School Choice has Come to Louisiana

School Choice Has Come To Louisiana

By Jennifer Bright

Each year, more and more states are embracing school choice options through education savings accounts (ESAs) and school voucher legislation. Alabama was the first state to pass a universal school choice bill in 2024! Louisiana will not be far behind as it is being debated this week in the Louisiana Senate.

As private homeschoolers in Louisiana, why should we be concerned about ESAs or school voucher legislation? Statistically, Louisiana has always been near or at the bottom in education as compared to the other fifty states. For example, in 2023, Louisiana ranked 46th. The question that is often asked is, why wouldn’t we support these school choice options? Wouldn’t ESAs help lift Louisiana students from the bottom?

School Choice

‘School choice’ is often referred to as educational choice, educational options, parent choice, etc., in which taxpayer-funded monies are channeled through school vouchers, educational savings accounts, educational empowerment scholarships, tax credits, etc., (which sound and look enticing) for parents to choose the educational option that they believe is best for their child(ren). Louisiana’s version, the Giving All True Opportunity to Rise (LA GATOR) scholarship program, is being decided this week at the capital.

Government Monies—Government Regulation

As with all government monies, there will be regulations, rules, accountability, and control. Currently, 13% of Louisiana school districts receive their funding from the Federal Government, and the rest is divided between the state’s budget and our local sales and property taxes.

How will this new legislation affect private homeschoolers in Louisiana? From HB 745, section 4037.5. (Schools and service providers; eligibility; participation), private homeschoolers who register either as a home study program or a nonpublic school not seeking state approval are not eligible to participate or concurrently enroll in the LA GATOR scholarship program. The LA GATOR scholarship program sets up a new class of government-funded students, just like Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. So currently, private homeschoolers will not be affected.

            “When parents take these funds, they sign a statement that they are no longer homeschooling, even if they may be educating at home. As a result, accepting ESA funds places the student in a new category as an ESA student. Because students are no longer privately funded homeschool students, but instead publicly funded ESA students, government regulation inevitably follows and impacts the education these students receive.”[1]

It may not affect private homeschoolers today, it could in the future. The current bill requires all students who participate in the LA GATOR scholarship program to comply with all program requirements (including yearly testing). But what about next year or the year after, how will the government change or modify the program requirements?

Other States’ ESA Programs and Problems

Let’s look at a couple of other states that have drunk from the well of ESAs, like  Arizona and West Virginia. Budgets have blown up! There is an administrative nightmare and a lack of accountability. Politicians and educational leaders are looking for solutions to fix the failed experiment.

Resist the Temptation

As Leigh Bortins shares in this article,

            Parents are presented with “choices” that aren’t really choices at all.” And “Receiving one-time government money with no strings attached makes the second, third, and fourth times easier with strings attached. With the shekels come the shackles.” So, “we must…resist the temptation posed by government funding.”

Educate Yourself

Think through these questions from Classical Conversations® Educational Freedom website, as you consider who do you want to control your homeschool—you or the government?

  • Do you want the state involved in your homeschooling on any level?
  • Is accepting any financial assistance from the state a slippery slope?
  • Where does the money come from?
  • Would it be more beneficial for homeschoolers to keep their education tax money rather than fund the Department of Education with that money?
  • In your state, are you still classified and protected as a homeschooler if you receive government funding?
  • Is making your own curriculum decisions important to you, or would you prefer the Department of Education to assume oversight in those decisions?
  • What historical examples can you think of where the government was involved in decisions like this? What were the initial intentions? Were the outcomes positive or negative, and how accurately did they reflect those initial intentions?

In Louisiana, there are currently over 45,000 children being home educated. If we were our own school district, we would be the second largest in the state! Just remember, the state government (and federal) will do whatever it can to bring us under its control, and ESAs are just one of their avenues. We need to stand firm against any governmental encroachment on our freedoms to direct our children’s education. We, as parents, know what is best for our children.

The Homeschool Freedom Action Center website is here to help you stay informed and to help families educate themselves on what true educational freedom is!

Jennifer Bright profile headshot

Jennifer Bright is the Communication Manager for Research and Quality Assurance for Classical Conversations. Jennifer’s passions are classical Christian education and discipling the next generation to live for Christ. She supports homeschool families by tutoring their students with the classical tools of learning. Jennifer and her husband began their homeschool journey almost 20 years ago in Russia while serving as missionaries, and currently, they reside in Covington, Louisiana.


[1] “Educational Savings Account.” Accessed 4/15/2024. https://classicalconversations.widen.net/s/swkgl26rw7?__hstc=87463879.1d548548b58a4ef2d8bb0d564a005567.1638826400930.1670868123213.1670943201710.270&__hssc=&__hsfp=&hsCtaTracking=d9ec90d4-0a2d-4d25-bcbb-c8c3b64bb33d%7Cbc6a2c98-eeed-4bdf-adba-2ef77c9a312a

the Texas capitol building

May Homeschool Days at the Capitol! Get Ready!

Homeschool Days at the Capitol, Legislative Days, Capitol Days, Pie Day, and other similar events foster communication between parents and their elected representatives. Seize this excellent opportunity to teach your children the importance of the legislative process. Help them mature into civic leaders who will help protect American freedoms.

The chart below lists May Homeschool Days at the Capitol. You can also check your state’s dates here if they’re not listed below.

LouisianaMay 15, 2024
New YorkMay 22-23, 2024
Informed Citizenry

Informed Citizenry Limits Unintended Consequences

Robert Bortins reminds us in this episode of “Refining Rhetoric” the importance of an informed citizenry and the need for engagement in tackling the issues of today. With the quick pace of life and a faster pace of information, it can be difficult, if not overwhelming, to keep up with it all.

Chris Blackburn and Robert’s quick chat might help you think through how education can affect foreign policy. They explore the consequences of U.S. payments to Iran—linking them to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, rising oil prices, and inflation.

Engaged and Informed Citizenry

Let’s not sit on the sidelines. Let’s stay informed and involved!

How?

Check out this episode below. Listen to other episodes of Refining Rhetoric.

Have You Noticed the New Format?

There is a new format for the Refining Rhetoric podcast. In the first week, Robert interviews a Christian leader, whether they are a spiritual leader, in the business sector, engaging in the culture war, or active in the political arena. The following week, the discussion revolves around a current event headline and crypto news.

Don’t miss out on these resources and opportunities as an engaged and informed citizen. You can encourage other people to stay informed and involved, as well.

Robert Bortins, CEO of Classical Conversations profile headshot

Robert Bortins is the CEO of Classical Conversations® and the host of Refining Rhetoric. The company has grown from supporting homeschoolers in about 40 states to supporting homeschoolers in over 50 countries and has become the world’s largest classical homeschooling organization under his guidance.

an "I voted" sticker with an American flag design on it

The Power of the Primary

by Elise DeYoung

Every four years, Americans gather at the ballot box to voice support for our desired presidential candidate. Sadly, in recent decades, this exercise of our republic has been intensely polarized due to political unrest and institutional distrust. This is a serious problem because the “government of the people, by the people, for the people…” [1] cannot stand if we, the people, don’t trust our representatives or the system that elected them.

So, it is vital that, regardless of who you vote for, we all find a common ground of trust in the election system, which Samuel Adams once called “one of the most solemn trusts in human society.”

The most fundamental aspect of trust is understanding. You do not trust someone you do not know; likewise, it is difficult to trust a system of government that you do not understand. Americans must fulfill their responsibility to know how the presidential election works and realize why the founding fathers ordered it as they did.

The presidential election is divided into two main stages: the primary and the general elections. These elections are similar in their structure (the campaign, the people’s vote, and the delegates’ or electors’ vote) but are very different in their methods. This article will explore the first stage of the election, the primary.

The Process of the Primary

During the primary, presidential candidates fight to become their party’s nominee for the general election. It is a ruthless cycle of endorsements, eliminations, and elections, and it is easiest to understand this process in three stages or “rounds.”

  1. The Campaign Trail
  2. Primary Vote and Caucuses
  3. The National Convention

The Campaign Trail

Round one of the primarythe campaign trailusually starts at the beginning of the election year. This primary stage is when candidates promote their political intentions, their reasons for running, and their public image to voters and sponsors.

During the campaign trail, candidates will give speeches, air campaign ads, do interviews, kiss babies, and talk about their favorite ice cream.

While this process can seem trivial to the average voter, it is a brutal battle for the candidates fighting to gain public and financial support to sustain their campaign through inauguration day.

The candidates, who have established a public image and a potential path to victory, are then pitted against each other in debates and the polls. This happens so that each candidate can attempt to persuade the voters and sponsors to support themnot the other guy.

These debates force many candidates to drop out of the race before voting even takes place, as they lose support to their more popular competitors. Once this occurs, the remaining candidates turn their attention to the vote.

Primary Vote and Caucuses

There are two methods by which states conduct voting in round two of the primary. Some states use a primary vote, and others host caucus events.

The primary vote is similar to the general election. With this method, voters individually go to their designated voting location to cast their ballot.

On the other hand, the caucus method is much more public and involved. A caucus is an event held by the state’s party, where members of that party gather to persuade others to their candidate publicly and cast their votes at the end of the night.

Interestingly, caucuses were historically the main voting method in the United States until the 20th century when states decided that the primary voting system would be “fairer” and “more democratic.”

It is easy to recognize the vast differences between these methods.

  • Primary voting is individualistic
  • Caucuses are communal
  • Primary voting allows you to ignore other opinions and opposing arguments
  • Caucuses require you to engage with different sides of the political debate and defend your candidate

Another distinction is that the state government runs primary voting, while the political party runs the caucus event.

Primary voting can be open, semi-closed, or closed, depending on your state. In an open primary, voters registered with any party can vote for any political party candidate. Semi-closed means that registered voters can only vote for the party they are registered to; however, independents can choose whichever party they wish to cast their vote to. A closed primary means that each voter must vote for a candidate in their registered party.

Closed caucuses require you to register for the party you will vote for ahead of the caucus.

Common Misconception about the Primary

We must now address a significant misconception about the American presidential primary. Some people believe that when they vote in the primary, they vote directly for the candidate they choose. However, this is not the case. The people do not nominate the candidate; the party does.

When you vote in the primary, you are not voting to nominate the candidate; you are actually voting to award your candidate the delegates of your party, who will be the ones to nominate someone at the National Convention, which is round three of the primary.

The National Convention

Simply put, each state has delegates for both Democrats and Republicans, and candidates earn delegates based on the results of the people’s vote. The method of distribution depends on the state’s election laws. Some states reward the candidate with the majority vote with all the delegates, while others divide them based on percentage.

This process is different in each state, so I recommend researching how your specific state awards candidates with delegates.

One thing that is standard across the board is that for each party, some delegates must vote in alignment with the result of the people’s vote in their state, while others may vote for whomever they see fit. Democrats call restricted delegates “pledged” delegates, and Republicans call them “bound” delegates. Those who are not restricted to the results of their voter’s primary are “unpledged” according to Democrats or “unbound” according to  Republican delegates.

In addition to these titles, many other distinctions exist between how the Democrats and Republicans run their conventions. Learn more about the Democratic method and the Republican procedure.

No matter how your state and party conduct the specifics of the delegate’s role, at the National Convention, each delegate votes for their party’s nominee, and at the end of the night, the nominee is announced.

The Founder’s Concern & The Power of the Primary

All these different steps and complicated methods beg the question, why not just establish the simpler method of a nationwide popular vote?

“The people is a great beast.” —Alexander Hamilton

The founders rightly feared the tyranny of the majority in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Alexander Hamilton famously said, “The people is a great beast.” They knew it was easy to convince large swathes of a population to support the most exciting politician in the room, but that politician wasn’t always fit for the Oval Office. Just take a moment to consider that Adolf Hitler was a fan favorite among the German population when he was appointed as chancellor in 1933.

So, in their wisdom and foresight, the founding fathers established what could be considered “indirect elections.” They created a system where the power of the elections is held by each state rather than being centralized in the federal government, where the people have their voices heard and taken into account without the majority overpowering the minority, and ultimately, where trusted and educated delegates and electors stand between the people, the federal government, and the White House.

Vote!

“On average, the primary turnout rate for all these states combined was 27%, while the general election turnout was 60.5%. This means that less than half of the voters that cast a ballot in the general election turned out for the primary.” [2]

These numbers are very disheartening because it means that Americans have forgotten the power of the primary.

We must engage in our elections because they are the bedrock of our republic. So now that we understand how the primary works and why the founders established it the way they did, let us vote so that “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” [3]

Not only must we engage in our elections, but we must pray for and communicate with our elected officials regularly. Here are some resources for you.

Read other blogs written by Elise here.

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. She is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!


[1] Lincoln, A. (1863, November 19). The Gettysburg Address [Speech]. https://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm

[2] (2022, July 28). Turnout in Primaries vs General Elections since 2000. States United Action. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://statesuniteddemocracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/historic_turnout.html#Overview

[3] Lincoln, A. (1863, November 19). The Gettysburg Address [Speech]. https://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm

gold coins that are physical representations of digital cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin and Ethereum symbols on them

Central Bank Digital Currency —15 Free Resources

By Sadie Aldaya

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) have garnered significant attention and debate in economic, social, and political circles in recent years. As governments and financial institutions explore the possibilities and implications of CBDCs, it’s crucial for individuals to stay abreast and engaged with the ongoing discourse surrounding this topic. To aid your understanding, here are 15 free resources covering various aspects of CBDCs, including expert opinions, analyses, and discussions.

Central Bank Digital Currency Resources

Podcast Episodes and Videos

  1. CBDC & Fed Now App Launch Coming In Days. Is it “The Mark?”—Justin Barclay interviews Dr. Kirk Elliot on this insightful podcast episode.
  2. Greg Reese Report: FedNow Launch—This informative video will give valuable insights into the Federal Reserve’s CBDC initiative launch.
  3. Refining Rhetoric with Robert Bortins ends each episode with a Classical Crypto segment.
  4. Leigh Bortins & Kevin Novak’s Unfragmented Book Club series on Thank God for BitCoin by Jimmy Song. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Articles and Reports

  1. Central Bank Digital Currency: What Is A CBDC?Forbes offers an in-depth exploration of CBDCs, highlighting their significance and implications.
  2. Why a Digital Dollar Is a Really Bad Idea—The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) presents compelling arguments against the concept of a digital dollar.
  3. Homeschool Freedom Action Center: The Perils of Centralized Digital Banking Currency—An insightful analysis of the risks associated with centralized digital currencies.
  4. CBDC vs. Crypto: What’s the Difference?—The CATO Institute shares the nuances of CBDCs versus cryptocurrencies in this thought-provoking article.
  5. Federal Reserve—Learn about the FedNow Service and its role in the future of digital payments.
  6. White House Statement—Discover the current White House perspective on responsible digital asset innovation.
  7. CBDCs: The Road To Total Digital EnslavementWide Awake Media explores the implications of CBDCs on digital freedom in this thought-provoking article.
  8. Bank of Korea Governor Sees CBDC Introduction as Case for ‘Urgency:’ Report—Gain insights from the Bank of Korea Governor on the urgency of CBDC introduction.
  9. Donald Trump Vows to ‘Never Allow’ Central Bank Digital Currencies if Elected—This informative article explores Donald Trump’s views on CBDCs.

Finally, navigating the realm of CBDCs requires a thorough understanding of the complex issues at play. By engaging with these resources, you’ll be better equipped to grasp the implications of CBDCs on economies, financial systems, and individual freedoms. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and join the ongoing conversation surrounding the future of digital currencies.

Sadie Aldaya is the Research & Quality Assurance Specialist for Classical Conversations. Sadie and her husband homeschooled for over 20 years. She served as a Classical Conversations field representative for 15 years, providing community and support for other homeschooling families. Sadie’s passions are to stop government encroachment in areas where they have no authority or jurisdiction and to see Christians return to a biblical Christ-centered worldview.

a man holds up a phone to cover his face

Why Gen Z Males Prefer the Right

by Robert Bortins

Gen Z males are leaning more right than left, a recent survey shows. When it comes to political momentum, it is easy to feel intimidated by cultural forces. Especially for younger generations, we are persistently told that revolutions come from youth, and the cultural tides are shifting because of young voices.

Moreover, when touted from the left, this can be disheartening, knowing that Gen Z fills the voter pool with indoctrinated principles planted by far, far leftist public academia.

Is there hope for Gen Z?

However, as politicians, Hollywood, and mainstream media bully conservatives with these empty talking points, the data shows the opposite. And this is especially the case with Gen Z males.

In episode 71 of Refining Rhetoric, Robert explores why Gen Z males are leaning conservative twice as much as liberal, as discovered by a recent survey that contradicts the widely held narrative that Gen Z has a leftist bent. There is hope for Gen Z.

Check out the episode below. Listen to other episodes on Refining Rhetoric or check out “How Civility Can Save Our Country.

Why Gen Z Males Prefer The Right

Robert Bortins is the CEO of Classical Conversations® and the host of Refining Rhetoric. The company has grown from supporting homeschoolers in about 40 states to supporting homeschoolers in over 50 countries and has become the world’s largest classical homeschooling organization under his guidance.

A young boy and girl concentrate on their homework, writing together at a table

Oklahoma Bill HB 4130 – A Deeper Analysis

By Elise DeYoung

In recent months, Oklahoma and Michigan, two states that have historically had low regulation on homeschool freedoms, have sought to pass restrictive laws. These states both claim to be passing homeschool registration and oversight laws to prevent the abuse of home-educated children.

Since homeschooling became legal in 1992, many states have tirelessly attempted to oversee and regulate a parent’s right to home education. If you wish to learn about your state’s homeschool laws, you can do so by visiting HSLDA’s website.

You can learn more about the specifics of Michigan’s proposal and its problems here.

In Oklahoma, Rep. Amanda Swope has introduced HB 4130, which would require homeschool parents to send in a letter to the Department of Human Services requesting to homeschool their child, provide the information of every adult involved in the child’s education, and go through biannual background checks performed by the DHS.

While the intentions of Swope may sound noble at first (who wouldn’t want to put an end to the abuse of children?), this bill is founded on a false premise and represents a trend of state aggression towards homeschooling. For these reasons, Americans, especially in Oklahoma, must strongly oppose Swope’s bill to restrict and regulate homeschooling families.

The Narrative is Fabricated

The entire reason for the bill rests upon the premise that there is an epidemic of abuse among homeschooled children, and we need new legislation to address it. Sadly, for Swope and her bill, the statistical facts strongly contradict this narrative.

First, all of the evidence available shows that “homeschooled children are abused at a lower rate than are those in the general public, and no evidence shows that the home educated are at any higher risk of abuse.”(Ray, 2018) What’s more, a Gen 2 Survey found that homeschooled students are actually 257% less likely to be sexually abused than their government-schooled peers.

It is ironic that Swope’s proposed solution to the fallacious low abuse rates among homeschoolers is government regulation. This has yet to help public schoolers who experience constant state oversight. What makes her think it will help the homeschoolers in any way?

Additionally, according to the statistics, if Swope were truly concerned with addressing child abuse in her state, she would turn her attention to the place where children suffer the most—government schools.

Even if there were high rates of abuse among homeschooled children, there are already nationwide laws on the books that protect all children from abuse, including homeschoolers.[1] There is no reason to pass another bill. Oklahoma simply has to enforce the ones it already has in place.

So why do Swope and those who support HB 4130 want to pass it so badly? The answer is increased government oversight and regulation on homeschooling.

Government Overreach

To understand the extent of the government overreach within HB 4130, we must examine the document ourselves.

Letters of Intent

Paragraph F. reads, “On or before the school district start date, parents making the decision to choose homeschooling, podschooling, or microschooling shall submit a letter of intent to the Department of Human Services.”

A Letter of Intent can easily be dismissed as “normal” because many states require homeschooling parents to write a letter outlining their intent to homeschool. However, most states require parents to submit it to their local school district or to their state. The purpose of this is to inform their state schools that it is not responsible for their child’s education.

The difference is that with this bill, Oklahoma parents must submit their letter of intent to the Department of Human Services. Later in the bill, the letter of intent is referred to as “a request to homeschool” and may be denied by the DHS. Denial of a fundamental right to educate one’s child is an egregious abuse of power. Since when did the DHS (the civil government) have the right to determine whether a family has the right to homeschool their children?

The bill continues by explaining what information parents are required to surrender:

  • The names of the homeschooling parents
  • The social security numbers of parents.
  • The names of all the homeschooled children
  • The home address of the family homeschooling
  • The names of all individuals living at the home address
  • The names of “any associated individuals or organizations assisting with the child’s or children’s schooling.”
  • Along with “A brief statement for the decision of schooling”

Furthermore, this bill requires you to “reapply” for homeschooling by sending in a “subsequent letter of intent” every time you make a change in your initial decision to homeschool, whether it is “a result of a move or otherwise.”

Background Checks

Paragraph H. says, “When the Department of Human Services receives a letter of intent, it shall perform an initial background check on parents, other adults within the home, and any adults assisting in the children’s schooling.”

The fact that the DHS wants to perform background checks on parents to decide whether or not they have the right to home-educate their children is Orwellian. It also begs a fascinating question:

Why does this bill not include background checks for the parents of public school students? Those students are home, with no government supervision, for three whole months. Why isn’t Swope concerned about abuse in those homes?

Background checks on “parents, other adults within the home, and any adults assisting in the children’s schooling” is both a disturbing invasion into the homes of home educators and will also cause a multitude of issues for tutoring programs and independent educators who will now be subject to background checks by the DHS.

Biannual Checks

Moreover, parents must repeat all the regulations examined so far biannually. “The Department shall maintain a system to conduct biannual checks of the database and compile a database of individuals, facilities, and organizations that perform and assist with homeschooling, podschooling, or microschooling.”

This regulation means that by the time an Oklahoma homeschool student has graduated, the DHS will have made 24 reviews on that child’s security information, address, family members, homeschool organizations, and teachers.

The bill concludes that the DHS may deny “requests” to homeschool and will deny them if any adult involved in the child’s education has a “pending child abuse or neglect investigation” against them.

Constitutional Home Educators explains the danger of this vague wording: “There are so many loopholes here that could allow DHS to deny your request to home educate. It does not say just an abuse or neglect conviction; it includes a pending investigation. All it takes is an accusation.”

Oppose HB 4130

This bill represents an outrageous abuse of government authority and power. First, it is completely unnecessary and will be totally ineffective. Regulation does not reduce abuse. Second, the bill is designed to empower government-run agencies to dictate a parent’s right to home educate and to regulate that right if it is “approved” by the state. This bill is a blatant abuse of power and must be ardently rejected by the citizens of Oklahoma before it is instated and enforced.

Homeschool freedom is a right that many before us have fought to win. We cannot allow the state to deceive us into surrendering this right for a fabricated narrative and a false promise. All Americans must stand in support of Oklahoma citizens as they fight on the front lines for educational freedom.

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. Elise is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!


[1] (n.d.). 2022 Oklahoma Statutes Title 21. Crimes and Punishments §21-843.5. Child abuse – Child neglect – Child sexual abuse – Child sexual exploitation – Enabling – Penalties. Justia US Law. https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2022/title-21/section-21-843-5/

A man with a beard and glasses taking his hat off and scratching his head, looking upward out of frame

Can You Define Fascism?

By Elise DeYoung

Fascism. It is a term widely used but hardly understood.

Are you aware of the history and philosophy surrounding this term? Can you define it?

When these questions arise, men like Benito Mussolini are often accredited with the philosophy of fascism, and words such as “authoritarianism” and “right-wing extremism” are frequently given as synonyms. Armed with these ambiguous and frightening words as arrows in their quiver, left-wing politicians commonly use the word fascism to attack their right-wing opponents. We are all familiar with CNN anchors referring to Donald Trump as a right-wing, MAGA fascist.

Where did this term originate? Is fascism really right-wing extremism? Are there fascists in America today?

By exploring each of these questions, we will come across three misconceptions of fascism that have distorted our understanding of this powerful word.

These misconceptions are:

  1. Benito Mussolini founded fascism.
  2. Fascism is a radical right-wing ideology.
  3. The modern Left is anti-fascist.

Misconception One: Mussolini and Fascism

Contrary to popular belief, Benito Mussolini was not the founder of fascism. Instead, he explicitly recognized the real founder of fascism as Giovanni Gentile, and gave him the title, “The philosopher of Fascism.”

Gentile lived from 1875 to 1944 and was an extremely prominent Italian philosopher, politician, and educator. He established the idea of fascism, and with his ideology, he paved the way for the dictatorship of Mussolini, which lasted from 1922 to 1943.

Gentile, like Marx, sought to create a form of government that resembles the family unit. What would this look like exactly? Well—if you think of the family unit, who is the head of the household? Traditionally, it is the father. And what is the role of the father? It is to provide for and to protect his family.

Likewise, Gentile ordered his fascist ideology in such a way that the government would be the father of civilization—its sole provider and protector. With this structure, personal responsibility and individual liberty, which Gentile condemned as “selfish,” are thrown out the window and replaced by slothful dependence and security through submission to Father Government. It is obvious why authoritarianism is so closely attributed to fascism; they have many similarities. Now that we understand Gentile’s philosophical intention, we can define his term.

Fascism is a political movement that seeks to establish an authoritarian system of government that resembles the family unit.

There is one final fact about Gentile that must be understood to have a well-rounded understanding of his philosophy of fascism. That is—Gentile was a Leftist. This may come as a shock because fascism has been attributed to the right for many decades, but when we consider the philosophy of fascism in relation to the modern right and left, it begins to make sense.

Misconception Two: Fascism and the Right

As I said before, fascism has been viewed as the end game of radical right-wing politics for many decades. Republican politicians have seemed to accept this abuse of language and have allowed it to continue all these years.

However, a brief comparison of conservatism and fascism will expose the ridiculous claim that fascism is rooted in the right. Allow me to ask this simple question: Do conservatives want big government? The answer is an obvious and resounding no.

If there is one thing that has not changed in the Republican party, it is the desire for small government. To claim otherwise is folly.  

Additionally, what true conservative wants to surrender personal responsibility and individual liberty to Father Government? The answer is none.

For fascism to work at all, liberty and responsibility must be discarded and replaced by a far-reaching, powerful, all-consuming government that rules its complacent society with an iron fist. That is what happened in Italy under Mussolini’s fascist reign, and that is precisely what conservatives are actively fighting against.

Misconception Three: The Left and Modern-Day Fascists

So, if Republicans are not undercover fascist dictators, are there fascists in America at all?

I am not here to make the argument that all leftist politicians and Democrat voters are fascists. Because that is not the case, however, there are clear-cut agreements between the two political movements that we must acknowledge.

PragerU makes this comparison in their video, “Is Fascism Right or Left?”,

“At the 1984 convention of the Democratic Party, the governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, likened America to an extended family where, through the government, people all take care of each other.”

They continue by saying,

“Nothing has changed. Thirty years later, a slogan of the 2012 Democratic Party convention was, ‘The government is the only thing we all belong to.’ They might as well have been quoting Gentile.”

The left has taken Gentile’s idea of collectivism under Father Government and applied it to their political philosophy. We must be aware of the left’s implementation of this core fascist ideal in its policies and plans for our country.

Fascist Philosophy Embedded in Leftist Policies

Just to name a few, the Welfare system has resulted in a complete dependence upon the government by large swaths of the American public. In addition, the left’s movement to ban assault rifles would instantly create a total dependence on Father Government for protection. These two examples prove that the left is furthering our dependence on the government for provision and protection; Gentile would be proud.

The most glaring example, however, of fascist philosophy embedded in leftist policies was the effort by Democratic politicians to instate federal mask and vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. This would have exponentially multiplied the scope and influence of the state and greatly increased our submission to it in the name of security. Gentile’s philosophy continues infiltrating institutions today, such as education and healthcare, through Democratic policies.

It is abundantly clear that there are extreme misconceptions surrounding the term and ideology of fascism. Thankfully, we can know the facts behind the philosophy. With a newfound clarity of the origin and political affiliation of fascism, we must now boldly oppose all efforts to instate Father Government in our fascist-free country.

You can read other articles written by Elise here.

Elise DeYoung is a PR & Communications Associate as well as a Classical Conversations graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. She is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!

a person holding up a cardboard sign that says "Act Now"

Stand Against Oklahoma Bill HB 4130 Requiring Permission to Homeschool

By Elise DeYoung

Recently, House Bill 4130 was introduced to regulate homeschool families in Oklahoma. Americans must strongly oppose this bill to restrict and regulate families, because its narrative of abuse in homeschools is fabricated. This bill would introduce extreme government overreach into the realm of home education.

Homeschoolers have the fundamental right of autonomy to educate and disciple their children apart from state overreach. A more detailed analysis of this bill is coming, but due to urgency of action, here are some reasons to oppose it:

  1. Children do not belong to the state, but to the parents.
  2. Therefore, the Civil government has no authority or jurisdiction over homeschooling.
  3. The reasons for restricting and regulating homeschooling are baselessly supported, fueled by fear tactics.
  4. If passed, the state will require social security numbers and background checks for the purpose of tracking every home resident.
  5. If passed, parents may be subjected to home inspection visits.

For these reasons, we’d like to stand with our friends at HSLDA and oppose Rep. Amanda Swope’s bill. 

To join our efforts opposing HB 4130, please contact Rep. Amanda Swope to let her know that you oppose this bill.

Join the Fight to Keep Your Homeschool Freedoms:

  1. Tips For Contacting Your Lawmakers
  2. Letter and Phone Content Template
  3. Join the Oklahoma Capitol Day 2024
  4. Find out more about Constitutional Home Educators Alliance

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. She is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!