“Warren Kinsella's book, ‘Fight the Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse,’ is of vital importance for American conservatives and other right-leaning individuals to read, learn and understand.”
- The Washington Times
“One of the best books of the year.”
- The Hill Times
“Justin Trudeau’s speech followed Mr. Kinsella’s playbook on beating conservatives chapter and verse...[He followed] the central theme of the Kinsella narrative: “Take back values. That’s what progressives need to do.”
- National Post
“[Kinsella] is a master when it comes to spinning and political planning...”
- George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC TV
“Kinsella pulls no punches in Fight The Right...Fight the Right accomplishes what it sets out to do – provide readers with a glimpse into the kinds of strategies that have made Conservatives successful and lay out a credible roadmap for progressive forces to regain power.”
- Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics
“[Kinsella] deserves credit for writing this book, period... he is absolutely on the money...[Fight The Right] is well worth picking up.”
- Huffington Post
“Run, don't walk, to get this amazing book.”
- Mike Duncan, Classical 96 radio
“Fight the Right is very interesting and - for conservatives - very provocative.”
- Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory
“His new book is great! All of his books are great!”
- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD
“I absolutely recommend this book.”
- Paul Wells, Maclean’s
“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”
- Calgary Herald
To some of us, at least, calling someone a fascist is one of the worst things one can say. After that, what is left? How can one top that?
George Orwell, among others, struggled to define the word. He wrote that defining fascism was “important,” and even one of the “unanswered questions of our time.” That seems like overstatement, but perhaps not for the era in which the author of 1984 wrote it.
He went on: “One of the social survey organizations in America recently asked this question of a hundred different people, and got answers ranging from ‘pure democracy’ to ‘pure diabolism.’ In this country if you ask the average thinking person to define fascism, he usually answers by pointing to the German and Italian régimes. But this is very unsatisfactory, because even the major fascist states differ from one another a good deal.”
True enough. Now, as then, most would define fascism be citing examples of it, not by trying to explain it. In the main, however, it is simply the dogma of killers and thugs. Organizational and structural differences aside, fascist states are characterized by one thing above all: their willingness to use violence against the weak to achieve political ends. Their enthusiasm for state-sponsored brutality – against democratic opponents, against dissidents, against minorities.
The epithet has lost much of its power, however. The Soviet Bolsheviks, and later the Soviet state, used “fascist” all the time to describe people and opinions they didn’t like. Much later, in the Reagan era, the word was thrown around like confetti. Some progressives continued to use it as a conversational show-stopper, even against the likes of Barack Obama.
As such, “fascist” became inconsequential. It became “meaningless,” Orwell noted. Judges in libel actions shrugged at the word, calling it a value judgment – mere rhetoric.
Some of us continued to resist deploying it, however, for two reasons. To us, its meaning was quite specific: it is the ideology of murder. When you call someone a fascist, you are saying that they are capable of great violence to achieve some political (and usually politically-conservative) ends.
Most importantly, overuse of that word diminishes the suffering of the actual victims of fascism – the Jews in the Holocaust, for example. The Jewish people have experienced what fascism literally means. To them, fascism is not a mere debating term, one to be tossed around at the faculty club, say, over the salad bar. Their definition has six million very specific examples, suffused in blood.
Which brings us, in a circuitous fashion, to Donald Trump.
There he stood in that second presidential debate, his sweaty features twisted in a sneer, stalking Hillary Clinton around the stage. Looking like he was going to hit her. Looking like he wanted to.
Watching him shadow his opponent in that way, many women knew exactly what he intended to convey.
For those who didn’t get it – mainly men – Trump wasn’t done. He had words, too. Not once, but twice, he said that – as president – he wanted to see Hillary Clinton imprisoned. As president, he said, he would appoint a special prosecutor to go after her.
“You’d be in jail,” he hissed at her, and millions of us became witnesses.
Forget about the constitutional niceties, or what the law says. There was, and is, no doubt that Trump would certainly do what he threatened to do. In its dying days, as his feral campaign has slunk back into the swamp from which it came, all of us have seen how willing Trump has always been to use his power and money to abuse women.
But what he said? What he vowed to do, right to Hillary Clinton’s shocked face?
It is more that unconstitutional. It is more than against the law. It is more than all of that.
In a democracy, threatening to throw a political opponent into a cage – simply because they are an opponent – is fascism. It is what all of them did: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin. It is the end of democracy, and the start of something terrible.
Donald Trump, in his words and deeds, has not hesitated to reveal who he is. He has not hidden any of it. And what he is, at the end of this too-long parade hatred and contempt, is just this:
…while the guy in the middle just gets older.
Fun panel, as always. CREA put on a Hell of a conference, as always. Kathleen Monk and Tim Powers dropped F Bombs, as always.
So let’s watch it again and again! (Link fixed, I hope.)
Here’s a column I wrote about the man back in April 2010. Condolences to his family and many friends.
He’s amiable. He’s smart. He’s reasonably bilingual. He’s well respected. He’s got movie star good looks. He’s seen as a moderate in a cabinet bursting at the seams with deconstructed Reformers.
And, most notably, he is the Conservative who lots of Liberals fear the most.
He’s Jim Prentice.
As everyone knows by now – and as Sun alumnus Greg Weston first revealed in an online scoop – Prentice shocked the somnolent capital yesterday afternoon, when he stood at the end of Question Period to offer his immediate resignation.
Clearly choked up, Prentice told the stunned House that he had taken a job at CIBC – where, presumably, he will not be working as a teller. The faces of his soon-to-be-former caucus colleagues were mostly inscrutable.
Some Reformer types, perhaps, were inwardly happy that one of the few Progressive Conservatives in the Harper government were leaving. Others, however, looked worried.
They should be.
For starters, the former Environment minister gave the Harper government a honest-to-goodness centrist, one whose instincts are much more attuned to his Ontario birthplace. Just last week, for example, Prentice surprised many with his decision to veto a gold mine at Fish Lake in B.C.’s interior.
Now liberated from the restrictions that cabinet places on every politicians’ ambition, Jim Prentice is free to do, and say, pretty much whatever he wants. And the question on every federal politico’s mind, last night, was whether Prentice wants the top job – Stephen Harper’s.
It’s not an idle question. As a formerly active federal Liberal, I can tell you that Prentice has always been the Conservative who made Grits nervous.
In three successive elections, Harper has shown he is singularly incapable of capturing his a Parliamentary majority. Women, younger voters, and not a few Central Canadians just can’t bring themselves to trust the moody, angry Conservative leader.
Prentice, however, has the style and sensibility that could easily attract a lot of soft Liberal vote. He’s clearly much more moderate than Harper – and he doesn’t attract speculation that he harbours a nasty hidden agenda.
For example, I can reveal that Jim Prentice is probably the only member of the Harper regime who was respected enough, and knowledgeable enough, to be hired by the previous Liberal government. Prentice’s skills as a negotiator attracted the attention of Prime Minister Jean Chretien, whose government retained him to work on aboriginal files in the 1990s.
The question, then, is whether Prentice plans to use his new job as a launching pad for a run at the Conservative leadership – when Harper takes his foot-stomp in the snow, that is.
Running for a party’s leadership from the outside cabinet is pretty much the only way to win. The aforementioned Chretien did it in 1990, as did John Turner in 1984 and Paul Martin in 2003. Harper himself ran as an outsider in 2002, for the Canadian Alliance leadership. (Kim Campbell ran while still a minister, of course, but we all know how that turned out.)
What will Jim Prentice do? Only he knows for sure.
But one thing is clear: he’s the candidate who makes ambitious people nervous.
On both sides of the House.