Glenn talks with Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism

GLENN: We're repeating the same mistakes and, gang, it is not going to be good for us. Now, the other book I want you to read is I talked to you about it yesterday, Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism. This guy has written the book that I was going to write. In fact, is he on? Is Jonah on now? Welcome to the program, Jonah.


Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg


Also see: Glenn's Recommended Reading List

GOLDBERG: How's it going?

GLENN: I'm very good. I have to tell you I picked your book up Friday, started to read it and honestly, Jonah, this is about the book I was going to write. We were about 18 months away from another book and this is what I was going to write because I have been so fascinated by -- well, it started with when I read The Forgotten Man. I don't think the Soviet Union and after McCarthy, all of these people just disappeared. The Soviet Union disappeared. They just renamed themselves. These people have been doing this since the Progressive movement in our country in the early 1900s and they've just morphed into something we don't recognize anymore, but it is, as you say in your book, it's fascism.

GOLDBERG: That's right. It's a kind of fascism. It's not the hard fascism of Naziism. I don't think Hillary Clinton wants to put anybody in a camp. It's a soft fascism. It's a nanny state fascism, but it's what the Progressives call the desire for social control, to get rid of, you know, chaotic capitalistic individualism and have the sort of cultic unity where we all work together. And you are right, the labels change but the underlying ideas and motivations are the same. The only reason we've called liberals liberals for the last 75 years is because after World War I they so destroyed the word "Progressive," the label "Progressive" that they had to come up with something new and so they picked up "Liberal" even though at the time "Liberal" meant the exact opposite of Progressivism. Liberal meant what it means in Europe, which it still means there today which is someone who believes in limited government, free market, free mind, free society. And the Progressives, you know, because they so butchered this country during World War I in terms of creating the first propaganda ministry ever --

GLENN: I mean, Jonah, talk about this because this is fascinating. I know nothing other than, you know, other than he was for one, you know, world government, Woodrow Wilson. Talk a little bit about this. This is fascinating stuff.

GOLDBERG: Woodrow Wilson, I write my book, and I'm actually not the first person to say this. I'm actually taking a lot from other historians and putting it all in one place which you can't find anywhere else. And Woodrow Wilson was in many respects the first -- forget the word fascist for two seconds. The first totalitarian dictator in western civilization, modern one at least.

GLENN: Explain why.

GOLDBERG: Well, he creates the first propaganda ministry, he unleashes 100,000 propaganda agents on the United States where he sends them out sometimes without revealing their identities to give these speeches in all public places to persuade people to support the war, to distrust Germans, to hate immigrants. Wilson creates these, under Wilson, the Justice Department creates the American Protective League at a time where 250,000 badge-carrying goons who were allowed to beat people up in the street, arrest people in mass arrests, do home break-ins without warrants, spy on people, do government background checks, carry badges. They were just basically what, you know, what were called a bunch of sort of street gang political goons who could do the Government's bidding at will. Wilson closed down scores of newspapers and magazines, threatened thousands of others with closing them down, used the mail service, which back then was like the Internet and mail combined. I mean, it was where everyone got their information, used the postal service to clamp down on all dissent. One woman who spoke in her own home about how she liked Lenin was given six months in jail. One guy refused to stand up for the Star-Spangled Banner at a baseball game, was shot in the back. Another guy refused to sing the national anthem at a liberty bond drive, was beaten senseless. These guys were not convicted of anything because they were just doing their patriotic duty. Even if you buy the caricature of George Bush and Joseph McCarthy, if you buy the cartoon version of what's out there, they still, still look like co-hosts of romper room compared to what Woodrow Wilson did in this country.

GLENN: Okay. Now, you say that because all of those things sound like how they portrayed Dick Cheney and George Bush because of the war and et cetera, et cetera. How is that Liberal Fascism?

GOLDBERG: Well, at first the phrase Liberal Fascism as you know, H.G. Wells was arguably the most popular liberal/Progressive intellectual and English speaking language in the first half of this 20th century, hugely influential socialist, founding member -- or member of the Fabian socialists, met with FDR in the Oval Office --

GLENN: Hang on. Jonah, I have to tell you. I feel like the dumbest guy in the world. I really do. What's so amazing, this shows us how our educational system has failed us. While I was on vacation over the holiday, I found out about the Fabian movement. I had never even heard of it. You want to talk about something that is unbelievably frightening in today's world. It describes what we're doing now, who our politicians are now.

GOLDBERG: These global elites, H2L is a global fascism where we seceded our sovereignty, our global control to what he called a world brain and that's what you see in things like the UN, all these places where, you know, the Supreme Court today is, you know, the liberals in the Supreme Court are invoking foreign laws to figure out what our Constitution means, and it is this sort of elitist, aristocratic, nondemocratic, bureaucratic management by the chosen sort of master brains of the globe that, you know, Bill Clinton, this global Clinton initiative and all these sort of things, it's a big part of what they are trying to do.

GLENN: When Hillary Clinton first said -- and it was in one of the debates. They said, are you a liberal? She said, no, because that means big government, et cetera, et cetera. She said, I like to refer to myself as a Progressive in the early -- because it invokes a real American feel, the Progressives of the early 20th century. That made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

GOLDBERG: That was great and that was a classic Clintonism because what she did there was -- it's like when she talks about her family values, upbringing in Illinois and being a conservative girl. She wants credit for the things she used to believe even though she doesn't believe them anymore. And the same thing with this Progressive thing. She says, oh, well, liberal means big government and I'm not for that; that's why I call myself a Progressive. Well, the Progressives were the original big government people.

GLENN: Right. They were the ones who brought us prohibition and the income tax and everything else.

GOLDBERG: You know, look. When people say, oh, when I argue that Progressives were specific -- and one of the reasons I do that is because the Progressives were in large numbers openly pro Mussolini in the 1920s. This is before Naziism. They liked what Mussolini was doing. But when I say this, you know, a lot of liberals will say, how can you say that? You know, fascism means racism. Well, in fact, it doesn't. Naziism means racism. Fascism doesn't mean racism. But if you want to define it by racism, the Progressives were unrelentingly racist. You know, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, her whole agenda was to keep the inferior races from overbreeding. She spoke to a rally at the KKK in the late 1920s. All of the Progressives were deep seated believers in one form or another of eugenics. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the liberal saint of the Supreme Court, he considered the first and primary goal of public policy to build a race, not a state, not a nation. A race. He was a huge believer in eugenics. The New Republic which openly supported Mussolini in the 1920s also bought entirely into the eugenics movement. And all of this stuff remains like the crazy aunts in your attic no one talks about, it informs the spirit of Progressivism today which is now liberalism.

GLENN: Okay. So Jonah, because my eyes are starting to be opened, I look at this stuff and honestly when I first read over the holiday about Fabianism, I had to get to the Internet right away because I thought, there is no way this stuff is true because there's no way I didn't learn this. There's no way I haven't heard this. This has got to be fringe, this has to be -- this is not what I'm reading. Because I was reading a fringe book. And then I go to the Internet and I look it up and I see H. G. Wells, I see all these people. The stuff that George Bernard Shaw has said is phenomenal.

GOLDBERG: I've argued this for years, I've never heard a good rebuttal. I think he was the most evil intellectual in the English speaking world.

GLENN: Have you seen the phrase that he said where you don't have a right to be -- you must be a useful member of society and you must eat and if we can't force you to eat and we can't force you to be a useful member of society, then we can gently and humanely kill you?

GOLDBERG: Oh, yeah. George Bernard Shaw like many of the Fabian socialists was very keen on gas chambers. The idea that this was something the Nazis thought of is simply not true. There are a huge number of socialist intellectuals who want to send the inferior stocks, the lower classes and the rest of the undesirables off to gas chambers, hang them from the nearest lamp post, all of that kind of stuff.

GLENN: But it's all friendly. It's all because it's for the good of society. It's for the good of all of us. It is fascism with a happy face.

GOLDBERG: That's right. Here's my favorite quote -- sorry to interrupt but I mean, I think you'll get it. Hillary Clinton said in a speech in 1996, a major address, you know, that was written in advance. She used this line and similar circumstances elsewhere. But she says we as a country need to move beyond the idea that there's anything, there's any such thing as someone else's child. Now, I'm sorry. My child is my child and my wife's child, maybe her child and my child, but it is not the State's child, it is not the collective child, it is not the community's child. I'm glad for their help sometimes when necessary, but the idea that our children aren't our own is the fundamental driving impulse of all of the isms of the left, progressivism, fascism, Naziism, communism. All of them sought to crack the outer shell of the nuclear family and get control of the children. Woodrow Wilson says the chief job of an educator is to make -- and he says this to parents -- your children as little like you as possible. That is the agenda and that is still the agenda that we have today.

GLENN: Jonah, I haven't gotten to the end of the book where you do talk a little bit about Hillary Clinton and everybody else. Do you go into Barack Obama or anybody else on the left? Do you --

GOLDBERG: I'm sorry. No, I'm sorry. I've been locked in a basement for four years working on this. So I get a little hyper. I mention Barack Obama briefly because he has the same influence as Hillary, a very radical guy who can get over the fact that he is a hero of the left and calls himself a man of the left, speaks about the need for violence, the confrontation and destroying the classes and all that kind of stuff. So I mention that briefly. But you see some of this in Barack Obama as well. And I think Barack Obama is a decent guy, he is not an evil person, I'm not using fascist the way the left does to simply say evil, evil, evil. Barack Obama I think is an honorable and decent guy, but he subscribes to this cult of unity, this idea of that if we just all join hands and march toward the sunny uplands of history and buy each other a Coke, everything will be solved. And that was the same with Hitler, that was the idea of leaders of men in Woodrow Wilson, this idea that we just rally around the spiritual fresh of one man of the nation, all our problems will be redeemed.

GLENN: Jonah Goldberg, I would like to talk to you off the air because I would like to develop a series for the television show and we can break this up, your book up in several different pieces over several different days. Every America needs to read your book. It is absolutely phenomenal. You will understand where we are, who is leading us, where it has come from. It is just a fantastic book and I can't thank you enough for writing it.

GOLDBERG: Glenn, I can't thank you enough for the support. Books need friends and you are great friend to have.

GLENN: Thanks very much. Jonah Goldberg. The name of the book is Liberal Fascism. Please, please pick it up.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?