Hillary Clinton warned during an alumnae event Saturday at Wellesley College that fascism is coming to America. She cited Madeline Albright's book, "Fascism: A Warning," and sounded the alarm: "The idea that it can't happen here is just old fashioned, my friends."
"The demagoguery, the appeal to the crowd, the very clever use of symbols, the intimidation, verbal and physical," she said. "This is a classic pattern. There is nothing new about it, it is just different means of messages being delivered."
She did not use the president's name but said: "There is nothing normal about undermining the rule of law. There is nothing normal about attacking the press. There is nothing normal about trying to undermine another branch of government. There is nothing normal about trying to use the political system to go after your enemies. There is nothing normal about any of that."
"I am a very worried optimist," Clinton said. "If you care about this incredible experiment that we have been engaged in now for 200-plus years, then you have to be concerned about this."
HILLARY CLINTON: I don't want to be a downer, but I will say this: If you take the time to read the Mueller report, actually read it, which all of us in this auditorium are more than capable of doing, you come to two inescapable conclusions. The first is that Russia conducted a sweeping and systemic interference in our election. The second is that obstruction of justice occurred. You cannot read the report, chapter and verse, fact after fact, without reaching those conclusions.
And yet we are living at a time when there is so much distraction and competition for our attention that what would have been unthinkable five years ago, let alone fifty years ago, is now just yesterday's news.
I have the rather unusual experience of having worked on the 1974 impeachment inquiry staff, because when I was in law school I was part of something called the Barrister's Union, which was the trial practice group at Yale, and five of us were asked to join the impeachment inquiry staff, which I agreed to, and it was an incredible professional experience and a very sobering public experience. And so my first job on that staff was to research and help write a memo about what is an impeachable offense -- literally, you can not make my life up.
So, here we are. And there is no doubt in my opinion that what the Founders were most worried about was anything that undermined the integrity of the government, that abused the power of the executive vis-a-vis the other branches of government, that really went to the heart of how you keep this delicate balance of a democracy going. So when I read a book like Madeline [Albright's "Fascism: A Warning"] and you want to just jump up and yell at points. Why didn't more people speak out? Where were the leaders? Where were the business leaders and the academic leaders and the press leaders? And for a million different reasons, in a lot of these settings, people were either not paying attention, or they had the unfortunately foolish idea that a Mussolini or a Hitler could be controlled.
And so the demagoguery, the appeal to the crowd, the very clever use of symbols, the intimidation, verbal and physical, was overlooked. And this is a classic pattern. There is nothing new about it, it is just different means of messages being delivered. And I think given the rapidity with which information can be conveyed today because of the internet, it is an even more dangerous set of circumstances because it moves to quickly and it can get so overwhelming.
People just want to quit hearing about it and get back to their normal lives. There is nothing normal about undermining the rule of law. There is nothing normal about attacking the press. There is nothing normal about trying to undermine another branch of government. There is nothing normal about trying to use the political system to go after your enemies. There is nothing normal about any of that.
And so, I think Madeline's book is really well named: "Fascism: A Warning."
And the idea that it can't happen here is just old fashioned, my friends. So there is so much at stake and so much that people should be trying to sort through for themselves, and perhaps joining for action together to speak out.
I am a very worried optimist because there seems to be no staying power for a lot of these really serious threats, and that is part of the strategy. You do something today that is even more outrageous than what you did yesterday, you say something that is totally beyond the pale of what should be expected from any public official. And so what happened yesterday is so quickly lost in what is happening today. And this goes way beyond party.
More than a thousand former prosecutors appointed by Republicans and Democrats all said these incidents that are related in Mueller -- the second half of his report -- clearly amount to indictable obstruction of justice charges. And there are so many Republicans who are speaking out and organizing to try to sound the alarm, but not enough of us, and that means regardless of party... whatever you are.
If you care about this incredible experiment that we have been engaged in now for 200-plus years, then you have to be concerned about this. We can get back to arguing about all kinds of thing. I was in the Senate for eight years. I worked with Republicans, and I opposed Republicans. That is the way it is supposed to work. There were Republicans then who are still there who know better and are afraid to stand up and say what they know.
(h/t: The Hill and Breitbart Video)