Renew Americaby Carey Roberts
Like a demanding and ill-mannered child, liberals are used to getting their way. Whenever they lapse into the losing side of an argument, they reflexively resort to name-calling and mud-slinging. Epithets like "neo-Nazi," "crypto-fascist," and "imperialist stooge" buzz like mosquitoes hovering over a Potomac swamp.
But how many conservatives who are targets of such slurs know these liberals are indulging in one of the greatest intellectual ruses in history? How many realize it's a matter of the red-faced pot calling the kettle black?
Esteemed reader, you are about to learn the truth of the long-standing love affair between American progressivism and European fascism.
As Jonah Goldberg reveals in his bestseller Liberal Fascism, that romance can be traced back to the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. The Democrat was both a progressive and racist who famously wrote, "The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation...until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country."
Shortly after America entered World War I in 1917, Wilson signed an Executive Order establishing the Committee on Public Information, a propaganda apparatus designed to whip Americans into a patriotic fervor. The following year Wilson pushed for the Sedition Act which banned the use of any "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the government. That sweeping language served to squelch all forms of political dissent.
The notorious Sedition Act occasioned the arrest of an estimated 175,000 Americans accused of essentially failing to be sufficiently patriotic â€” leading Goldberg to dub the Wilson presidency a "fascist police state."
For those who wonder whether the phrase "liberal fascist" is a little over the top, in fact it was coined by science fiction novelist H.G. Wells. In 1932 the progressivist Wells delivered a speech that called for a revitalization of the fading liberal movement: "the Fascists of Liberalism must...begin as a disciplined sect, but they must end as the sustaining organization of a reconstituted mankind."
Wells was also a friend and confidante of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Struggling to rescue America from the dregs of the Great Depression, FDR was fully aware of what was transpiring in Europe and sought to emulate its accomplishments. Roosevelt once bragged, "what we are doing in this country were some of things that were being done in Russia and even some of the things that were being done under Hitler in Germany."
European fascists returned the presidential compliment. In 1934 the Nazi Party's official newspaper sang the praises of FDR, describing him as a "warm-hearted leader of the people with a profound understanding of social needs." And the Fuhrer himself sent Roosevelt a private letter applauding his "heroic efforts in the interests of the American people."
Mussolini was even more enthralled with the American commander. Upon reading Roosevelt's Looking Forward, Mussolini fawned, "The appeal to the decisiveness and masculine sobriety of the nation's youth, with which Roosevelt here calls his readers to battle, is reminiscent of the ways and means by which Fascism awakened the Italian people."
Il Duce was of course referring to the sweeping New Deal policies that established massive job programs, centralized power in vast government bureaucracies, and imposed rigid price controls on the economy.
But the ugliest chapter in the progressive-fascist alliance centered on eugenics, the pseudo-science of racial purification. Three prominent persons, all of the liberal persuasion, were prominent flag-wavers in this execrable episode of American history.
Woodrow Wilson was one of the first American politicians to promote eugenic policies. As governor of New Jersey, Wilson approved a law in 1912 that created the Board of Examiners of Feebleminded, Epileptics, and Other Defectives.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was another progressive icon of the era. Holmes wrote the flawed Supreme Court decision Buck v. Bell that put the legal stamp of approval on compulsory sterilization. "Three generations of imbeciles are enough," Holmes infamously wrote.
A few years later in 1934 the American Eugenics Society published the Case for Sterilization, a book that piqued the interest of the Fuhrer himself. One leading member of the American Eugenics Society was Margaret Sanger. The birth-control crusader was the moving force behind the Negro Project, which enlisted ministers such as Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. in the crusade to restrict reproduction among "inferior" stocks of Blacks.
So fellow conservatives, arise! The next time you are slandered as a proto-Nazi or angry White male (which in the liberal mind are one and the same), drag out the fascist skeletons rattling in the progressive closet. Mention Woodrow Wilson's infatuation with racial cleansing, the FDR-Hitler mutual admiration society, Justice Holmes' authorship of Buck v. Bell, and Margaret Sanger's Negro Project.
If that doesn't stop the guilty-minded liberal in his tracks, mention how progressive-inspired eugenics policies were the prime moving force behind the forced sterilization of 400,000 undesirables in Nazi Germany.
That inconvenient truth is certain to focus the discussion.