Democrats have fostered the notion that Fascisim is a right-wing ideology. That’s always been hard for me to swallow given that the three Fasicst governments in history never seemed very right-winged to me. The three Fascist regimes were Nazi Germany, Italy under Mussolini, and the longest lasting of the three being Francisco Franco’s Spain from 1939 until Franco’s death in 1975. None of these were right wing, at least not according to Democrat’s definition of “right wing” meaning conservatives in America from and after about 1950.
Democrats base their accusation of fascism against conservatives mainly on the abortion issue. I guess they believe pro-life is fascist and pro-abortion is the pinnacle of enlightened reason. The trouble with that is one’s position on abortion does not neatly fall along the lines of one’s overall political preference. While conservatives are more likely to be pro-life and liberals more likely to be pro-abortion, there are conservatives who are pro-abortion, lots of them in fact, and liberals who are pro-life. Fewer of those it’s true, but still more than just a few.
A charge of Fascisim doesn’t square with what most conservatives generally believe. Constitutionally limited government is the main tenet upon which nearly all conservatives agree. You might say the idea of the Federal government being one of enumerated and limited powers, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, is the very essence of conservatism in America. It is the one idea most agreed upon. In all else associated with conservatism there is more diversity of opinion among American conservatives.
Jonah Goldberg worked hard to find a general definition of Fascism in his book, Liberal Fascisim:
[T]otalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action [Gleichschaltung], whether by force or through regulation and social pressure.
If one accepts Goldberg’s definition of Fascism, and applying it to the three Fascist regimes mentioned at the beginning of this post I think it is hard not to accept it as accurate, it’s also an accurate definition of liberalism in America. It fits radical feminism perfectly. In no way does it describe conservatives.
The Republican party as presently constituted is not the natural home of conservatives. It’s just all they’ve got right now. The Republican leadership favors big government almost as much as do Democrats. Nevertheless, to call the Republican party Fascist is so inaccurate as to be idiotic. The Republican party began as a movement to end slavery in America. From after the Civil War until the 1932 election black Americans voted solidly Republican in percentages nearly the same as they give to the Democrat party today. Even though the Republican party had lost the black vote 32 years earlier, it was the Republican party who most championed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was also the Republican party that strongly supported the Supreme Court’s decision ending school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, and gave majority support to Republican President Eisenhower’s Civil Rights Act of 1957 which was meant to assist and extend the Court’s decision in Brown and protect voting rights of black Americans. It was Republican President Eisenhower who sent Federal troops to Arkansas to enforce desegregation of schools when it was being strongly resisted by its then Arkansas governor Orville Faubus.
William Jefferson Clinton’s main hero, Senator J. William Fulbright, was a staunch segregationist.
Neither Conservatives nor the Republican party deserve to be called Fascists. It’s high time for the real Fascists to stand up.