(By Jay Ambrose, Centennial Institute Fellow)
I am a fascist, I wear a brown shirt, I probably go to bed saying, “Heil Hitler,” or so it has been asserted by varied email correspondents. They have noted, for instance, that I have gone so far in some of my columns as to favor far less government, or even to have vigorously criticized Barack Obama as a less than wonderful president.
Give such hints of being on the right, and the reaction of some progressives is to immediately link you with the worst modern history has to offer. They may call you a racist or a sexist or something like that, but they refuse to give up on repeating that favorite word over and over again: fascist, fascist, fascist.
The great irony is that progressives themselves often fit that designation far more snugly than conservatives even as they bathe in self-righteousness. A recent example was the several hundred California students who did their totalitarian best to stop a talk by Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald.
She happens to be a first-rate, incisive thinker who defends policemen and disparages Black Lives Matter, stances that apparently abnegated her free speech rights in the minds of these minimally civilized troublemakers at Claremont McKenna College. They chanted obscenities, called her a “white supremacist,” blocked other students from getting in to where she was speaking, banged on windows, got physical on more than a couple of occasions and otherwise fortified the thesis of Jonah Goldberg’s 2007 book, “Liberal Fascism.”
Without ever saying that all liberals are fascists or that the fascism of some is equivalent to Nazi atrocities, he argues persuasively that fascism has historically been related to socialist-minded progressivism. As a summary note, for instance, Hitlerian Germany said phooey on the free market and favored universal, government-funded
Ambrose and Andrews
Weekly columns by Colorado’s elder conservative thinkers.
Jay Ambrose is a columnist whose work is nationally distributed by the Tribune Co. in Chicago. He has served as editor of two metropolitan daily papers, including the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and a country weekly in the Appalachians in his early 20s. For nine years, he was director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard Newspapers in Washington, D.C. He has been a Pulitzer Prize judge and served on the board of directors of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. His writing awards include the national Walker Stone Award for Outstanding Editorial Writing. He also has been a moderator of leadership discussion groups on major issues in Denver, Boulder and at Lockheed-Martin in Littleton. He is a media fellow at Centennial Institute.
John Andrews, for decades an influential voice in the Colorado political debate, is now one of his state’s Christian conservative elder statesmen. He has led five think tanks, most recently the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, and was the originator of the Western Conservative Summit, Backbone Radio, and the Head On TV debates. Andrews was previously President of the Colorado Senate, chairman of the State Policy Network, and director of TCI Cable News. He was a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon; an education appointee under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush; founder of the Independence Institute and co-founder of State Policy Network; and Republican nominee for Governor of Colorado in 1990.
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