‘Nightmarish’: Dennis Prager compares America’s ‘drift to totalitarian speech’ to Soviet communism

By Tyler O’Neil | The Daily Signal

ORLANDO, Fla. — The American Left’s tendency to enforce its ideological speech codes reminds commentator and radio host Dennis Prager of the Soviet oppression of Jews, which he studied in his youth. He calls this phenomenon totalitarian and “nightmarish.”

Prager studied Russian in school in order to study communism. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he traveled to the Soviet Union, helping Jews and hearing about their struggles. This foundation helped Prager sell plenty of bestselling books and launch his online video platform, PragerU.

Wikimedia Common/Gage Skidmore

Dennis Prager

“If you’d have said to me when I was in graduate school, ‘You’re learning about the American future,’ I would’ve thought you were out of your mind,” Prager told The Daily Signal on Monday at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando. “But I studied communism and the Soviet Union, and it prepared me for what is happening in America today.”

“You can ask almost any person who lived in a communist country and they will say to you, ‘I can’t believe what I fled is now happening in America,’” he added.

Prager contrasted the leftist attempt to silence dissent with liberals’ willingness to engage in debate in the public square.

“Leftism, as opposed to liberalism or conservatism, is always tyrannical,” he said. “There is no example, literally not one, of the left taking charge of a country or an institution and [then] allowing dissent. There is no example. Whether it was the Soviet Union, or YouTube, or your local university. Dissent is suppressed by the Left, always. There is no exception. The moment a leftist allows dissent, he or she has become a liberal.”

“The tragedy of liberals is that they vote for the Left,” Prager added.

Prager said he sees the suppression of dissent “everywhere.”

It appears at “virtually every corporation, virtually every university, virtually every high school, virtually every media site.”

“When was the last conservative piece printed in a mainstream newspaper?” he asked, noting that The New York Times’ editorial editor, James Bennet, resigned amid outrage that he had published an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. Prager noted that Bennet’s “decades of exemplary service” did not matter.

The author and commentator lamented that many medical schools will “correct” someone who uses the term “pregnant woman,” insisting that he or she say “birthing person.”

“The drift to totalitarian speech in America is beyond frightening. It’s nightmarish,” Prager said.

He encouraged conservatives to take personal stands for truth and free speech, making small impacts that may compound into an avalanche.

“Well, let’s say you have a daughter in college or high school who’s on the swim team, the girl’s swim team. And a man who says he’s a woman competes,” Prager began. “Then you just say to your daughter, ‘You’re not participating. The school is making female sports a farce. And you shouldn’t be part of that. I’m sorry, my dear daughter. You worked your tail off to get onto the swim team.’”

“And ultimately, if none of the girls competed, it would end this attack on women’s sports and indeed on women,” he said. “But people don’t fight. That’s human nature.”

“Courage is the rarest of the good human traits,” Prager lamented. “Honesty is more common. Loyalty is more common. Kindness is more common. Courage is the rarest. But without courage, we’re doomed. So people have to fight. Look, my dream is that everybody took their kids out of schools and homeschooled them. Overnight, America would be fixed. That would do it overnight. If I could have one wish, that would be my wish.”

Prager addressed many other issues, including the threats to Israel, his approach to the six days of creation in Genesis, his recommendation that Christians practice the Sabbath and rest from work on Sundays, and his passion for the Torah that led him to write “The Rational Bible” commentaries.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Common/Gage Skidmore