I’ve written a piece on one of the touchiest topics of the year: “The F-Word: Donald Trump and concerns about fascism.” Is he or isn’t he? People who are worried that he is: Are they nuts, or do they have a point? Are their concerns founded or unfounded?
Let me quote something that comes near the end of my piece:
Ever since I adopted Reaganite or classical-liberal views when I was in college, I have been called a fascist, a racist, and all the rest of it. That’s the way the Left operates. I know the sting of false accusation. I can think of one instance, right now, in which I was labeled a fascist in a prominent arts institution. People are stupid, reckless, ignorant, mean.
I do not bring up the F-word lightly, about anybody.
Martin Luther King Jr. led a famously noble, and beneficial, life. But it had its low moments, including, in my opinion, in his Nobel lecture: which was delivered several weeks after Election Day 1964, when Johnson swamped Goldwater:
Another indication that progress is being made was found in the recent presidential election in the United States. The American people revealed great maturity by overwhelmingly rejecting a presidential candidate who had become identified with extremism, racism, and retrogression. The voters of our nation rendered a telling blow to the radical right. They defeated those elements in our society which seek to pit white against Negro and lead the nation down a dangerous Fascist path.
Goldwater may have been wrong about some things. But a fascist? That is slanderous, and nutty.
Let me say a word about my general camp — the Reagan conservatives and classical liberals: We are the antithesis of fascists. We favor decentralization. Free enterprise. Individual rights. Equality under the law. Equality of opportunity. Pluralism. And so on.
Yet we are called fascists, as we go through life, because that’s what the Left does. It is one of their magic words. (Orwell was pointed about this, as about so many things.)
Anyway, see what you think of this piece on Trump, and the signs he has given that he is not exactly a model liberal democrat. Chew it over. Argue with it, agree with it, sleep on it, whatever. We are lucky to live in a liberal democracy. So few do, in the world.
I have noticed something this year, more than in any other year: People tell you how to vote. How you must vote. For or against Trump. For or against Hillary. The other day, Speaker Ryan, who has endorsed Trump, spoke of freedom of conscience. That’s the ticket.