Liberal Fascism


From a reader:

I saw Patton Oswalt on Comedy Central the other night.  Very funny but quite a lefty.  Anyway, he was lamenting that NPR has such lousy music, while “fascists” like Limbaugh and O’Reilly have great rock as their music.  His descriptions of the music on NPR were screamingly funny, by the way.   On Bull Durham, though, I think you’re off-base (sorry).  The use is intentionally metaphoric.  With baseball as a metaphor for life, the view of a struggling minor league catcher of strikeouts as authoritarian is understandable.  Crash wants to play the game.  Strikeouts represent the imposition of the will of the pitcher without any participation by the batter or the other players.  So they are both boring, and, in that sense, fascist.  Ground balls allow the batter to hit it, the fielder to field it and the first baseman to catch it.  Far more democratic.   I’m all for pointing out when folks use the word stupidly, but we shouldn’t go overboard and get pedantic with respect to it’s usage as a metaphor.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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