Smiley-Face Fascism

Barack Obama ran on the slogan “Change You Can Believe In.” Since his administration came to power in January, many Americans and people from all over the world have wondered what those changes will be. Would he be a far left ideologue (he was the most liberal-voting US Senator), would he govern from a center-left position (Bill & Hillary Clinton), or would he form a bi-partisan coalition from both sides of the political spectrum to deal with the nation’s problems (John McCain)?

I have also anxiously watched the moves of the new administration and listened to much commentary on the style and policies of our 44th president. I’ve heard the term “socialist” used to describe the new president. Some have even wondered whether there are “communist” leanings among his appointees and approach to various policies.

Like many of you I’ve been intermittently prayerful, worried, frustrated, burdened, and confused about the road America appears to be taking in 2009. The bad signs include:

  • The federal government passing a “stimulus package” that increased our debt by nearly one trillion dollars. It was too much debt that got us into this mess.
  • The so-called stimulus package contained over 9,000 pork barrel earmarks–basically paybacks to certain groups and constituencies that voted in our current leaders.
  • Certain banks, financial institutions, and now the auto industry have been partially nationalized. Government is becoming the master of some businesses, their profits, even salaries.
  • Now we’re about to add a nearly four trillion dollar Federal budget–meaning that in less than one hundred days, Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress will have spent more than all past presidents and Congresses combined. Remember that four trillion dollars is equivalent to spending four million dollars a day since the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Certainly all this out-of-control spending will lead dangerous inflationary pressures, the tanking of the dollar, and maybe even a Depression.

On April 3, 2009, during the G20 summit in Europe, Barack Obama announced, “Let me say this as clearly as I can: America is changing.” What does he mean? What direction does he want to take us?

I think I finally know.

Many years ago I learned during my basketball-playing days that you can’t be effective on offense if you don’t understand the defense you’re up against.  That understanding will dictate your offensive strategy. We the people of faith and commitment to the American Dream must understand what we are up against in 2009 in order to win the battle for our nation and civilization.

We are fighting against an American version of fascism.

Let me explain.

A very prophetic and insightful book was written in 2007–well ahead of the 2008 elections. Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg became a New York Times #1 best-seller. I read it soon after it debuted and marked it up extensively. Though I thought it was a little extreme two years ago, I realize now Goldberg was amazingly prescient about the changes some people wanted to bring to America. Barack Obama, not willing to let “a good crisis go to waste” is now the supreme change agent. The change in the air is moving America from freedom to fascism.

What is fascism? Here’s the Webster’s definition: “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” Oxford scholar and historian Robert Paxton further explains that “fascism is a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victim hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

Do, ACORN, or blame-America first community activists come to mind?

Goldberg points out that fascist states like Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany didn’t nationalize all businesses. They just controlled enough private businesses to achieve their social and political ends. Whereas socialism is total control of industry, and communism is complete control at gunpoint, fascism is a milder version of the same philosophy–a “partnership” between government elites and private commerce for the collective purposes of the “common good.” That’s where we’re headed in America today.

Jonah Goldberg states that American fascism has been a long time in the making. Teddy Roosevelt had fascist tendencies; Woodrow Wilson was the first truly fascist American leader. An intellectual, like Obama, he pursued grand visions for global government–the league of Nations which morphed into the UN; Franklin Roosevelt’s New deal was a quantum step forward in government control of private industry; LBJ’s Great Society was the social program format, and even some Republican presidents allowed the tentacles of Big Government to invade private industry under their watch.

Yet, the American version of fascism has a unique face. Goldberg says, “the American fascist tradition is deeply bound up with the effort to “Europeanize” America and give it a “modern” state look that can be harnessed to utopian ends. This American fascism is very different from its European variants because it was moderated by many special factors–geographical size, ethnic diversity, Jeffersonian individualism, a strong liberal tradition, and so on. As a result, America fascism is milder, more friendly, more “maternal” than its foreign counterparts; it is what George Carlin calls “smiley-face-fascism. Nice fascism.”

Goldberg’s book cover shows a smiley face with a Hitler mustache on it. Not very comforting.

It’s important to understand that liberalism, socialism, fascism, and communism are all cousins that are rooted in the same world view–atheism. They are man’s attempt to dethrone God, overthrow individual liberty, and force collective, politically correct behavior through an all powerful State. There are really only have two choices of final authority in a fallen world: under God or under men. Self-government under God brings liberty and prosperity to societies who live in freedom. Man-worship via the State brings bondage and poverty. William Penn said it best, “Men will either be governed by God or ruled by tyrants.”

America is again facing that choice in 2009. Will we restore our republic to being “one nation under God” or will we abandon it to Big Brother because we’re either asleep at the wheel or not willing to stand up and reform our own lives and institutions? American fascism–and maybe global fascism–is arising quickly in the body politic. What are we going to do about it?

We must begin a new American revolution to bring our nation back to God and his ways of liberty. I suggest the following points of action:

1. Commit to pray regularly and fervently for awakening among the people of God and repentance and faith among the nation as a whole. Get involved in the National Day of Prayer in your community–Thursday, May 7, 2009–and other local prayer thrusts.

2. Educate yourself on the threats to liberty that we face. Order Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, and study it well. You can also purchase the latest book on this subject, another #1 book New York Times bestseller, called Tyranny or Liberty by Mark Levin. Mark is a constitutional lawyer and radio host who makes the alternatives as clear as day and night. His book reminds me of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense which so stirred the American colonists to action some 250 years ago.

3. Probably the clearest television thinker on this subject is Glenn Beck on Fox . Glenn is a passionate and funny communicator that tends to extremism at times, but I think he’s got the right approach on this one. His TV ratings are soaring at the moment for good reason.

4. Join a Tea Party being held all over the nation on tax day, April 15th, to peacefully protest the growing government takeover of America. We, the people, need to take a stand for right. It is “right that makes might.”

5. Vote for a change of governmental direction in 2010 (House and Senate) and 2012 (Presidency). We made a terrible wrong turn in 2008. We must elect leaders who believe in God, liberty, and limited government.

Otherwise we will all live under smiley-faced fascism.


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