Ronald Reagan: Fascism, ‘Isn’t This the Liberal Philosophy?’

By Michael W. Chapman | June 5, 2014 | 8:40am EDT

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), the 40th president of the United States.

President Ronald Reagan, who died 10 years ago on June 5, did not hesitate to describe liberalism as essentially fascism in a 1975 interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, a political characterization that  few, if any, public leaders seem willing to utter, let alone discuss, today.

In a Dec. 14, 1975 interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace, Reagan discussed his political philosophy, saying that “the heart of my philosophy is much more libertarianism, than --.”  Wallace then interrupted, “Well, that’s the fashionable word these days, I guess. A conservative is no longer just that, he’s a libertarian.”

Reagan continued, “It always has been. How do we call a liberal?  You know, someone very profoundly once said many years ago that if fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism.”

“And what is fascism?” Reagan said.   “Fascism is private ownership, private enterprise, but total government control and regulation. Well, isn’t this the liberal philosophy?”

“The conservative, so-called, is the one that says less government, get off my back, get out of my pocket, and let me have more control of my own destiny,” he said.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), who was the 40th president of the United States and served two terms (1981-1989), was ranked by Americans as the greatest president in U.S. history in a 2011 Gallup survey. Abraham Lincoln came in second and Bill Clinton third. George Washington was fifth, following JFK.

“Reagan, Lincoln, or John F. Kennedy has been at the top of this ‘greatest president’ list each time this question has been asked in eight surveys over the last 12 years,” said Gallup.

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