Huey Long? Winston Churchill? Bruce Bliven? H. L. Mencken? Jimmy Street? Robert Cantwell? Lawrence Dennis?
Dear Quote Investigator: The famous populist Huey Long and British leader Winston Churchill have both been credited with a bold prediction about political deception. Here are two versions:
- When the United States gets fascism, it will call it anti-fascism.
- The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists.
Would you please investigate?
Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive evidence supporting the ascription to Winston Churchill.
Huey Long died on September 10, 1935. The earliest strong match located by QI appeared in an article with the byline “J. F. McD.” published on February 22, 1936 in “The Cincinnati Enquirer” of Cincinnati, Ohio. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1
Norman Thomas said recently in a speech made in Cincinnati “Fascism is coming in the United States most probably, but it will not come under that name.” In this statement he was repeating the words of the late Huey Long, but Huey added: “Of course we’ll have it. We’ll have it under the guise of anti-fascism.”
The ascription to Long is popular but the phrasing has been highly-variable, Also, QI has not yet found direct instances in Long’s writings, speeches, or interviews. This article presents a snapshot of current incomplete knowledge.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order. Continue reading
- 1936 February 22, The Cincinnati Enquirer, A “Lively Age” To Come? by J. F. McD., (Book Review of “In the second Year” by Storm Jameson), Quote Page 7, Column 1, Cincinnati, Ohio. (Newspapers.com) ↩