Arguably the most ludicrous book to emerge during the George W. Bush era was hilariously titled, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, by National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg. Yes, somehow Goldberg awkwardly contorted the English language to shoehorn a square liberal peg into a round fascism hole and catapult this hooey to number one on The New York Times bestseller list, making it really difficult to decide which was more idiotic: the book's title or the legion of doofuses who bought it.
Liberal Fascism was really patient zero for what erupted in the Spring and early Summer of 2009 when Glenn Beck, Rick Santelli and other conservatives erupted with inchoate fury, accusing President Obama of being both a socialist and a Nazi. Because as we all know, Nazis love them some mixed-race Harvard-educated leftists. Pegging off Goldberg's insane coitus of liberalism and fascism, Beck went one step further, suggesting that because "Nazi" was short for "National Socialist," Adolf Hitler was a socialist, even though liberalism and fascism are entirely incompatible. Unlike American liberalism, fascism is historically an extreme right-wing governmental system characterized by uber-nationalism, militarism and racial purity.
Just because the word "socialist" was in the National Socialist label doesn't mean Hitler and his cohorts were literally socialists. Indeed, the first groups to be rounded up and incarcerated at Dachau were socialists and leftists. Labels aren't definitions. For example, it might surprise the usual suspects to learn there's nothing democratic or republican about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, aka North Korea. Along those lines, Beck, Goldberg and the rest might be surprised to learn that "hot dogs" don't contain actual dogs.
Goldberg's Benito Mussolini, in particular, paraded around as a socialist until after he was elected and then engaged in one of the biggest flip-flops in political history, shedding every last hint of socialism once in power. Turns out -- shocker -- it's difficult to get elected by pitching yourself as a fascist strongman.
In a more modern context... CONTINUE READING