A Fascism of Our Own?
Jonah Goldberg — eminently qualified for such a statement, as he is — suggests that the Obama-as-Hitler rhetoric is over the top, not the least because it underestimates the American people:
… there’s a problem. Many folks claim to see in Obama the makings of an actual Hitler and in Obamaism a repeat of the National Socialism of the 1930s. Worse, some think my book supports their fears. And maybe it does, though I hope not.
The simple truth is that I do not think it is in the cards for America to go down a Nazi path. I never said otherwise in Liberal Fascism, either.
It’s important to keep in mind that, as bad as various other avowedly fascist regimes were, only the Nazis did what they did. Mussolini was a bad man and a dictator, but he was no Hitler. The Italians did bad things, but they don’t amount to a fraction of German crimes. Supposedly fascist Franco wasn’t nearly as bad as Mussolini, and Franco’s complicity in the Holocaust was nil. In other words, fascism brings out things in specific cultures at specific moments. Not only is Obama obviously not interested in being a Hitler, he couldn’t pull Hitlerism out of the American people if he wanted to.
Of course, we should also keep in mind that, on the road to serfdom, the fascist dictator comes after the central planners have utterly failed.