(Political Affairs) -- As 2014 begins, the primary season is upon us. As a nation we are afflicted by that quadrennial rash of political fever. In the United States for at least the last fifty years, we have seen the growing influence of political conservatism and right wing movements. It is time to reorient ourselves in the broader landscape of politics. While the last two presidential elections offer strong reasons for optimism, we need to be aware of the stakes in 2014.
Proto-fascist movements in this country include the Tea Party, the militia underground and patriot organizations, the Christian Right, the conservative-entertainment complex [Limbaugh, Beck, Fox News, etc.] and more recently, extremist Republican Party members who celebrate the language of violence and gun culture. Many present-day Americans on the Right channel a dangerous rage and hatred towards the vulnerable (the poor, the elderly and the sick), towards Muslims, towards undocumented workers, towards gays, intellectuals, feminists, and liberals. They have a long list of people they don't like. To the sober-minded, this American proto-fascism is a frightening and powerful undercurrent within American society and has been growing since 1973, and even earlier in the 20th century. We all remember this quote from Sinclair Lewis: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."