Friday, February 22, 2008

Emulating FDR is a Horrible Idea

Another Jonah Goldberg writing, via Glenn Beck email blast.

**SPECIAL REPORT: Emulating FDR is a horrible idea**

This is the final special report in a week-long series with author Jonah Goldberg, investigating how Liberal Fascism is trying to control your life from the cradle to the grave. Don't miss tonight on TV as Glenn spends a full hour with Jonah Goldberg at 7 and 9pm ET, only on Headline News. And look for a recap of this series, the TV segments and the special reports will all be included in Monday's newsletter.

Emulating FDR: A horrible idea
By Jonah Goldberg

"America has a dictator," Benito Mussolini proclaimed, watching FDR from abroad. He marveled at how the forces of "spiritual renewal" on display in the New Deal were destroying the outdated notion that democracy and liberalism were "immortal principles." "Roosevelt is moving, acting, giving orders independently of the decisions or wishes of the Senate or Congress. ... A sole will silences dissenting voices." That almost sounds like Harry Reid talking about Bush.

Mussolini reviewed FDR's book, Looking Forward proclaiming the author a kindred spirit. The way Roosevelt "calls his readers to battle," he wrote, "is reminiscent of the ways and means by which fascism awakened the Italian people." "Without question," he continued, the "sea change" in America "resembles that of fascism." Indeed, the comparisons were so commonplace, Mussolini's press office banned the practice. "It is not to be emphasized that Roosevelt's policy is fascist because these comments are immediately cabled to the United States and are used by his foes to attack him."

The German press adored FDR. In 1934, the Vlkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party's official newspaper, described Roosevelt as a man of "irreproachable, extremely responsible character and immovable will" and a "warm-hearted leader of the people with a profound understanding of social needs." Hitler sent FDR a letter celebrating his "heroic efforts" and "successful battle against economic distress." Hitler informed the U.S. ambassador, William Dodd, that New Dealism was also "the quintessence of the German state philosophy."

The New Dealers were not so much mimicking the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. They were attempting to recreate what they had built -up under Woodrow Wilson's war socialism. Today we have no historical memory of how brutal the Wilson Administration was, nor do we realize that many Progressives supported the war not so much because they championed its foreign policy aims, but because they yearned for the "social possibilities of war," in the words of John Dewey, the 20th century's premier political philosopher.

The war provided an opportunity to force Americans to, as journalist Frederick Lewis Allen put it, "lay by our good-natured individualism and march in step." Or as another progressive put it, "Laissez faire is dead. Long live social control."

It was this spirit which informed FDR's administration. By 1944 he made good on Wilson's conviction that the US constitution was outmoded and in need of replacing with a new "living constitution." FDR's proposed innovation was a new "economic bill of rights" which included:

>The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.

>The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.

>The right of every family to a decent home.

>The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.


You read correctly, the right to 'recreation'.

With the intellectuals on their side, Wilson recruited journalist George Creel to become a propaganda minister as head of the newly formed Committee on Public Information (CPI).

Mr. Creel declared that it was his mission to inflame the American public into "one white-hot mass" under the banner of "100 percent Americanism." Fear was a vital tool, he argued, "an important element to be bred in the civilian population."

The CPI printed millions of posters, buttons, pamphlets, that did just that. A typical poster for Liberty Bonds cautioned, "I am Public Opinion. All men fear me!... [I]f you have the money to buy and do not buy, I will make this No Man's Land for you!"

Meanwhile, the CPI released a string of propaganda films with such titles as "The Kaiser," "The Beast of Berlin," and "The Prussian Cur." Remember when French fries became "freedom fries" in the run-up to the Iraq war? Thanks in part to the CPI, sauerkraut become "victory cabbage."

Under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, Wilson's administration shut down newspapers and magazines at an astounding pace. Indeed, any criticism of the government, even in your own home, could earn you a prison sentence. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn't want to buy Liberty Bonds.

The Wilson administration sanctioned what could be called an American fascist, the American Protective League. The APL - a quarter million strong at its height, with offices in 600 cities - carried government-issued badges while beating up dissidents and protesters and conducting warrantless searches and interrogations. Even after the war, Wilson refused to release the last of America's political prisoners, leaving it to subsequent Republican administrations to free the anti-war Socialist Eugene V. Debs and others.

The left claims that president Bush seeks to do something like this with the war on terror. But look at the evidence. No newspapers closed down, a sum total of three detainees water-boarded, two hard core terrorists who happen to be American citizens have had their habeus corpus rights "infringed." After 9/11 President Bush asked the American people to go shopping, not to give up capitalism.

Meanwhile, on the left, self-styled progressives keep trying to recreate the New Deal and the progressive era. New York Times columnist pines for a "new progressive era." Barack Obama gushed about how he was re-dedicating his campaign at the University of Wisconsin where the Progressive movement was born. Hillary says she's not a liberal but a "modern progressive."

Now, obviously, none of the current crop of self-described progressives are eager to replay the darkest chapters of the past. But we make a mistake when we assume that we can cherry pick only the good parts of our past to re-create.
Jonah Goldberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Liberal Fascism.

Folks, if you have been following the Glenn Beck email blasts I have been copy/pasting here, ya gotta agree this is probably the most scariest and eye opening.

2 comments:

USpace said...

Good stuff. The Libs are going to keep freaking out about this, hopefully some will actually read it. The truth hurts I know. He sure will change some minds though. He did extensive research. Facts can not be denied. Libs have to at least read his interview with Salon.com before you can dismiss him.

Remember, Liberals are smart and like to read the facts. *wink*

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
the Right is always wrong

and the Left is always right
and facts don't matter at all

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
keep poor people poor

ALWAYS vote Democrat
only good intentions count

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
profit is evil

punish efficient business
steal money for government

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
destroy all corporations

put people out of work
make world a better place

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
politics is religion

feeling is most important
thinking is not required

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
claim to care for people

call yourself progressive
your policies hurt poor folk

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
elect women presidents

who cover for their husbands
who rape other women

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
vote for any woman

better than any man
none could make things any worse

.
if you're MAD
punish your country
VOTE for Hillary


http://absurdthoughtsaboutgod.blogspot.com/

:)
.

Michigan Redneck said...

It's rather sad that our public schools don't teach these things/truths about our "progressive past leaders."