by Stephen Lendman
On October 16, Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY) hosted the second Obama/Romney charade. Demagogic blather again took center stage. Ritualistic theater was featured. Grade F spectacle defines it.
Bombast substituted for substance. Vital facts about the state of the nation and world were excluded. Viewers wasted two hours watching. What they most need to know wasn't covered. Instead they were bombarded by duplicity and indifference toward growing human needs.
Duopoly fascism in America excludes alternative voices. Third party candidates are virtually shut out. Getting ballot access alone presents enormous challenges. Major media coverage is denied or too little to matter.
How many American know about other parties, let alone who represents them? Major ones include the Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, Justice Party, and Green Party.
Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson/Jim Gray were denied Michigan and Oklahoma ballot access. Constitution Party candidates Virgil Goode/Jim Clymer got on only 26 of 50 state ballots. Justice Party candidates Rocky Anderson/Luis Rodriguez managed only 19.
Green Party candidates Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala were denied access on 12 state ballots. There's more. Alternate party candidates are excluded from presidential "debates." Just showing up to watch is hazardous.
Ralph Nader learned the hard way. In 2000, he was accosted and threatened with arrest for trying. Having a valid auxiliary viewing room ticket didn't matter. Nader sued and won partial vindication.
Doing so didn't erase the stain of America's farcical democracy. It exists in name only. USA-style fascism comes wrapped in an American flag. It's harsh like other versions but isn't discussed.
Only targeted victims feel its sting. Step out of line and become one of them. On October 16, Green Party candidates learned firsthand.
Stein/Honkala's web site  explained. It headlined "Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala arrested, call tonight's debate a mockumentary," saying:
Iron-fisted fascism showed up in Hempstead. Stein and Honkala were "forcibly prevented from entering the grounds of tonight's presidential debate…."
Corporate/party boss-run Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) members exclude alternative voices. Money power operates secretly with no public oversight. A sham process repeats each electoral cycle.
Real democracy is mocked. Discussion of major issues is excluded. Hardball crackdowns target challengers.
Stein and Honkala "were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University…." They remained in police custody for hours.
At 2PM Tuesday, they "walked with supporters" toward Hofstra's "town hall" venue.
"There they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. At this point, the Green Party candidates held an impromptu press conference in which Dr. Stein called the CPD debate a 'mockumentary,' saying that, 'We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.' "
Both candidates "turned and began walking" towards the debate venue. Police "physically stopped them and pushed them back." They sat down and were arrested.
They were charged with "obstructing traffic." None was visible at the time. CPD bosses call the shots. Cops don't represent ordinary people or independent political candidates.
They serve money power. Hardball crackdowns prove it. Even independent presidential candidates taste their harshness.
On October 17, Stein/Honkala's web site  headlined "Now free, Stein, Honkala pledge ramp up fight for open debates," saying:
After spending eight hours "handcuffed to a metal chair in a remote (Long Island) police warehouse," they're free. Exercising democratic rights got them accosted and arrested. That's how fascism works. Opposition isn't tolerated.
On release, Stein said:
"It was painful but symbolic to be handcuffed for all those hours, because that what the Commission on Presidential Debates has essentially done to American democracy."
In custody, both candidates were isolated. Phone calls were denied. So was access to lawyers or staff. At 10:30PM, they were released. Honkala called her incarceration "extremely uncomfortable, but standard for what so many Americans face on a daily basis in our corrections system."
She and Stein know what gulag harshness feels like. It's much worse for many thousands doing hard time. Many are innocent victims of fascist brutality. Innocence is no defense when targeted.
Challenging authority risks prison. Some end up dead. Many face torture and abuse. It's the American way. Media scoundrels conceal the nation's dark side.
Stein's campaign manager Ben Manski expressed outrage, saying:
"These arrests and this treatment are outrageous and disproportionate. Who do the police think they are protecting here?"
On October 18, 22, 23, and 30, Stein will participate in four alternative candidate debates. Online streaming will cover them. Expect serious discussions of real issues. Expect what duopoly power excludes.
Watch and see what democracy looks like. On November 6, it's excluded from ballot consideration. It's never been there and isn't now. The state of the nation is dark and getting darker. Equity, justice, and freedom are just figures of speech. The worst is yet to come. That's how fascism works.
In her 1951 book, "The Origins of Totalitarianism," Hannah Arendt explained. It's "never content to rule by external means, namely, through the state and a machinery of violence; thanks to its peculiar ideology and the role assigned to it in this apparatus of coercion, totalitarianism has discovered a means of dominating and terrorizing human beings from within."
It's based on:
"(1) an elaborate ideology;
(2) a single mass party;
(4) a technologically conditioned monopoly of communication;
(5) a monopoly of weapons; (and)
(6) a centrally controlled economy."
America qualifies. Duopoly power rules. What Big Money wants it gets. State terrorism is policy. So are permanent imperial wars, targeted assassinations, and police state harshness.
Managed news misinformation substitutes for the real thing. Elections are farcical. Money power runs everything. Democratic freedom is more illusion than reality.
In 2003, Laurence Britt explained 14 common fascist elements. America reflects them. They include:
(1) "Powerful and Continuing Nationalism." Expressions include flag displays, lapel pins, mottos, slogans, songs, symbols, and other ways to rally people for a common cause.
(2) "Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights" and civil liberties. Affording them hinders elitist ruling power.
(3) "Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause." Alleged threats and enemies are invented. Patriotic frenzy is rallied against them. Popular support is needed. Political advantage is sought.
(4) "Supremacy of the Military." National wealth and resources are disproportionately allocated for it. Domestic needs are neglected.
(5) "Rampant Sexism." Male dominance is enforced. Women are considered second-class citizens.
(6) "Controlled Mass Media." Censorship is policy. Public or private media promote power elite policies. In war time, control is especially rigid.
(7) "Obsession with National Security." Fear is used as an instrument of control.
(8) "Religion and Government are Intertwined." A dominant religion manipulates public opinion even when its ideological tenets differ from state policies.
(9) "Corporate Power is Protected." A mutually beneficial relationship benefits political and business officials.
(10) "Labor Power is Suppressed." Unionism is co-opted or eliminated. Political and corporate dominance is unchallenged.
(11) "Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts." Intellectual and academic freedom is denied. So is free expression in any form.
(12) "Obsession with Crime and Punishment." Police state terror rules. Gulag harshness awaits non-believers. Equity, justice, and other democratic freedoms are denied.
(13) "Rampant Cronyism and Corruption." Privileged government and corporate officials benefit at the expense of most others.
(14) "Fraudulent Elections." Free, fair and open ones don't exist. Predetermined results are arranged. Centralized control disenfranchises voters. Theater substitutes for democracy.
America reflects all of the above. Few benefit at the expense of most others. Electoral choices are none at all. Challenge authority and taste police state harshness.
Imagine what's coming if ordinary people on their own don't change things. It won't happen any other way. It never has, never will!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.