The Corner

Ron Paul and the F-Word

I don’t think anyone has mentioned Ron Paul’s reaction to the Huckabee Christmas ad.  Asked about it on Fox News yesterday, Paul said:

It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said. He says, “when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.” Now I don’t know whether that’s a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross, like he is the only Christian or implying that subtly. So, I don’t think I would ever use anything like that.

Make of that what you will.  But the USA Today political blog looked into the accuracy of Paul’s quotation:

According to the executive director of The Sinclair Lewis Society, Illinois State University English Department associate dean Sally Parry, “it sounds like something Sinclair Lewis might have said or written … but we’ve never been able to attribute it to him.” We spoke to her by telephone this morning.  After the conversation, Parry sent us an e-mail with passages from two books Lewis wrote that at least hint at the words Paul attributed to him.

From It Can’t Happen Here: “But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”

From Gideon Planish: “I just wish people wouldn’t quote Lincoln or the Bible, or hang out the flag or the cross, to cover up something that belongs more to the bank-book and the three golden balls.”

According to Parry, the Lewis Society’s website “must get a query about this (quote) every week.” She doesn’t know how it originally came to be attributed to Lewis.


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