IT Can’t Happen Here III

In Sinclair Lewis’s novel, It Can’t Happen Here, Doremus’s son, Philip, defends Windrip, who is running for president. (see chapter 5):

“‘Now listen, Dad.  You don’t understand Senator Windrip.  Oh, he’s something of a demagogue–he shoots off his mouth a lot about how he’ll jack up the income tax and grab the banks, but he won’t–that’s just molasses for the cockroaches.  What he will do, and maybe only he can do it, is to protect us from the murdering, thieving, lying Bolsheviks that would–why, they’d like to stick all of us that are going on this picnic, all the decent clean people that are accustomed to privacy, into half bedrooms, and make us cook our cabbage soup on a Primus stuck on a bed!  Yes, or maybe ‘liquidate’ us entirely!  No sir, Berzelius Windrip is the fellow to balk the dirty sneaking Jew spies that pose as American Liberals!’

“‘The face is the face of my reasonably competent son, Philip, but the voice is the voice of the Jew-baiter, Julius Stretcher,” sighed Doremus.”

[Later, once Windrip takes over as president and turns the country into a fascist dictatorship, Philip, a lawyer, goes along, making excuses for the dictators, rationalizing away what they do, and so succeeding within that system–even becoming a judge himself.  His only concern about his father is that his father’s opposition will harm his own prospects.]



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