At a certain point in time, when does a political ideology cease being merely just so many alternative ideas/programs to much the same goal to which most everyone aspires and become a clear and present danger to the wellbeing of a society's life?
We're at a time now in America when a constellation of ideas and brutish behavior have coalesced into a dangerous mix threatening to undo our democracy and bring the American Experiment to an end.
I'm distressed by the brutishness and ignorance of a lot of our current politics and religion - all of it mixed up in some kind of noxious brew, highly addictive apparently, and, yes, a clear and present danger.
If only the people of Italy in the Twenties and Germans in the Thirties has been alert enough to see in the Brown and Black Shirts a threat to everything they held dear. That the rhetoric and posturing of Mussolini and Hitler was nothing less than evil, a contradiction of everything sacred and everything good.
People in Italy, with Mussolini's rise to power, and folks in Germany, with the advent of Hitler, believed that such extremism just wasn't possible, but it was, and what a price was paid, by the whole world, as fascism took the world into the darkest of places.