It Can’t Happen Here

it can't happen

In the 1920s, Sinclair Lewis enjoyed a brilliant career “portraying and satirizing what he regarded as the mediocrity, materialism, corruption, and hypocrisy of middle-class life in the United States.”  His major novels of the 20s – Main Street, Babbitt, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, and Dodsworth were all best sellers.  Then came the Stock Market Crash of 1929.  The middle class was no longer interested in being satirized.  Lewis had to look for new material.

With the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, Lewis began to focus on the discussion of whether fascism could rise in the U.S.

Quote from It Can’t Happen Here

“Windrip (the authoritarian candidate) will probably get elected and then drag us into a war just to prove our masculinity and toughness.”  Sinclair Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I’m Thinking About…

donny 1

On Nicole Wallace’s program yesterday, Donny Deutsch (frequent quest on Morning Joe and some kind of branding expert) said something which rings true to me. After he had lunch with Michael Cohen, Deutsch said Trump was going to go to war with the Justice Department.  Trump, he argued, could not afford to allow the “rock” to be turned over.  Nicole Wallace asked: What’s under the rock?  Deutsch responded:  Everything Donald Trump has been and done for forty years.  Trump can’t afford for that rock to be turned over and if it means he will be impeached, he will provoke impeachment because he cannot allow this to happen.   It will uncover everything Donald Trump is – personally, politically and financially.  Pretty well suns up the situation.

CNN is reporting this morning that a doorman was payed to keep quiet over an illegitimate child Trump had with somebody.

Cohen’s Search Warrants and the Russia Probe.

Nick Ackerman is saying on Chris Hayes that the underlying crimes the Cohen search warrants were based on does not have to be separate from the Russia probe. People were assuming that if it had to do with the Russia probe, Mueller would have kept it.  But, Ackerman is saying that if the crime occurred in the Southern District of New York, the search warrant has to go through the Southern District.

“Intellectualism” in the Authoritarian State Envisioned by Sinclair Lewis.

it can't happen

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis published a semi-satirical novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here.” The novel is designed to portray the take over of an authoritarian government in the United States. This is not an easy read, and if you aren’t interested in the parallels between Lewis’ novel and the Trump election and administration, you probably won’t want to wade through it. Lewis, reportedly, took much longer to research the book than he took writing it (four months) and it suffers from lack of character development and plot drift. A play was based on the book was produced just after Trump took office. And, some of the parallels are interesting.

Lewis predicted that the current anti-intellectualism would be part of the authoritarian program.

…the Americans were the first to start new and completely orthodox institutions, free from the very first of any taint of “intellectualism.”

“…the morning papers had been combined by the government into one sheet, rich in comic strips, in syndicated gossip from Hollywood, and indeed, lacking only any news.”

 

 

IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE by Sinclair Lewis

it can't happen

 

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis published a semi-satirical novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here.”   The novel is designed to portray the take over of an authoritarian government in the United States.  This is not an easy read, and if you aren’t interested in the parallels between Lewis’ novel and the Trump election and administration, you probably won’t want to wade through it.  Lewis, reportedly, took much longer to research the book than he took writing it (four months) and it suffers from lack of character development and plot drift.   A play was based on the book was produced just after Trump took office.  And, some of the parallels are interesting.

Senator Windrip is the authoritarian President – folksy, charismatic and power-hungry.  People are left wondering what country they are about to get into a war with – Canada, England, Mexico.  At the end of the novel, after sporadic uprisings have occurred, the president launches a war with Mexico.

“As month by month they (the people) saw that they had been cheated with marked cards again, they were indignant; but they were busy with cornfield and sawmill and dairy and motor factory, and it took the impertinent idiocy of demanding that they march down into the desert and help steal a friendly country to jab them into awakening and into discovering that, while they had been asleep, they had been kidnapped by a small gang of criminals, armed with high ideals, well-buttered words, and a lot of machine guns.”