Glenn has been hearing growing calls on the right for America to elect a modern-day Francisco Franco. But he warns that if you know the FULL history of this Spanish dictator, you might think twice. Glenn and Stu “debate” the alleged “pros” and cons of Franco. Many have touted Franco’s love for his nation and apparent positive effect on tourism. But he also executed over 100,000 people and buried them in mass graves, abducted babies from families who disagreed with him, enacted Martial Law, seemed just fine with thinning out the Spanish population, and persecuted Protestants. So, Glenn has some words of caution for those on the right who may consider themselves Franco fans: “He was an evil dictator who committed atrocities…that is NOT America.”
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: So for some unknown reason, I said hey, let's do a debate on the good things and the bad things about Franco, Stu immediately said, I want to do the pro-Franco stuff. Because he's -- I didn't realize this, Stu. You're a big fan of Franco.
STU: No. This is all fraudulent information. And you would like that to be known. That he at that Glenn is lying as usual.
GLENN: That's not what America is hearing right now. But we'll go with that little lie of yours. So we looked at.
And I wanted to get somebody to debate the other side, like Stu. Because, you know, he's pretty thorough. He's a fact-based guy. And so I thought, let's get him. Because the facts are I think you can verify this. The facts are overwhelming in Franco's favor.
STU: I would not verify that. Actually, I feel the opposite, frankly.
STU: Yes. And maybe we should start with, why?
Why would we be debating the positives and negatives of Franco? What would be the purpose of that, and why would that occur, in 2024?
A week before the Iowa caucuses.
Why are we talking about Franco of all people?
GLENN: Well, Francisco Franco, you might remember him. He was the head of the Spanish state.
He was what you might call a dictator.
And a lot of people now, it seems, in America, are starting to say, you know, we should have somebody like Franco. That just comes in. And stops all this nonsense.
And I'm thinking to myself, no. No.
We shouldn't have somebody like Franco.
Unfortunately, a lot of the people that are debating this. And are -- who are cozing up to the idea of an American Franco, are conservatives. And I don't -- you either don't know who Franco is, or I wouldn't classify you as a conservative, but maybe that's me.
Maybe that's just me.
STU: And I, of course, feel the opposite. I feel that he was great. And did a great job in his --
GLENN: Right. That's so convincing, Stu.
STU: In his 36 years of being a dictator. I think that's an appropriate amount of time.
GLENN: Yeah. So you're doing a great job so far.
Okay. So here's the thing. Some of the stuff we gathered. Polling, for instance, shows that he's not so bad, to many of the people in Spain.
And in Italy. You know, neither was Mussolini.
You know, as long as you went along with him.
Some of this stuff, comes from the Madrid Center for Sociological Research. A government research center, showed that the majority of the Spanish public now acknowledged that Franco did both good and bad things.
Now, I'm going to ask for a definition of the word bad, because I'm not sure -- I mean, the term bad does that include extermination camps, Stu, or not?
Do you think?
STU: I'm typically of the opinion that they're universally bad. Extermination camps. Never a good idea.
GLENN: Okay. But is that maybe -- I don't know. A significantly understating the -- the badness of extermination camps, or genocide. Or crimes against humanity?
STU: I consider them suboptimal, Glenn.
GLENN: Suboptimal. All right. Okay.
See, we have the right guy to debate the Franco side.
Should we like to start, or should I start?
STU: You go ahead, Glenn. You have that tough task to make Franco look bad.
GLENN: I know. I know.
Okay. So now both sides of the debate. Both good and bad, Franco. They will admit that he committed massive atrocities during the Spanish Civil War.
His nationalists raped Republican women and shaved their heads. They rounded up half a hill people. And put them in concentration amps. A large portion of these prisoners did forced labor or made to fight in Franco's army. And he executed another 100,000 people during the war.
So right off there, I think, I don't think I'm on the Franco train.
STU: Really? The train is an interesting --
GLENN: Well, I thought so.
STU: Use there.
You know, again, I will attempt my best here.
Franco, at least when you're thinking of the Spanish people, at least half of them. Specifically, you did keep them out of World War II. By kind of remaining neutral. Somewhere right.
STU: Now, some might note, you didn't get invaded. You were less likely to be invaded by Hitler. When you did things that Hitler didn't mind all that much. Which was not necessarily a positive. But I am telling you, it's a positive, that, hey, he remained neutral in World War II. And didn't get invaded.
GLENN: Okay. All right. Okay.
But he was busy for a while there in his own Civil War, and the public affairs officer for Franco's forces told an American reporter, quote, you know what's wrong with Spain? Modern plumbing. In healthier times. Spiritually healthier. You understand.
The plague and pestilence. They could be counted on to thin the Spanish masses. Now with modern sewage disposal, people just multiply too fast. And the masses are no better than animals, you understand.
You can't expect them not to become infected with the virus of bolshevism. After all, rats and lice carry the plague. So he had a good understanding of servant to the people.
STU: Sure. You could say that. However, we've all become so indoorsy these days. You know, when it's 32 degrees, we don't even go out to outhouses anymore.
The outdoor plumbing was a better approach.
GLENN: Was it?
STU: Yes, much better. And I think we should go back to that.
GLENN: So get rid of modernity, like toilets.
STU: Yeah. Modernity, that's an interesting word. I feel like we've used that with the Russian figures over the past few years. They said, get rid of modernity as well.
GLENN: We have. And some Christian nationalists as well.
STU: Well, what you're not talking about was foreign investment was encouraged, and tourism was promoted.
And by 1962, per capita income for the nation's 33 million people reached 300 dollars per year.
GLENN: Holy cow. Holy cow.
STU: So, I mean -- you didn't point that out, when you -- imagine how went, if we could have gone to outhouses.
Probably would have doubled that number.
GLENN: I hate to throw a monkey wrench into the deal. I wasn't really concentrating on the tourism.
GLENN: Because after -- after the war. Franco was responsible for the torture, murder, and -- and covert burial of an additionally 114,000 Spanish citizens.
He just -- he just targeted people, Republican loyalists. Atheists.
Jews. Intellectuals. Liberals. Academics. Protestants. But you can see the Protestants. You know.
Anarchists, freemasons, socialists. Catalent, and Basque nationalists. Communists, homosexuals, and trade unionists.
So -- and they just -- they opened up mass the braves all around Spain. And relatives couldn't mark the forgave or anything else.
They just dumped them in, or covered them with dirt.
STU: Say what you want.
But we wouldn't have this nationalist problem, if it wasn't for all this indoor plumbing. And I think Franco nailed that, by the way.
GLENN: Right. Right.
STU: But you did mention an interesting word there.
Communist. You see, he was an anti-Communist.
He was an anti-socialist. He opposed a lot of the things that we oppose today.
Which somehow is supposed to be a reason enough to love the guy. And that's why I'm making this positive argument for Franco.
GLENN: So wait.
STU: But he did oppose communists it's true.
He did oppose socialists. Of course, I don't want to point out some of the other figures in Europe at the time.
Who also hit that standard and maybe -- are not thought of so positively.
GLENN: Wow. It sounds like you're not convinced he's a good guy.
STU: No. I just told you he was against Communists.
GLENN: Now, let me see if I can flip Stu on this one. You know, the children from Republican families were taken. And they weren't killed.
They were just abducted. Renamed. And given to supporters of the Franco regime.
An estimated 300,000 babies were also stolen from hospitals. And undesirable parents. And then they were sold to approved families.
STU: Have you heard any of the dumb names, parents are naming kids these days? They should be captured and renamed. That's the only way we could save our society today.
Yes. And Franco is one of the few people, who knew that.
And I'll tell you this, Glenn.
He did promote strong Spanish national identity. And culture. And this seems to be honestly what people --
GLENN: But he was kidnapping babies.
STU: Seems to be -- yeah. Sure.
And opposing indoor plumbing. But it seems to be what people do like. Just like me. Who is arguing the pro Franco side.
Is that he did have a bit of a -- he had a national streak, which has some equivalent here in the modern movement on the right.
And also, he did -- (cut out).
Hmm, well, I mean, if you had a good name, then maybe you would change your opinion once the government assigned you your new name. Which was much, much better than your old name. I will say though, you know, Glenn, once he aged. See, here's the thing.
People look at this and say, look, did Franco do some bad things?
Sure, some people will say that. But they will also note that it was a trying time.
A difficult period after the war.
And he -- and the country was collapsing. He needed to act in that way. And once he paged -- he did release and relax some of those rules.
Police -- you know, beating people over the head for no apparent reason.
Declined by like, I don't know. 13 percent or something.
And he did allow some free market reforms.
Now, some would point out, hey, maybe he would put the free market reforms in because they're good. You don't just wait for 30 years of a dictatorship before you do those things.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.
STU: But, hey, later on in life. He aged. And he calmed a little bit. And isn't that wonderful?
GLENN: Well, still didn't allow any freedom of the press. But also, he -- I mean, employment. If you were unemployed, you could get a job. If you were a Franco supporter. But people were required to get a -- a certificate of good behavior from local officials.
So you could get a job, which kind of sounds like what we don't want to happen here.
STU: Well, I mean, some would say that. There's certain people out there, that would make claims.
GLENN: I think -- I think while you're making very good points. I think I will just leave it at this.
Only Cambodia, known for the killing fields.
Only Cambodia has more mass the braves and anonymous victims, than Franco's Spain. So...
STU: Well, anonymous victims because they rejected their new names.
GLENN: Right. Thank you. Well, Stu, I -- I mean, I thought you made a lot of good points on Franco. Because there's a lot of them out there, as you well know.
STU: Well, you know, I'm a passionate supporter, apparently of Franco.
GLENN: Yeah. You almost slipped there and said Hitler.
STU: Well, no, I didn't. But I know what you mean.
Too many similarities there to be ignored.
I don't -- look, we had -- we had a lot right, I think in this country, you know.
And I feel like we're at the point where we want to throw a lot of the things that we did correctly, out the window.
Because we perceive this as a period of things not going our way.
There's a reason why we've been a country that has been this powerful for a long time.
Those principles are the ones that got us here. And it just feels like if we were to go back and embrace them a little bit, maybe we wouldn't need to have a 40-year dictatorship.
GLENN: I don't know. Those can be fun.
The -- for the dictators, usually.
The -- the -- what's happening to us, right now. And the reason why Franco. People are starting to say. We need a nationalist. And a religious dictator.
No. We don't. We need one as much as Iran needs one.
You -- oh, wait a minute. They already have one. Oh, I'm sorry.
So some other country other than Iran. We don't need that. We shouldn't want that.
That's a very deprave danger to anyone and everyone.
Because that's a dictatorship, that can just eliminate those whom they deem problems.
I don't want that on the left. I don't want that on the right. I don't want that here, there, or anywhere, Sam I am.
The reason why this is happening is because things are becoming uncontrollable. The -- the government has gone so far awry, that people believe that only an unconstitutional dictator can save the country.
And that's not true. All you have to do is return to the Constitution. If you return to the Constitution, all of it comes back.
Now, you can't give everybody the freedom that they think they have now. Like, I have the right to go in and -- and loot stores.
No. No. That won't stop, until you start enforcing the local laws and the laws of the Constitution.
Once you do that, we fix ourselves
People are overthinking all of this stuff.
You're going need to a very, very unpopular president. Or a president during a war, that's why everybody wants a war so much.
That is able to do things under a War Powers Act. Which is terrifying to me.
I would much rather have a president come in, and just say, I'm a one-term president. But I am going to put everything on the table. And I'm going to get rid of this huge administrative state.
It's gone. I don't want it. It's not constitutional.
Once you get past some of those things. It's amazing how you fix your town. You fix your state. You fix your country.
I don't understand why especially conservatives are talking about Francisco Franco. He was an evil dictator. That didn't do some bad.
He committed atrocities.
And every dictator commits atrocities. Because they force people into compliance.
That is not America.