Keep an eye on the extreme Right. They wear plaid shirts instead of brown ones, cowboy boots instead of jackboots, but their mentality is virtually the same and their methods are restrained only by an effective police force. The current atmosphere is reminiscent of pre-Nazi Germany, as noted in a previous post.
For the suburban Nazi the greatest danger facing America is socialism. It used to be communism but it can't be any more because communism collapsed and the great Bogeyman was dead. This was a terrible blow to the Right, but it gradually discovered that socialism was an even better Bogeyman because it was everywhere and nowhere. Socialism can't fall, so it can always be a danger. This danger is so grave that it justifies any act, any lie; indeed, to refuse to consider the extreme act is to show a lack of patriotism.
Many folks say this is laughable and maybe a little unsettling, but no more. That was the reaction of liberals in Germany. The things said by the Right were so obviously false, so melodramatically hysterical that one felt like a fool taking it seriously. In fact, the only ones who did take it serously were the Communists, who were likewise anathema to the political majority. No one in power took them seriously until they were the ones in power.
It can happen here, as Sinclair Lewis pointed out years ago. And as he noted then, there are three key ingredients to a takeover by the Right. They need a crisis. They need a leader. And they need a failure of will by the majority.
We've had a crisis, and I fear we have the failure of will, though that will has not yet been truly tested. The Right has yet to produce a real leader. They thought they had one in George Bush but he let them down; he was merely a fool, it turns out, and they cannot forgive him for that.
So I say it again. Watch out for these people. They are dangerous, because they are self-righteous. Like the suicide bomber, they have in their own minds justified every act they will ever commit. They repeat their political creed like mantras and they work their radios and remote controls like working a rosary, never straying outside the prescribed boundaries, for outside lies perdition. This is, in fact, precisely the mob that the Founding Fathers sought to protect our government against.
I've been watching these people all my life. They spat on us when we wore long hair and they kicked at us when we protested the Viet Nam War. They supported government spying, war without declaration of war, and flaunting of law national and international. They don't want the government telling them what to do because they're too busy telling everyone else what to do. They have that poisonous hatred that is born of a life lived in fear. They have always been here. And they've always been dangerous.