“Howard The Coward” Commentary by Ralph Peters, New York Post, 1/5/04
It’s fashionable in left- wing circles to describe anyone who admires America as a fascist. But the real totalitarian threats of our time come from the left. And no public figure embodies the left's contempt for basic freedoms more perfectly than Howard Dean.
One secular gospel of the left preaches that the Patriot Act has drastically curtailed American freedom. Free speech, the teacup Trotskys claim, is a thing of the past.
But Howard Dean and his Deanie-weenies do all they can to restrict the free speech of others. I can predict with certainty that Dean's Internet Gestapo will pounce on this column, twisting the facts and vilifying the writer, just as they do when anyone challenges Howard the Coward.
Free speech, you see, is only for the left.
Dean wants to muzzle his Democratic competitors, too. He believes the Democratic National Committee should shut them up. His followers try to intimidate other presidential aspirants by surrounding the cars delivering them to their rallies and chanting to drown out their speech. Of course, Dean denies any foreknowledge or blame.
These are the techniques employed by Hitler's Brownshirts. Had Goebbels enjoyed access to the internet, he would have used the same swarm tactics as Dean's Flannelshirts.
In Dean's alternate reality, everything the Bush administration has done and might do is a failure, no matter the facts. The president's even responsible for Mad Cow Disease. It's Goebbels again: Just keep repeating the lies until the lies assume the force of truth.
Of course, I don't really see Howard Dean as a potential dictator - just another hollow man soiling the halls of power. And this is America. Our system is far stronger than any individual. Besides, even the vilest dictators have a vision of something greater than themselves. Howard Dean has nothing beyond ambition.
And a shameless disregard for the First Amendment.