Tolerance, Health and Fascism

I cannot count the number of times I heard liberal professors and liberal writers quote the phrase: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

The phrase is brilliant. There is actually no threat to America of fascism coming from the right. The essence of the American right, after all, is less government; and fascism, by definition, demands ever larger government.

Therefore, if there is a real fascist threat to America, it comes from the left, whose appetite for state power is essentially unlimited. But because the left has so long dominated American intellectual, academic, artistic, and media life, it has succeeded in implanting fear of the right.

I have never written that there is a threat of fascism in America. I always considered the idea overwrought. But now I believe there really is such a threat — and it will come draped not in an American flag, but in the name of tolerance and health.

Before explaining what this means, let’s be clear about what this does not mean.

First, it does not mean, or have anything in common with, Nazism. Nazism may have been a form of fascism. But Nazism was a unique form of fascism and a unique evil. It was race-based and it was genocidal. No other expression of fascism was race-based. And not all fascism is genocidal. So my fear that the American left is moving America toward an expression of fascism in no way implies anything Nazi-like or genocidal.

Second, it is not liberals or liberalism that presents a threat of fascism. It is the left. Liberals of the 1940s to 1970s such as John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, Hubert Humphrey, Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and so many others were not leftists. They were liberals.

But liberalism has been taken over by the left. There are virtually no non-left liberals.

The left now has a president who is a true leftist who is asserting unprecedented presidential power through his cabinet and myriad other agencies (such as the Environmental Protection Agency) and through presidential decrees. The left has taken over the universities and, increasingly, high schools and elementary schools. It dominates the news and entertainment media. And many judges and courts are leftist — meaning that their decisions are guided by leftism more than by the law or the Constitution.

With all this power, the left controls more and more of the life of the American citizen. And when nothing stops the left, the left doesn’t stop.

Take tolerance.

Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that an event photographer’s refusal on religious grounds to shoot the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple amounted to illegal discrimination.

The photographer had never objected to photographing gays. She did not, however, wish to be part of a ceremony to which she religiously objected. In America today, thanks to myriad laws and progressive justices, people can go to prison for refusing to participate in an event to which they object.

This is what happened to a florist in Washington state who had always sold flowers to gay customers but refused to be the florist for a gay wedding: sued and fined.

This is what happened to a baker in Oregon who had always sold his goods to gays but refused to provide his products to a gay wedding: sued and fined.

This is what happened in Massachusetts, Illinois and elsewhere to Catholic Charities, historically the largest adoption agency in America. Their placing children with married (man-woman) couples, rather than with same-sex couples, was deemed intolerant and a violation of the law. In those and other states, Catholic Charities has left adoption work.

In the name of tolerance — and fighting sexual harassment — five- and six-year-old boys all over the country are brought to the police for innocently touching a girl.

In the name of tolerance, girls’ high school teams in California and elsewhere must now accept male players who feel female.

In the name of tolerance, businesses cannot fire a man who one day shows up on the sales floor dressed as a woman.

For the left, tolerance does not mean tolerance. It means first, acceptance. And second, celebration. That is totalitarianism: You not only have to live with what you may differ with, dear citizen, you have to celebrate it or pay a steep price.

Meanwhile, in the name of health, there is a similar intrusion into the life of the individual. We saw it in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for a law limiting the amount of soda a person can order at one time.

In the name of health, people are banned from smoking outdoors, cigar stores are prohibited from allowing customers to smoke inside, and, incredibly, California is about to ban electronic "cigarettes" as if they were real cigarettes, even though they contain no tobacco, nothing is burning, and they emit only water vapor.

In the name of health, some businesses, like the Bert Fish Medical Center in Florida and Kids II, Inc. (Baby Einstein, Disney Baby) do not hire those who smoke at home. In the name of health, for the first time in American history, what you do — legally — at home will be reason for companies not hiring or terminating employees.

In the name of safety, first-grade boys are suspended from schools for playfully aiming a pencil at another boy and "shooting" him.

And then there are the ubiquitous "re-education" and "rehabilitation" seminars that the allegedly insensitive need to take at both private and government workplaces and the speech codes at nearly all universities.

The only question is: Will Americans awaken to the increasingly rapid deprivation of their freedoms — not draped in an American flag but draped in tolerance and health?

Dennis Prager’s latest book, "Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph," was published April 24 by HarperCollins. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.Com.


  • Bob Olden

    “The left has taken over the universities and, increasingly, high schools and elementary schools. It dominates the news and entertainment media. And many judges and courts are leftist — meaning that their decisions are guided by leftism more than by the law or the Constitution. With all this power, the left controls more and more of the life of the American citizen. And when nothing stops the left, the left doesn’t stop.”

    This quote encapsulates the dynamic that is suffocating freedom in America. I keep looking for the younger generation to awaken to what is happening and put a stop to the left, but even my own children don’t seem to see anything wrong with the way things are… yet. However, they are now raising children of their own, and my prayer is that the door of leftist fascism will not shut too tightly before their eyes are opened.

    Keep sounding the alarm, Dennis! You articulate the danger better than anybody else!

  • I Hate Fascists

    Fascism is government of the people by/for the Koch Bros. Fascism is theocracy. Fascism is an upper class making the rules and being free to ignore the rules. Fascism is voter suppression / intimidation. Fascism is institutionalized hatred against minorities. Fascism is a constant drumbeat of hatred against the President. Fascism is magnifying non-issues into scandals. Fascism is using terrorist tactics to undermine universal healthcare. Fascism is preventing the EPA from protecting the environment. Fascism is preventing the CFPB from protecting consumers. Fascism by definition means ever larger government? Quite the opposite. Iran has a rather small government. So does North Korea. Do you want to live there? You right wingers are all Fascists and YOU WILL NEVER TAKE THIS COUNTRY BACK!!!!!!!

    • John Daly

      In other words, fascism is whatever you want it to be. You might as well have replaced the word with “mold” in that rant. It wouldn’t have made any less sense.

      • therealguyfaux

        George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” (essay, 1946):
        “The word ‘Fascism’ has now no meaning except insofar as it signifies ‘something not desirable’.”

        It died from overuse, even in GO’s day. As in how it has been used by the Left, it’s a zombie.

        Dennis’ point was made by Ayn Rand, back in the Kennedy days— if unchecked, the incremental invasions on our freedoms which some Libs favor, some Libs perhaps sincerely unwittingly oblivious to what it can lead to, will become the functional equivalent of a fascistic regime as Dennis defines it. Nobody listened then, as she was a “nut case,” you know. Would they had done.

    • Frosty

      Voter suppression? You mean like when the Black Panthers showed up to intimidate and threaten white voters?
      A drumbeat of hatred? You mean like the drumbeat that drove the man who attacked the conservative organization’s office?

      • I Hate Fascists

        No like institutionalized voter suppression. Like North Carolina where they are on a mission to prevent students at all black colleges from voting. Like the drumbeat every day in this Fascist Fantasyland website that drives cult followers like you into a hating frenzy.

        • Frosty

          Oh, someone might have to show an ID when they go to vote – shock horror! You crack me up. Pathetic.

          • I Hate Fascists

            In North Carolina no college student using an address on a college campus will be allowed to get an id. Also polling places near black colleges are being shut down.

          • DanB_Tiffin

            Good for NC. Keep those thieving lying college dopes from voting both in their hometowns and in their college towns. You cannot be too careful with the liberal thieves that the universities turn out these days. Besides outright theft of money, voter fraud is one of the liberal’s growth industries.

          • I Hate Fascists

            And you will lose anyway. And we will keep stealing your money. Count on it.

        • DanB_Tiffin

          Tell us all about it, little miss victim.

          • I Hate Fascists

            I just told you pigfucker

          • DanB_Tiffin

            Snivel snivel little wussy about all the poor victims you see around every corner and behind every tree!

          • I Hate Fascists

            Go back to playing RapeLay and doing obscene things to your Michelle Bachman blow up doll.

          • DanB_Tiffin

            Why don’t you go rescue one of those victims you see all over the place, (face to face coward!) but use your own money this time, thief!

          • I Hate Fascists

            Flattery will get you nowhere fuckboy

          • DanB_Tiffin

            Just childish obscene insults from you since you cannot refute the truth, proven coward and thief!

          • I Hate Fascists

            Hey cumdrinker. When I want doo-doo from you I will squeeze your head.

    • Integrity

      Not my quote, but a very appropriate one in your case, “Profanity is a weak mind’s feeble attempt to express itself forcefully.” QED

    • Wheels55

      Obama = Fascism

      • I Hate Fascists

        Good little cult follower