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Father Coughlin: Radical leftist

By Bruce Walker
web posted February 20, 2006

One of the most egregious examples of an "American Fascist" invented by Sinisterists (described in my new book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie) was Father Coughlin, whose name became virtually synonymous with the illusory "Far Right" during the 1930s and 1940s. Father Coughlin is an unappealing figure. He was, in fact, un-American. But there is a problem placing him on the imaginary "Far Right." Father Coughlin was emphatically on the Far Left. When Franklin Roosevelt ran for president in 1932, Father Coughlin enthusiastically and aggressively supported Franklin Roosevelt over Herbert Hoover. What did Coughlin believe? Let his own words speak.

In late 1934, he asked "Are you not aware that this so-called democratic country of ours has been controlled by the capitalist and the plutocrat?" The next month Coughlin opined " January 4, 1935, brings to an end the economic principles of individualism hitherto taught, practically in every university. It is the date which marks the termination of certain of those principles taught by Adam Smith, by John Stuart Mill and Malthus. Such outworn and impractical economic phrases as 'free competition' and 'rugged individualism' and 'laissez-faire' today are seeking a resting place in the limbo of archaic falsehoods…Thus, today, the members of the National Union for Social Justice can rejoice, while the avowed opponents of human rights – the Liberty Leaguers, the United States Chamber of Commerce members, the Manufacturers Association – can find scant consolation as their program for doles, for balanced budgets, for gold stands, for free rein in industrial activity are indirectly consigned to the wastepaper basket of ancient history. Let them heed the world of the President that 'we have undertaken a new order of things.' Let them be cautious, henceforth, because only at their own personal peril will they dare obstruct the rising of this sun of social justice which will not set until the new economic system will have been perfected."

So how did Coughlin consider himself on the political and ideological "spectrum"? In February 1935, he proclaimed: "…the die-hard Democrats and the die-hard Republicans can amalgamate and form their conservative party, if they please, for the purposes of conserving the financial, and therefore, the major industrial abuses of the past together with its privileges for the few and its exploitation of the many. On the other hand, the liberal Democrats and Republicans and Progressives, the liberal Labor leaders, who are not tied up with Wall Street, the liberal minded farmers, who have made up their minds to produce their wheat and their cotton, their corn and their pork only at a profit – these men will stabilize themselves into a liberal party where the duly elected representatives will be democratic enough to subscribe to the will of the people. This is the trend of the times against which we must prepare. This is the crucial political battle in which all must participate if we wish to give America back to the Americans…The conservatives, be they labeled Democrat or Republican, are commonly known as plutocrats, which is the Greek word for 'the rule by the wealthy.' Those who have been robbed of the control and who wish to regain the control of money are true democrats, which is the Greek word for 'rule by the people.' In its choice between plutocracy and democracy the National Union for Social Justice stands absolutely for the latter."

Coughlin denounced racial bigotry and spoke of a "common need for Catholic, Protestant, Jew and irreligionist to solve a common problem" in 1935 and the Ku Klux Klan, upset with the views of Coughlin, burned a cross on his lawn. As Coughlin moved farther to the Left, he broke with FDR in 1936 to form the Union Party. Listen to its platform: "Congress shall set a limitation on the net income of any individual in any one year and a limitation of the amount that such an individual may receive as a gift or an inheritance, which limitation shall be executed through taxation."

The same vitriol toward the rich, the same pious pretensions of no prejudice based on race, religion or creed, the same proposals George McGovern would propose as the most Leftist major party candidate in American history was actually what Father Coughlin, the Sinisterist priest pundit preached. Only Sinisterists could pretend, with a straight face, that Father Coughlin should be placed on the "Far Right" of the imaginary "political spectrum." The monsters, the bigots, the Fascists, the Bolsheviks, the Nazis are always on the Left. They are always Sinistersists.

Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990.  He is a contributing editor to Enter Stage Right and a regular contributor to Conservative Truth, American Daily, Intellectual Conservative, Web Commentary, NewsByUs and Men's News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.

 

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