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waming that even the best of us are susceptible to the totalitarian temptation.

This includes some self-described conservatives. Compassionate


conservatism, in many respects, is a form of Progressivism, a de-
scendant of Christian socialism. Much of George W. Bush's�rhetoric about
leaving no children behind and how "when somebody hurts, govemment has got to
move" bespeaks a vision ofthe state that�is in- deed totalitarian in its
aspirations and not particularly conservative in the American sense. Ono Bush's
intentions are decent, but those who don't share his vi- sion find them
oppressive. The same works the other way around. Liberals agree with Hillary
Clinton's intentions; theyjust assert that anyone who finds them oppressive is
a fascist. Finallv, since we must have a working definition of fascism, here
is mine: Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes�the organic unity
of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the
people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as po- litical and holds
that any action by the state is justified to achieve�the common good. It takes
responsibility for all aspects of life, includ-ing our health and well-being, and
seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through
regulation and�so- cial pressure. Everything, including the economy and
religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the
"prob- lem" and therefore defined as the enemy. I will argue that contempo-
rary American liberalsim embodies all of these aspects of fascism.