Is a Sarah Palin a fascist? That might fit the template in certain political circles today, but additional information may require second thoughts among nuanced observers.
For one thing, it is progressive champion H.G. Wells who had more than a little to do with letting the phrase liberal fascism out of its cage, writes Prof. Angus Menuge in a just-published review of Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.
Here are a few points from the Menuge review, which appears in The Pearcey Report. Among others, fans of Obama, Hillary, Gore, and big government conservatism may want to take note.
* For Obama fans: Something at work in mainstream culture “makes it easy for Barack Obama to champion a new New Deal (mentioned 9 times in his book The Audacity of Hope) as the solution to our economic woes, without anyone recalling the connections between Roosevelt’s and Hitler’s ‘new deal’ (122, 130-131) and the more sinister sides of Roosevelt’s authoritarian statism.”
* For Hillary fans suspicious of the traditional family: “While being pro-family often elicits the ‘fascist’ label today, the Nazis were opposed to the family –- and not merely because unregulated unions led to unfit offspring. The larger issue was that the ‘traditional family is the enemy of all political totalitarianisms because it is a bastion of loyalties separate from and prior to the state,’ the same reason statist progressives like Hillary Clinton ‘are constantly trying to crack its outer shell’ (377).”
* For disciples of Al Gore: "While today’s progressives are frequently pacifist, they continue the tradition of 'crises,' such as Al Gore’s global warming or European disdain for American foreign policies, which cannot be debated because the time for government action is now."
* For religious and political manipulators: “Both fascists and progressives find it expedient to be disingenuous in the propagation of their ideas. There is an outer core of ideas for popular consumption, surrounding an inner core circulated among the elect.
“For example, fascists and progressives encounter resistance when they express their true contempt for revealed religion. So the attempt is made to accommodate broadly religious themes to the agenda of the state (216-217), emasculating any specific teachings of the religion (e.g., on the sanctity of human life) that are inconvenient. This creates the external impression that progressive ideas are the outworking of faith, while in reality, religion is being co-opted by a divinized state (219).”
* For votaries of big government conservatism: “Many self-styled conservatives have also boarded the statist juggernaut, promoting an ever larger role for government as a surrogate parent.”
Read the review . . .
* Cross-posted at Examiner.com.