Rather than try to summarize the life and work of a man who’s given the left blogosphere so much over the years, I’ll allow Jonah to speak on his own behalf today, the 39th anniversary of his glorious and very serious descent from the womb.
For the first time, I’ve collected some of the most inspiring, serious, and carefully researched moments from the blog dedicated to that most serious of political tomes, Liberal Fascism. You might think I’ve captured the essential seriousness of Goldberg here, but you’d be mistaken, because it’s Jonah who’s captured his own essential seriousness and — in the form of a prose poem — conveyed it through me, his greatest and most serious fan, to you:
I’m not entirely sure how this thing will turn out. I wonder if Big Bird felt this way when all of a sudden everyone got to play with snuffeluphagus?
I promise: I’ll go as deep in the weeds as people want. I don’t want to get weedy on this, at least not yet. That’s too weedy to get into here, but I don’t believe I do and I think fair-minded readers will see this simply by reading the introduction.
Attacks like this are a sign that I’ve hit on something real. There’s a lot — and I mean a lot — of rank nonsense, base-stealing and all around goofy-headed flapdoodle in here. There’s not much percentage in wrestling with pigs over whether I’m a fat-gay-racist-spoiled-moron. There’s no percentage in debating such people. But don’t worry about me. Ultimately it’s a bit like getting a booster shot. The prick hurts for a second and then your immunity is improved over all. As for the charge I’m the product of nepotism: Yawn.
But much of the criticism I get from the left amounts to, “even if you’re right, so what?” I’ve often been reluctant to write about my views on it because there’s no way to avoid sounding arrogant and self-serving.
Okay, here are some rapid-fire responses. The early New Deal was in many respects more militaristic than Hitler’s Germany in the early 1930s. On college campuses, administrators routinely look the other way at classically fascist behavior, from newspaper burnings to the physical intimidation of dissident speakers. These attitudes ultimately stem from the view that the white man, like the Jew, represents every facet of what is wrong and oppressive to humanity. Or witness the common refrain on the left that “if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.” That is as fascistic as any of the Nazis slogans. This organic food movement, the whole-grain bread operation, the war on cancer, the war on smoking, that these things were as fascist as death camps and yellow stars. They were as central to the ideology of Nazism as the extermination of the Jews.
This points to one reason why I say contemporary liberalism, to the extent it can be called a relative of classical fascism, is a nice form of fascism. We’re going to nicey-nice ourselves into oblivion, enjoying it all of the way down. That’s my nightmare scenario.
Politically, fascism is indeed a form of populism. All oars in a fascistic society must pull together. The worst practitioner is John Edwards. His “two Americas” rhetoric strikes deeply fascistic chords. Mike Huckabee is another guy who plays this us-versus-them card deftly. Lou Dobbs is another. Again, fascism will come during a moment of broad cross-class agreement, not disagreement.
But that does not mean I am calling liberals Nazis. Democracy and liberalism are not fascistic. I don’t argue anywhere that liberals want to put the Pale Penis People in Prison. I marshal hundreds of pages of evidence to back up my points. I think anatomically my argument is very strong. I’d need to know specifically what he wrote in “The Doctrine of Fascism.” It’s been about three years since I’ve read it.
This is getting really old. I could go on, but you probably get it. But once I get started, it’s hard to stop. I can do this all day. I could quite literally do this all day. I could also go on about how McCarthyism has its roots in progressivism.
Anyhow I’m done with this now. I will definitely be doing a collection of funnier writing or some such in the future.