You fascist!

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 21 14:51:12 UTC 2012

Strictly speaking, OED has no evidence of the very loose political
usage of "fascist" and "fascism" till the 1970s.  (Unless I'm more
senile than I think, they began to surface prominently in antiwar
discourse about 1968.)

At any rate:

1944 John T. Flynn _As We Go Marching_ (Garden City: Doubleday) 1:
Fascism has attained to the dignity of a cuss word in America. When we
disagree with a man's social or political arguments, if we cannot
reasonably call him a communist, we call him a fascist. The word
itself has little more relation to its original and precise object
than a certain well-beloved American expletive has to the harmless
domestic animal it actually describes.

As a prominent America-Firster, Flynn was undoubtedly on the receiving
end of some of those "fascist" accusations. His book, however, is a
libertarian warning against genuinely fascist tendencies in American


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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