices

The selected writings appearing throughout the book are by the following five historical figures:

•Dino Louis.  A well-known, well-respected, and well-employed free-lance sports journalist, Louis engaged in political analysis on the side.  From time-to-time he made attempts to draw attention to his political work, but was never successful in so doing.

Louis disappeared in 2001. It is not known whether he was able to successfully emigrate.  Many who could afford it did in that year before foreign travel for American citizens was restricted as it had been during the McCarthy Era of the 1950s.  (In that case he may just have maintained a low profile abroad to avoid detection by the International Death Squads.) Or he may have been caught and "disappeared" in the old CIA-inspired Latin American style of the 1970s and 1980s by a pre-Helmsmen Domestic Death Squad. In any case, he had sent copies of the essays reproduced here to his friend Alex Poughton in London, as they were written. Those copies, preserved in Poughton's library, are used here with permission.

•Alex Poughton.  The pencil-thin English journalist Alex Poughton sported a pencil-thin mustache and bore a striking resemblance to the well-known English actor of the second half of the twentieth century, David Niven. Poughton chronicled the Fascist Period for the London Sunday Times under the head "American Democracy."  Staying in political tune with the owner of his paper, Poughton's published writings were generally favorable to the Fascist regime, and he was able to remain in and travel freely throughout the country (as a whole before 2011 and in the White Republic after that date).

However, published here are not his public puff pieces but private letters that he sent home by diplomatic pouch (through his connections in the British Embassy) from time to time.  They present a rather different picture of American reality. The "Karl" to whom these letters were written has never been identified.  Thus the originals are lost.  But along with the Louis essays, copies are preserved in Poughton's library and are used here with permission.

•Curley Oakwood.  At 6'5" tall, weighing in at 320 lbs., his shaved head was always slightly aglow with sweat when bathed in the glow of television lights.  He was the dominant electronic media figure of the Period.  Presented here are transcripts of broadcasts he made during the Fascist Period, until he went off the air the day before New Washington fell in 2023.

A high-school drop-out with a great radio voice, a great deal of personal hate and resentment of anyone he regarded as "different," and a great ability to absorb quickly and regurgitate faithfully the intensive political coaching he received daily throughout his career from his Right-Wing political mentors, Oakwood began his career at the age 25 in 1997.

Late in the Transition Era (1980 - 2001), he had succeeded one Rush Limbaugh as the dominant Right-Wing presence on the contemporary mediums of "talk-radio" and "talk-television."  He proceeded to go beyond Limbaugh, taking his one-time mentor's often subtle expressions of hatred and anger that were beginning to wear thin and become too subtle for many of Limbaugh's 20 million listeners to follow, to a much more open form.

Imitating the example of lesser-light reactionaries who had begun to appear mainly on local talk-radio in the mid-1990s, Oakwood made it abundantly clear to everyone listening just how hateful and angry he was. In that time of mounting frustration and rage for so many in the country, open hate just began to play much better than any even slightly veiled version.  (Radio station KFSO in San Francisco, CA was one of the first to begin the "open hate" trend, early in 1995.)

Oakwood went on to become the leading public, non-governmental voice of the American Fascists for their whole time in power.  Unrepentant until the end, in 2026 at the age of 54 he was publicly hung for the crime of "a principal leader of American Fascism."  It was an unusual role to play for a media figure who remained in media.  But it was one he had sought, and in the eyes of the forces whose interests he doggedly and faithfully served, he served them well.

•"Short, blond, and perky," according to a contemporary's description, Constance "Connie" Conroy was a White House press officer who managed to maintain her post through every twist and turn of the intense political infighting which characterized the Fascist Period.  Her commentaries reproduced in this book are brief excerpts from a set of non-system, secret notes she kept throughout the time on an ancient computer called a "PC."

Conroy had first arrived in the White House under President Pine (despite his age some say literally, others figuratively) shortly after his accession to the Presidency in 2001, and lasted until the end.  By pure chance, her old computer fell intact into the hands of the Constitutionalist forces during the conquest of New Washington.  Fortunately for us, a technician of the Movement for the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy figured out how to work it.

Conroy's notes, incomplete as they are, have provided the only "inside look" available to historians of the period.  Following the lead of American Right-Wing Reactionaries in government ever since the famous "White House Tapes" incident which forced the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1973, all of the official written and computer records of the whole Fascist Period located in New Washington were destroyed by the Fascists in the frantic weeks just before the city fell.

Conroy was Isolated for five years following the end of the Second Civil War.  After her release she married a retired Constitutionalist press officer, and is still alive at this writing.  As readers will be aware, since the written record is so sparse, any writings of former Fascists, whether private or public, are by law in the public domain and so permission to reproduce is not required.

•Parthenon "Pudge" Pomeroy, the owner of a gasoline station in northern New Jersey, was an archetypal supporter and beneficiary of American Fascism.  (Accounting for his strange given name were the facts that his parents were travelling in Greece the summer he was conceived, and liked alliteration.  His childhood nickname had been considered to parsimoniously describe his appearance.  People viewing at the same time adult and childhood photographs of him often remarked how much like "himself" he looked at an early age.)

Well over-age during the Second Civil War, but forced to work for the Army of the NAR as a human pack animal (ironically for a man in his business, petroleum no longer being available for the mere transportation of supplies), he was killed during the Battle for the Liberation of New York in 2022.  A diary kept by him from the year 2003, when he took over the family gasoline station from his father at the age 38, was found on his person.  He had no known survivors.

Conclusion

Many books have been written about the Fascist Period.  In fact, it has been estimated that if not for the chronic paper shortage, in the 25 years since the Restoration more books would have been written about both the Period and the Second Civil War than had been written about slavery and the First Civil War in the 100 years following the latter's conclusion.  Many of these books have been devoted to detailed historical descriptions of the events, monumental and not so monumental, that took place during the time.  Some of the more important ones are cited in the reference lists for this book.

However, as noted, this book has a rather different perspective from that of a conventional history book.  I want people living now to know, not in detail about the depredations wreaked on our economy, polity, and society by the Fascists (although those are covered in outline), not about the defeats the Constitutionalist forces endured for so many years and the detailed story of their eventual victory, not about the wide-spread environmental degradation at all levels that took place and from which we are still struggling to recover, but rather about how easily the forces of Right-Wing Reaction took over, how step-by-step they created Fascism by apparently legal means, how precious and at-the-time unappreciated our Constitutional Democracy was, and what must be done, even now, to defend it.

Jonathan Westminster, Ph.D.

Department of Political Science

New State University of New York

Middletown, N.Y.

March 23, 2048

References:

Stevens, W.K., "Scientists Say Earth's Warming Could Set Off Wide Disruptions," New York Times, September 18, 1995, p. 1.

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY

The original edition of "The 15% Solution" is available on Powell's.com. You will find a "Sub-Home Page" for the serialization at the lower right-hand corner of the Home Page for www.TPJmagazine.us. It contains such items as the Disclaimer, cast of characters, author's bio, cover copy, and several (favorable) reviews, and will have a full archive of all the chapters as they are published over time. The serialization is also appearing on BuzzFlash.com, Dandelion Salad, The Greanville POST, and TheHarderStuff newsletter.