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The Conservative Backlash to Liberal Fascism

Photo Credit: ep_jhu

Considering that progressives control so much of the media, education system, and research universities, conservatives may take certain progressive assumptions or historical revisionism for granted. This is often the case with regard to the Southern Strategy as well as the intentions of America’s Founding Fathers. Progressives have also opportunistically exploited the inability of most people to define fascism, applying it as a label to many political movements they dislike, even those promoting natural rights.

This year, Dinesh D’Souza published a powerful response to both this historical revisionism and modern attempts to smear President Trump and his agenda as “fascist.” The title of this new book, “The Big Lie, Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left” may shock those who have been taught deceitful revisionist history in school. We have been conditioned to assume that Hitler, Mussolini, and other authoritarian dictators represent the extremism of the Right. D’Souza builds on the work of other conservative intellectuals to create a compelling contemporary rebuttal.

This includes the author of “Liberal Fascism,” Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor for The National Review and researcher for The American Enterprise Institute. He responds not only to the left’s misleading characterization of fascism as a right-wing or conservative ideology, but also identifies well-respected progressive “heroes” who were enamored with or practiced fascism.

Goldberg points out that the Soviet Union frequently demonized all of its foreign enemies and dissenters as fascists, including those who set up communist states in competition with Moscow such as Tito in Yugoslavia. He notes that the label ‘fascist’ was used by communists and progressives to mean “a system I don’t like,” a convenient and ultimately meaningless smear.

At the same time, real fascism did exist and American progressives lavished praise on known fascists while seeking to imitate them. He identifies the leftist politicians and “journalists” who expressed their admiration (and envy) of the politics and successes of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. This includes popular progressive muckrakers, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, and even President Franklin Roosevelt.

As horrifying as this is, Jonah Goldberg notes that our politicians at both the federal and state level, occasionally put these ideals in practice. From forced sterilization in Virginia, President Woodrow Wilson’s war on the press, President Franklin Roosevelt’s decision to imprison the Japanese during WWII, and the Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson, he identifies examples of authoritarian overreach in our country, warning that liberal fascism can happen here. He points out in great detail the defining features of fascism, both as a system of government in Italy and as an authoritarian tendency in the United States.

This is not a new book, but Jonah Goldberg’s detailed historical approach provides critical background reading as conservatives defend the new administration from accusations of fascism and move to crush any actual advocates of authoritarianism within the Republican Party. Conservatives such as Ben Shapiro have stepped forward to call out the Left for their utter hypocrisy.

This is why Dinesh D’Souza is writing a new book about these misrepresentations. He joins Goldberg, Shapiro, and others in finally responding to nearly a century of progressives ascribing their own sins to the conservative movement. Some will be tempted to dismiss this book, frightened by the title’s bold claim or the cries from the mainstream media. Yet this is precisely what D’Souza, like Goldberg, hopes to eradicate: conservative acceptance of false progressive claims about what fascism and national socialism really are.

By reading D’Souza’s new book and Goldberg’s historical account, conservatives can arm themselves against a relentless series of attacks on the Trump administration by those who are silent in the face of leftist authoritarianism. The movement for a smaller, less powerful government that respects our natural rights should not continue to be attributed as fascistic, especially not by the proponents of larger government, abortion, and the HHS Mandate. The crucial return to the intellectual roots of authoritarian movements will help expose liberal hypocrisy on this particular subject.

D’Souza joins the effort to show conservatives and Americans that the real divide is between those who love liberty and the natural rights we protect, against all of the authoritarian ideologies ranging from fascism to communism to national socialism that unequivocally denies individual freedoms.

Fascism is an authoritarian ideology that seeks to subordinate the rights and aspirations of the individual to the greater good of the nation (as defined by its unelected dictator), while ensuring that all competing loyalties and intermediary institutions are incapable of challenging the dictator. Fascism can not tolerate individual liberty or competing loyalties. Every hero who utters the phrase, “God, Family, Country,” makes himself a target in a fascist state. This is why Adolf Hitler famously rejected well-ordered patriotism, insisting that he was a nationalist, but not a patriot. It does not respect the right to life, the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, or the right to a fair trial. Fascism demands a large and powerful government that is entirely unaccountable to its subjects. Fascism demands subordinate national churches, a compliant and regulated press, heavy business regulations, high taxes, harsh penalties for dissent, and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to maintain power. This is neither conservative nor is it Christian. It is wholly unacceptable for any individual who values liberty or truth, and I find it appalling that progressives have smeared conservatives as fascists, although it is the progressives who promote an authoritarian role for government.

With the help of Dinesh D’Souza and Jonah Goldberg, it is time to expose the big lie.

Follow the author on Twitter: @t0show

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About Tom Olohan (19 Articles)
After witnessing hundreds of Notre Dame students remain silent after a panel of professors offered a one-sided condemnation of Israel, Tom Olohan founded an AIPAC Campus Cadre at Notre Dame to educate students on the importance of the American-Israeli relationship. He hosted Pro-Israel speakers and was published by Breitbart and a student newspaper, The Observer. After graduation, he founded a second AIPAC Campus Cadre at Boston College. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Political Theory at Boston College. Tom previously interned at Eagle Publishing and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He lives in Warrenton, Virginia with his ten younger siblings.

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