The “wurst” Brat

The defeat of House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, in the Republican primary in Virginia is cause for real alarm. The fact that he lost because he is “not sufficiently conservative” means that people are very angry indeed. Now, I suspect that the average American voter has only a vague idea of what “conservative” and “liberal” really mean. They are not voting for conservatism, per se, but out of frustration with the current state of affairs and fear of the future. These are the very conditions that favor the rise of demagogues of the extreme right. And the man who defeated him, David Brat, fills the bill perfectly. A professor of economics at a small Methodist college, Brat became an economist after obtaining a Masters of Divinity degree. His platform is based on the familiar right wing extremist tropes of nativism, states’ rights, and opposition to the “elite.” Make no mistake, though, Brat is the candidate of the corporate elite. His resume includes stints at disgraced accounting firm Arthur Anderson and at the World Bank. Currently he serves as “ethics advisor” to a large regional bank, BB&T. His campaign was supported by such corporate champions as the Club for Growth and the Heritage Foundation. And his credentials as a potential demagogue are burnished by his association with the likes of extremist pundits Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, and Mark Levin. Make no mistake: the forces of fascism are marshaling in the US and we need to give notice before it is too late.

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