I’m not sure just what Greg Williams was trying to say in his letter (EW, 10/31) about fascism in America and VLT’s production of It Can’t Happen Here, unless he was trying to call Franklin Delano Roosevelt a fascist, but he was way off the mark. FDR was much more a socialist than fascist, and Mussolini sounds like it, too, at least in 1919. But I do know that politicians have always made promises and that sometimes “you can fool most of the people.”
But the point of the play, written in 1935 when fascism was raising its head throughout Europe, was that this was not beyond the realm of possibility here in the U.S.
And the point of VLT’s production was that it’s very possible today. Theoretically, it’s very possible for Mr. Trump to lose the popular vote by 20 million in 2020, still squeak out a victory in the antiquated electoral college, maintain control of the senate by one vote and declare himself dictator for life on the next day.
If that happens, the owners of the VLT (and Eugene Weekly) will find themselves in as much trouble as the defenders of the free press and values of democracy as those in the play. What we need to do is have respect for the truth and facts, make our elections fair and accountable with verifiable results, make each vote equal, remember our first given as a nation that all men (and women) are created equal, and then treat them that way.
Chuck Roehrich, Eugene