Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Several years ago, political analyst and never-Trumper Jonah Goldberg raised some eyebrows with a revealing recount of the American Left, making an arduous attempt to define liberalism. The title of his book was “Liberal Fascism.”
People today might be surprised that Goldberg caused the impact that he did. Goldberg’s 2016 denouncement of the president sent his career into a downward spiral. In 2009 however, America was trying to overcome the 2008 financial meltdown and the disastrous election that followed. Republicans were yet to differentiate “constitutionalist” from “ne0-conservative (neocon).”
Then came Rand Paul and his “Tea-Party” movement. In Paul’s book, “The Tea Party Goes to Washington,” the “neocons” were defined as “lovers of a large, Washington D.C. based government, whose purpose was to advance and facilitate conservative principles.” The question that arose was “who” defines conservative. The neocons self-labeled themselves “free traders.”
The final nails in the coffin took place with Donald Trump’s campaign and subsequent election. Trump translated neocons’ label “free traders” to mean “okay with shipping American jobs overseas.” Previously creditable pundits such as Bill Kristol, Stephen Hayes, Geraldo Rivera and Goldberg were eyed with suspicion and gradually abandoned.
Republicans and Americans suddenly had a choice!
In 2009 “Liberal Fascism” was seen as a frontal assault by the Democrat establishment. As would have been expected, the book was ridiculed and chastised by those who were the topic. And no wonder! It introduced a new perspective on the multitude of theories and practices that define fascism.
I recall the book cover. It featured a smiley face with a Hitler mustache. Truisms that were once considered unspeakable were professed! Thirteen years later, we are seeing the definition of a “liberal fascist” manifested!
Three days ago, CNN described the Canadian convoy truckers as “enemies of Democracy.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called them “terrorists.” The truckers had different words for their actions. It amounted to a peaceful protest against endless government mandates and lockdowns that had accompanied the COVID 19 pandemic.
Ninety percent of the truckers had allegedly taken the shot. In many cases, more than once. It was not about going against the grain. A better description was a weariness of government overreach. In short, they echo what many in the United States and Canada are saying: “That government is out of control, unchecked and has become a menace.”
The Founding Fathers had feared that this day might come. Their answer was a “Convention of States.” Most in the U.S. and Canada may not be at that point. Yet, there are increasing numbers of welcoming ears to Thomas Jefferson’s famous proclamation, “When people fear government, you have tyranny. When government fears the people, you have Liberty.”
We are seeing some positive signs of “pandemic measure relaxation.” However, it’s far from a pace that is considered justified. There is growing suspicion that many lower-level bureaucrats greatly enjoy their newly gained authority. You see continuous exhibitions of this tendency in state and local government, not to mention, academia.
In some cases, such as in the case of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, it has become nothing short of tyrannical! Beshear’s mask mandate was ultimately struck down as unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court. A year earlier, Beshear had warned that any churchgoers would be prosecuted during the COVID lockdown, promising to have state police record their license plate numbers as proof of their non-compliance.
The University of Kentucky president ignored the Supreme Court’s mask mandate verdict, warning faculty and staff that they would be suspended without pay if they failed to maintain the university masking policy. “The shot” is required as a condition of employment at the University of Kentucky.
School children, including those in K-5, continued to be forced to mask up even though statistics have proven that people under 25 have minimal chances of COVID fatalities.
All in a state that Donald Trump won by 28 points in the 2020 election!
When I asked Kentucky State Representative, Josh Bray, “why” the state had academicians and bureaucrats so out of sync with the populace, he ruefully surmised: “Democrats are better organized. They strategically place their hardliners in the bureaucracy. Academicians can express their political opinions without fear of repercussion. We have a lot of ‘soft’ Republicans who will allow the minority to run roughshod over the majority.”
Bray agreed that an impeachment proceeding should have been filed against Beshear. The pandemic brought out the governor’s fascist inclinations tenfold! Yet, there was reluctance from many of the old-line Republicans in the House and Senate. My question to him and Kentucky State Senator Jared Carpenter was simple: “We have overwhelming Republican majorities in the Kentucky General Assembly. Why don’t we make an example of the governor? After all, he is way out of line! He is trampling on Kentuckians’ civil liberties!”
They had no ready answer. It amounted to: “There will be another election in 2023 and by then the people of Kentucky will have had more than enough of him.”
In other words, “don’t rock the boat.”
My cousin in Alpharetta, Georgia had more descriptive words for their action. “We have a lot of wimps and wusses in our General Assembly here.”
In essence, to echo the late, great, fellow Georgian, Herman Cain, “We need to have a RINO hunt!”
In essence, while some self-professed conservatives might have had a brief moment, they are now seen as part of the problem, as opposed to part of the solution.
Cain’s “RINO hunt” is happening, but not nearly fast enough! While many self-professed Republicans fear a Trump return, they dare not openly denounce him. For these “Republicans,” Trump is and will always be, the proverbial outsider who engineered a hostile takeover of the party.
Today Goldberg is joining CNN as a guest contributor. Most see this as an attempt to save his tattered career. It will be interesting to see if he reverses his position on “liberal fascism.”
Either way, the shift toward fascist totalitarianism demonstrated by elected leaders and unelected bureaucrats is alarming. There is increasing evidence that Americans have had enough.
If he’s fortunate, Goldberg might be remembered for giving the practice a name.
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