Alliance Defending Freedom attorney compares “leftists” to “communists and Nazis,” says they “feed on hatred”

ADF legal counsel Travis Barham says “leftists ... share the same philosophies and authoritarian tendencies” as “communists and Nazis”

From the June 15 Turning Point USA's Young Women's Leadership conference: 

Video file

TRAVIS BARHAM (ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM LEGAL COUNSEL): Let's turn the pages of history back to another address [Winston] Churchill gave in 1938 to the people of the United States. This was during his wilderness years, when he was out of power and out of favor. From the sidelines, he watched and mourned as Europe was besieged and began falling to the Nazi yoke, and he tried to rally to the defenders of liberty to get busy about defending liberty before it was too late. Looking out before me today at the defenders of liberty on each of your campuses, I am struck at how each of you has a very similar task. 

In this address, Churchill spoke to the people who hoped that tyranny would stop after conquering just a few countries like Czechoslovakia. You will likewise meet fellow students and perhaps even fellow citizens who share the same misguided hope. They may see a student get silenced or even arrested for speaking outside the speech zone. They may see a group get kicked off campus or defunded for its conservative views. They may see a fireman with 30 years of distinguished experience -- distinguished service, including serving as the highest ranked fireman in the country -- get fired for a Bible study book he wrote on his own time. Or they may see a fitness executive get fired simply for expressing Christian beliefs. But all too often they will shrug and say, as Churchill summarized the mood of his day, “Well, that is out of the way. Anyhow, now let's get on with our regular daily life.” But we must ask, as Churchill asked, are these hopes well-founded? Or are we merely making the best of what we had not the force and virtue to stop? That is the question we must ask ourselves today. Is this the end, or is there more to come? 

Churchill reminded his audience of something that is true once again today, especially on university campuses. We are confronted with another theme. It is not a new theme. It leaps out upon us from the Dark Ages. Religious intolerance, deprivation of free speech, the conception of the citizen as a mere soulless fraction of the state. In his day, the threat to freedom came from the communists and Nazis, and he observed that they are the same thing spelled in different ways. Today, we could add radical leftists to that list, as they share the same philosophies and authoritarian tendencies, though thankfully not the same murderous tactics. Again borrowing from Churchill, like the communists and Nazis, radical leftists tolerate no opinion but their own. Like the communists and Nazis, they feed on hatred. Like the communists and Nazis, they must seek from time to time and always at shorter intervals, a new target, a new prize, a new victim.  


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