*sigh* don’t play dumb. It is an anti-immigrantion tweet especially when one understands it in the context of Senator John Cornyn’s support for a border wall – even though he tries to play both sides of the fence by giving the token appearance of not fully supporting Donald Trump’s wall building ambitions. Why do I think it is about immigration? Anyone who knows anything about Mussolini will know that he was talking about the dream to unify Italy through a common culture that binds the nation which is where the ‘we were the first to assert that more complicated the forms assumed by civilisation’ in which he viewed Italy as the heir to the Roman Empire (he had long standing dreams of ‘restoring the Roman Empire’ aka ‘Italian Civilisation’) but for that to happen you need to understand his position regarding race and culture:
Race? It is a feeling, not a reality. Ninety-five per cent, at least. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today.… National pride has no need of the delirium of race.
So it is important to understand that it was being said in context to his ‘restoring the Roman Empire’ meaning the creation of an empire where the subjects that empire were ‘Italianised’ so you ended up having a multi-racial but single culture (keep in mind that he held retrograde views regarding race but his views earlier on in his tenure as leader of the National Fascist Party were quite different to the views that Hitler and the Germany NAZI Party held) that binds together an empire. How does that fit into the immigration debate? Because the US is riddled with the constant dog whistle concern about ‘immigrants that don’t share Judeo-Christian values’ (see Fox News for that common talking point regarding the ‘culture wars’ that they keep alive by throwing the occasional Molotov cocktail into so it keeps it alive) so someone Senator John Cornyn jumps in and see’s it as an opportunity to linking being anti-immigrant to being pro-individual freedom by claiming that if the United Staes becomes more diverse (‘more complicated form of civilisation’ to paraphrase Mussolini) the greater the tyranny required to hold the country together as a result. So in Senator John Cornyn’s around about way he is saying, “if we want to preserve freedom we need to restrict immigration to ensure that we don’t become too diverse and thus require a tyranny”. This then feeds into the second big conspiracy theory that Republicans perpetuate and that is the accusation that Democrats like immigrantion because it means it allows them to expand the power of federal governments power to ‘hold the country together’ (along with that other chest nut that ‘new immigrants will be a locked in voting base for the Democrats’).
By the way, the linking of fascistic thought to freedom is nothing new, Mussolini linked the idea of having a single unified culture that bound a nation together to the ‘freedom of the individual’ just as Oswald Mosley made the same claim that the he would create a ‘new democracy’ a ‘real democracy’ but we all know what they really mean when fascists use such terms – devoid of specifics so as to allow the average person to interpret it six ways to Sunday resulting in no one really understanding what the true interpretation was unless one was in the inner circle aka ‘the vanguard’.
Long story short, Senator John Cornyn’s quotation of Mussolini is nothing more than a dog whistle – those who know what Mussolini meant and those too clueless will treat it like a magic 8 ball where they view what ever they want to see it it. As for his latest defence:
Either Senator John Cornyn is completely ignorant of history (therefore he shouldn’t be a senator in the first place) or he knows exactly what was put out for ‘those in the know’ but he is trying to muddy the water with some plausible deniability – “oh yeah, that sounds like a good explanation, I’ll run with that” seems to be the decision he made regarding in the above tweet.