Glenn Beck's eliminiationist jihad against the progressive movement took an interesting rhetorical turn yesterday, when Beck tried to claim that the "progressive road" leads to Communism and Nazism:
Beck: It's not about Communists. Never has been about Communists, either. Really hasn't. That's guy's a lunatic fringe. Just like the white supremacists on the other side. Right here! [Points to chalkboard diagram]
This side, up and down! Communists and fascists -- those people are crazy! This is about progressivism. And most people, they're in here -- when they say they are progressive, they don't think they're headed here. But progress -- baby steps -- you are moving toward something! You are moving toward one of these.
This is why they called George Bush a fascist. Because progressives know what's at the end of the progressive road -- Nazis or Communists! Someone has to control your life. Someone will be at the controls.
Communists would like it to be them. Nazis are rooting for their side. I'm not rooting for any side! I'm rooting for this side [points to right side of diagram]. Wrong side of the scale, guy!
Now, there's at least some reason to connect progressivism with Communism, since they are both left-wing phenomena and share at least some values. But Nazism?
Let's look at some real American Nazis -- say, the folks who come out in support of Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
See anything "progressive" there? Actually, you do -- you see it among the pro-immigrant marchers the Nazis are protesting against.
But you'd have a hard time convincing anyone -- especially these neo-Nazis themselves -- that they have anything even remotely to do with "progressivism." Indeed, the very thing that animates them into barbaric bloodlust is the progressive movement -- that is, the desire to destroy it utterly.
As we've explained previously, in the context of Jonah Goldberg's fraudulent Liberal Fascism thesis -- which, of course, is the basis for Beck's lumping of fascism and communism together under the "end of the progressive road" -- what makes these people right-wing extremists is that they not only adopt right-wing political positions, they take them to their most extreme logical (if that's the word for it) outcome:
- They not only oppose abortion, they believe abortion providers should be killed.
- They not only believe that liberal elites control the media and financial institutions, but that a conniving cabal of Jews is at the heart of this conspiracy to destroy America.
- They not only despise Big Government, they believe it is part of a New World Order plot to enslave us all.
- They not only defend gun rights avidly, they stockpile them out of fear that President Obama plans to send in U.N. troops to take them away from citizens.
- They not only oppose homosexuality as immoral, they believe gays and lesbians deserve the death penalty.
- They not only oppose civil-rights advances for minorities, they also believe a "race war" is imminent, necessary and desirable.
And on and on. Every part of the agenda of the agenda of right-wing extremists is essentially an extreme expression of conservative positions. And that, fundamentally, is why American fascism always has been and always will be, properly understood, an unmistakable phenomenon of the Right.
Methinks Beck needs some better diagrams.