Friday, December 15, 2006

It Can’t Happen Here

I just started reading Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can't Happen Here (Signet Classics):

“A cautionary tale about the fragility of Democracy. It is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America. Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, rampant promiscuity, crime, and a liberal press.” (Book Jacket)

Sound familiar?

That was Then...

“Cure the evils of Democracy by the evils of Fascism! Funny therapeutics. I’ve heard of their curing syphilis by giving the patient malaria, but I’ve never heard of their curing malaria by giving the patient syphilis!” (Doremus Jessep, editor and proprietor of the Daily Informer, the Bible of the conservative Vermont farmers up and down the Beulah Valley.)

And this is Now (61 years later)…

We’re curing the flaws of Democracy by attempting to outsource our ideology into other countries, injecting them with a Democratic Serum* guaranteed to help spread Democracy.

*Warning: The Democratic Serum has yet to be approved by the U.N. and possible side-effects include an outbreak of Civil War, a crippling economy, hair loss, incompetence, infertility, impotence, splintered nations, global hostility and/or increased anti-Americanism, rash behavior, a spike in political blogs, sectarian violence, increased terrorism and spread of terrorist cells, and death.
But remember, “It Can’t Happen Here”…