Could It Happen Here?

Some people look outside their window and see trees of green, skies of blue, and think, what a wonderful world. Dennis Prager looks outside his window and sees dead people stacking up by the millions. How does Dennis see what you don’t? Because he’s better than you. He’s wiser, smarter and more attuned to the signs of civil war.

Is there any pundit who does not constantly stress the importance of himself and his punditry? Is there any pundit for whom self-advancement is not their primary underlying theme? Is there any pundit who notes that election outcomes in America won’t noticeably effect 99% of Americans 99% of the time? Does any pundit say that your primary purpose, meaning, excitement and morality in life should come from your family (and if you have space after that, from your friends, community and pursuits)? If people get their purpose, meaning, excitement and morality in life from their relationship with their friends and family, then they have no need for pundits. Such people don’t need Dennis Pragers except as a hobby.

On March 30, 2023, former president Donald J. Trump was indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury. Dennis Prager was outraged. 

In his April 4, 2023 column, Dennis wrote:

Communism — or if you will, left-wing fascism and totalitarianism — is coming to America and Canada, and (a bit more gradually) to Australia and New Zealand.

Our universities have become moral and intellectual wastelands — almost as ideologically pure as Moscow State University was in the Soviet era. As of December 2022, there were seven times more administrators (15,750) at Stanford University than faculty (2,288).

Our medical schools are embracing Soviet-like science. In more and more of them, incoming doctors are instructed not to use the terms “male” and “female.” Harvard Medical School officials use the terms “pregnant and birthing people” rather than “pregnant women.” And children’s hospitals are using hormone blockers (which, among other dangers, can impair future reproductive functioning) and mutilating perfectly healthy teenagers.

Students at elite law schools such as Stanford and Yale behave as if they were members of Komsomol, the Soviet Communist Youth League. On the rare occasions that conservative speakers come to their campuses to give a lecture, students heckle, shout and curse at them, disrupting their ability to speak in ways reminiscent of the Hitler Youth in 1930s Germany.

The greatest of all freedoms, that of speech, is disappearing.

In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, the provincial agency in charge of education has announced that the notion that there is only one correct answer in mathematics is an expression of white supremacy. The Oregon Education Department has announced the same thing. The American Medical Association has declared that no American birth certificates should list the sex/gender of a child — the child will decide that later.

Teachers across the country are robbing children as young as 5 of their innocence. They are routinely taken to drag queen shows where men in women’s clothing dance for them (sometimes lewdly). Why? Because it is the aim of most American schools from first grade to postgraduate to have all American young people believe that sex/gender is “nonbinary” — that alone in the animal kingdom, human beings are not sexually divided into male and female.

In the COVID-19 era, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and virtually every other national medical and health agency largely abandoned science and even elementary decency (recall all the Americans who were forcibly deprived of any visitors and left to die alone in hospitals) and became tools of the Left. They and America’s Sovietized teachers’ unions ruined millions of American children by closing schools for nearly two years. In addition to the doomsday hysteria over climate change, the imposed gender confusion and the absence of religion, this has led to the highest rates of adolescent depression and suicide ever recorded in America.

Our justice department, about half of our judges and our security agencies are well on their way to becoming what the Soviet ministry of justice, Soviet security agencies and Soviet judges were: tools of the ruling party.

Our mainstream media, with few exceptions, are as uncommitted to truth as were the organs of the Soviet Communist Party, Pravda and Izvestia. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR and PBS play the same role for the Left and therefore the Democratic Party.

It was only a matter of time until the Left would arrest a former president of the opposition party.

I suspect that people who suffered under Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would not find much of a parallel with the situation in the United States today.

None of the reasons Prager listed for how America is becoming more like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are unique to Nazi and Soviet regimes. None of the arguments that Prager lists for how America is becoming like Nazi and Soviet regimes stand up to examination. All of Prager's stated concerns about America have occurred in similarly in dozens if not hundreds of non-Nazi, non-communist nations. Hundreds of nations, for example, have restricted speech. Hundreds of nations have had institutions of higher learning decline. All medical schools have gone in false directions and have had to retract teachings. Medicine has never been a science. Justice has always been political because it has always been executed by human beings. Hundreds of nations have had people heckle and try to shut down speakers. Hundreds of nations have taught things about sex that many people today would find abhorrent. Hundreds of nations have had institutions supposedly dedicated to truth turn out to be not so dedicated to truth. Hundreds of nations have had their justice departments become tools of the ruling party. Dozens of non-communist, non-Nazi nations have had health departments operate as tools of the ruling party. 

If free speech is disappearing in America, than where is it flourishing? It not now, when? In reality, the United States today retains more free speech protections than almost any nation that has ever existed. Restrictions on free speech don't make America Soviet, they make America more like every nation that has ever existed because all nations have restricted speech. 

That the American news media is equivalent to Pravda is not an assertion that any knowledgeable person can take seriously. 

After Trump was indicted, I listened to Dennis Prager's radio show for the first time in years because I suspected it would drive Prager to revealing over-statement. Within a minute of tuning in, I found Prager's unhinged rhetoric about how life in America increasingly approximates life under Hitler and Stalin to be absurd.

Around this same time, I watched a video called "35 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Tools | Trauma Informed Counseling Skills" by Dr. Dawn Elise-Snipes, who has a PhD in Mental Health Counsel. Early in her video, she said: "The first and most basic tool is a behavioral one and that is to create safety."

A nationally syndicated radio host such as Prager telling his listeners they lived in a country increasingly akin to Nazi Germany is not a good way of creating an appropriate level of safety in listeners who take him seriously. I remembered my insight from more than 25 years ago that listening to Prager consistently filled me with rage even though I largely agreed with him and even though he was ostensibly all about happiness. It became clear to me that the man pours poison into the American soul. Enraging people is a great way of getting listeners but it makes people less happy and less effective in life. Outside of a few murder zones, life in the United States for Prager listeners is overwhelmingly safe and free (compared to other countries on this earth). Inculcating gratitude might be a wiser path for a man intent on doing good rather than inculcating rage. There are situations in life where rage is more adaptive than gratitude, such as when you are fighting for your life in a dark alley, but they are few and far between. 

April 3, 2023, Dennis said: "The USA Today is a rag sheet on the level of Pravda. 'Trump using anti-semitic rhetoric to raise money after indictment.' Let me say as a Jew who has done more to fight anti-semitism more than almost any living Jew… Who is on the Holocaust Memorial Board. Who has brought more good will to Jews than the entire Anti-Defamation League… This is a damn liar, Erin Mansfield, this piece of crap who writes this goddamn lie… [Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg] is a George Soros funded DA. That is enough to condemn him because George Soros is as close to diabolic as it gets on this planet. He doesn't even identify as a Jew… Soros has as much to do with Judaism, Jews and Israel as a rural Mongolian. And a lot of USA Today readers will believe this lie."

I doubt that many USA Today readers will change their mind because of this one op-ed. People weren't born yesterday. We haven't evolved to be gullible. The only minds that are going to be changed by an op-ed or a radio monologue are those minds looking for reasons to change. You can never change a man's mind against his will. 

"Alvin Bragg is as bad a human being to occupy that office as has existed. The man is 100% responsible for some of the murders and rapes in New York City because of his completely lenient view of violent crime."

"How do you become a bad human being? …You accept money from bad human beings. You think of yourself as a victim. There is nothing more guaranteed to produce a bad human being than the victim mentality. I got hurt, I can lash out. I am freed from normal moral demands because I am a victim."

"The indictment of an ex-president for no valid reason except that they are filled with hate, they are Third World thugs. You cannot overstate the significance of the evil that has taken place. It is immoral to tune out."

"Rampant evil is what the Left has engaged in… Twenty years ago at least, I said there was a civil war in this country. If this is not obvious to you, then bad news is not something you want to handle psychologically. The Left and the Right have nothing in common. Like Florida and California at this time have nothing in common. They might as well be different countries on the opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. Whenever I went from California to Florida, I felt like I did when I went from Western Europe to Eastern Europe under communism."

"If you support the indictment, you are not on the side of truth or of concern for America."

April 4, 2023, Dennis said: "We are becoming like the Soviet Union. This is not in any way an exaggeration. I took a vow never to exaggerate because you lose your credibility. I try always to understate and to calm people's fears, but we are sliding into a Soviet system. The parallels are frightening. We have political prisoners [referring to January 6 protesters]. Joe Biden would be completely comfortable in a Soviet Union setting. So would Kamala Harris. So would most of the members of the Democratic party in Congress and in gubernatorial positions. The press functions the way the Soviet press functioned — as a mouthpiece of the ruling party… When you want to jail your opponents, you can find anything. It is difficult to overstate what the Left is doing to the United States in converting it into a Soviet-type country. Putin speaks of misinformation just the way the Democratic Party and the New York Times speak of misinformation — whatever we don't want you to know."

"Sorry to be this dark about the situation now. You have to two choices in life – to fight or to check out. Ideally, you get your kids out of the schools that are poisoning their minds, their souls, their hearts, their consciences, their ability to think. We sold our soul in the early 20th Century when we said the government should educate our children."

"People want to believe that we have more in common with our fellow American on the other side than what divides us. What do I have in common with the Left? I can think of one. A Leftist believes in taking care of his family and so do I… In the realm of ideology and ideas, what do we have in common? Nothing."

"I know from years of experience with home-schooled kids that overwhelmingly they turn out happier, finer, kinder and more intelligent…"

"Alvin Bragg [Manhattan DA] is a punk."

"What groups of Americans have been added to the list of Trump supporters? If there aren't any, then it is difficult [to see Trump winning the presidency in 2024]. Do you believe Trump has added any group? [Democrats may believe] that [indicting Trump] may make him so popular [among Republicans that he wins the nomination but loses the general election]."

Caller (Victor in Chicago): "With the media being so far to one side, how can our constitutional republic survive?"

Dennis: "That's a very fair question. You're listening to one of those chances — talk radio. Talk radio reaches more people than Fox News, for example. PragerU has over a billion views a year, 65% are under 35. The Daily Wire has an enormous reach. TPUSA has an enormous reach on college campuses. However, it is true that when the mainstream media are all in one direction, and with corporations giving hundreds of millions of dollars to left-wing groups and almost nothing to conservative groups, the odds are against us. The worst is Big Tech suppressing us. The suppression of dissent is the road to the Sovietization of this country."

April 5, 2023, Dennis said: "The great lack in young Americans' lives is religion. It is the direct cause, not only cause, of all the depression, lost sense of identity…"

"Do you think the American government under the Democrats is less corrupt than the Ukrainian government? I don't. Thirty four counts [in the Trump indictment] with no crime."

To sum up the level of corruption in the American federal system of government with one indictment out of Manhattan is absurd. In a big country like the United States, there have always been hideous examples of injustice. How could there be otherwise when justice is delivered by flawed humans? 

March 27, 2023, Dennis said: "I have come to entertain the possibility of a devil. It has been so diabolic what I have experienced the past three years. It is hard to explain on rational grounds the madness that has taken over."

According to the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, the United States ranks 24th in the world while Ukraine ranks 116. 

April 14, 2023, Dennis said: "All of Leftism is secularized religion."

He plays a clip from Joe Biden: "The single existential threat to the world is climate change. We don't have a lot of time and that's a fact."

Dennis: "Whenever he says, that's a fact, I assume he's lying. It's a signal that what I'm saying is not true.

"[Climate change] is the single best way for me and the Left to overthrow Western civilization as we know it and destroy the economies of the Western world. That would be the truth."

"All of these great threats…to take away the rights of people. He said that in Ireland. Did you see the Irish prime minister's dog start barking at him? Remarkable. I'm not using this as proof that the dog knows what I know — that this is the scummiest human being to be president of the United States in our history, but dogs are sensitive to human meanness."

"The WSJ: Biden's EPA remakes the auto industry. His new car rules are de facto orders to make EVs. They call out Donald Trump as fascist. When the government tells businesses what to do, that is one of the truth sign posts of incipient fascism."

Thousands of non-fascist governments have told businesses what to do. It's hardly a sign of fascism. People with power frequently tell people with less power what to do. That's less a sign of fascism than a sign of being human. As Thucydides put it: The strong take what they want and the weak endure what they must. 

To those who take Prager seriously, his civil war talk has a significantly depressing effect. Prager's Youtube cohost, Julie Hartman, said December 19, 2022: "I have to tell you, Dennis, and this is a really depressing thought, and I can't believe I'm saying, I have really started to fear that I am going to see the demise and the downfall of the United States in my lifetime. I don't know if it is going to be around when I am forty. If we keep going down this path, it won't."

Dennis: "If we keep going down this road, there will be two United States."

Julie: "This will not impede my will to fight. If we descend into a civil war or if China comes for us… They are so much more technologically skilled than we are. They have a more robust military. We used to have the top military in the world and they have surpassed us."

Dennis: "I don't see China attacking us. I see China assuming we are going to commit suicide."

Julie: "China is trying to expedite the process. Look at what they're doing with fentanyl. They're trying to kill American citizens. They don't need to do much, we are self-destructing."

Dennis: "The left has been working to destroy this country for a century. They're an overnight sensation."

Jordan Peterson

On his March 6, 2023 show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "I asked [a major liberal] if he had ever heard of Jordan Peterson. No. I went through the list of the finest conservative minds and he had not heard of one of them."

January 30, 2023, Dennis said: "I think meat is the healthiest food there is. I got that from Jordan Peterson."

The Atlantic noted in 2018: “The famous psychologist and his daughter swear by a regimen of eating only beef. Restriction can provide a sense of order in a world of chaos—but at what point does restriction become a disorder?”

Why would anyone regard Jordan Peterson, who recently was suicidal because of a benzo addiction, as an excellent source for advice about healthy living?

Under the headline “Hastening the End“, Mark O’Connell wrote in the New York Review of Books April 20, 2023 issue:

It’s in the nature of apocalyptic movements, and of human beings, to think of history as a narrative with a beginning, a middle, and an end that is about to be revealed. And our current moment, with its rising sea levels and viral pandemics, its Mars-colonizing billionaires and fragmenting global orders, certainly feels apocalyptic. But there is something undeniably self-flattering in the idea of an imminent apocalypse, in that it places us—our generation, our time—at the very center of the meaning of things, as the ultimate protagonists of history.

And this is related to the somewhat grandiose appeal of the end of the world as a subject. …if you’re writing a book about the end of the world you can be confident that there is nothing more pressing to consider, and thereby be assured of your own intellectual seriousness.

By claiming he sees American in civil war and on a road to Nazi Germany, Dennis Prager places himself at the very center of things. He feels confident that “there is nothing more pressing to consider” than his ideas.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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