If you want to see what advocacy of thinly-veiled fascism sounds like, look no further than the latest column from erstwhile Fox News quack Dr. Keith Ablow. On Tuesday, Ablow took a break from bashing gays and calling Michelle Obama fat to offer his holistic remedy for what ails the republic: an “American jihad” that would “reawaken in American citizens the certain knowledge that our Constitution is a sacred document that better defines and preserves the liberty and autonomy of human beings than the charter of any other nation on earth.”
To say that the Constitution — a documented crafted by mortals that’s been amended many times — is “sacred” is to unjustifiably put it beyond reproach. It can be further added that unless Ablow has perused every country’s founding documents, he’s in no position to make the claim that the Constitution is the best guarantor of liberty on Earth.
Ablow advocates a Pax Americana enforced by an interventionist foreign policy. For him, victory begins in the homeland with a thoroughly indoctrinated and docile public:
“We would not only allow, but teach, Americans — including American children — to internalize and project their justifiable feelings of pride in our democracy as superior to all other forms of government. In grade schools we would teach the truth that the founding of our nation and its survival in the face of communism and fascism weren’t just good luck or good planning, but preordained by our commitment to the truth about the essential nature of man. And we would embrace the certain knowledge that history will eventually spread our values all over the globe.”
For all their rhetoric about individual freedom and small government, conservatives like Ablow have a dangerous fetish for a style of patriotism that they use to undermine liberty and justify perpetual war. His jingoistic get-em-while-they’re-young approach to pedagogy in which the glory of the nation is instilled into impressionable young minds is downright fascistic. Rather than an education, Ablow’s curriculum would be an inculcation of the “truth” and “certain knowledge” that the United States is the greatest country on Earth and that the proliferation of American values is inevitable. No actual thinking would be necessary by the students because the teachers would serve up ready-made revelation.
After calling the Constitution — which originally declared a slave three-fifths of a person — a “miracle,” and describing the nation’s history as “providential,” he claims the U.S. needs “to spread around the world our love of individual freedom and insist on its reflection in every government.” Of course, the U.S. has already been exporting its love of freedom by supporting Third World tinpot dictators through the years. Weirdly, though, Ablow seems to think Western Europe is in need of reform:
“We would urge our leaders, after their service in the U.S. Senate and Congress, to seek dual citizenship in other nations, like France and Italy and Sweden and Argentina and Brazil and Germany, and work to influence those nations to adopt laws very much like our own. We might even fund our leaders’ campaigns for office in these other nations.”
According to Ablow, the solution to Sweden’s nonexistent meatball tyranny would be for the U.S. to export its lawmakers — who’ve been doing a real bang up job in Congress — to show those Gustavs how a real functioning democracy works. Given Congress’ approval rating at the moment, not many Americans would object to this harebrained scheme.
Not surprisingly, Ablow also manages to get a potshot in on Obama, reviving a nearly-forgotten canard:
“An American jihad would turn back and topple the terrible self-loathing in our citizens set in motion by President Obama, beginning with his ‘apology tour’ — a psychological plague.”
For what it’s worth, on that “apology tour,” Obama never actually apologized for anything, and this legendary GOP talking point prompted The Washington Post’s Fact Checker to give it four Pinocchios out of a possible four. But what’s really troubling here is that Ablow — a psychiatrist — is actually advocating against anything that could be remotely considered a national introspection. Introspection, of course, is something we should all do from time to time because it’s psychologically healthy. Yet Ablow the mental health professional doesn’t think so. Consider his conclusion:
“We the People of the United States are good and we are right. And we need the spirit of an American jihad to properly invite, intensify and focus our intentions to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution here at home, and to seek to spread its principles abroad.”
We’re right. The end. Again, there is no need to think too hard about our motives and actions as a nation because it’s been founded on a “sacred” text, a “miracle,” and unsurprisingly this has yielded “providential” results as foreordained by god himself. And if god be for us, who could be against us?
Indeed, Gott mit uns.