Is Donald Trump a Fascist?
Is it fair or unfair to call The Donald a fascist? The world's most notorious
fascist was Adolph Hitler. If we compare many things that Adolph Hitler said
when he was running for office to what Donald Trump is saying during his
campaign, there are disturbing similarities. Does this make
Donald Trump "as bad as Hitler"? No, obviously not. Hitler went far beyond just
saying insane things, to actually doing insane things. But obviously, we have to
consider whether candidates for office will do what they promise to do. If Trump
intends to do what he says, then he is a very dangerous man and could be another
Hitler, or at least similar to him in terrible ways. If Trump does not intend to do what
he says, then he is lying and doesn't deserve our votes for the world's most
powerful office. So in either case his words should disqualify him.
Features of Fascism
Fervent, jingoistic nationalism (at Donald Trump's campaign events, one can hear
people chanting "USA! USA! USA!" in the background).
"A sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of traditional
solutions." (Trump's ascendancy is due largely to his Chicken Little cries that
the sky is falling in every conceivable direction.)
"The superiority of the leader's instincts over abstract and universal reason."
(Trump claims to "know" things by magic and to always be right about everything
"The belief of one group that it is the victim, justifying any action." (Ethnic
Germans were the "victims" of the Jews they persecuted; white Americas are the
"victims" of blacks, Hispanics and Muslims.)
The idea that security is more important than individual human rights and
freedoms (Trump recently said that "security must rule" and "unthinkable" things
must be done to ensure security).
Scapegoating of minorities (Jews and Gypsies in Nazi Germany; blacks, Hispanics
and Muslims in present-day America).
"The need for authority by natural leaders (always male) culminating in a
national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny." (Hitler
then, Trump now.)
A love of military power, displays of military power, and even glamorization of
war itself for the sake of national "honor" and "glory" (have you been to an
American football stadium recently?).
A militaristic and highly aggressive foreign policy (the US has been at war
almost constantly for more than 100 years).
Rampant chauvinism: the alpha male heterosexual is glorified, while feminism and
homosexuality are denigrated and suppressed (the GOP is fiercely anti-feminist
The mass media is either controlled by the government or sympathizes with it
(why are there no acts of Christian terrorism, only acts of Islamic terrorism?).
A "sophisticated apparatus for systematically propagandizing the population"
into accepting fascist values and ideas (Fox News, or, more correctly, Faux
Fear is used to motivate and control the public (the GOP's main political
strategy for eight years has been to frighten Americans into believing that
Barack Obama is a socialist, not American, not Christian, etc.).
The most common religion is favored by the government and used to manipulate
public opinion (all the Republican presidential candidates pander to Christians
on abortion, homosexuality, Israel, etc.).
Corporate power is protected, because corporate donations help politicians get
elected (Super-PACs are dominating American politics).
Labor unions are either eliminated or suppressed (Republican presidential
candidates have bragged about bullying unions, even teachers' unions).
Disdain for intellectuals and the arts (American conservatives frequently oppose
government aid for the arts).
Obsession with crime and punishment (Trump recently insisted that the US
military should hunt down the wives and children of dead terrorists and "take
them out" or make them "suffer" for purposes of "retribution").
A demand for everyone to conform to the same narrow image (white Christians are
good; everyone else is suspect and dangerous).
Intolerance for diversity (Christianity is good; different beliefs and cultures
are suspect and dangerous).
Social and economic Darwinism: the idea that the rich and powerful have the
"right" to take advantage of the poor and weak; in other words, the law of the
jungle (conservatives have equated Obamacare with slavery and communism).
Rampant cronyism and corruption (the war with Iraq is a recent American
Fascists often seek to rig elections (recently in the US, there have been many
attempts by Republicans to keep minorities from voting).
Robert Paxton mentioned fascism's "obsessive preoccupation with community
decline, humiliation or victimhood" and "compensatory cults of unity, energy and
purity" (Trump speaks constantly of decline and energy).
Kevin Passmore defined fascism as a movement of the extreme, radical right
(Trump, Cruz, Carson, Romney, Ryan, Santorum, George W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld,
Palin, Bachmann, McCain ... need I say more?)
Does any of this sound familiar? Are these not the organizing principles of the
Republican party and its presidential candidates, especially Donald Trump? The Republican party has swung
so far to the extreme, radical right that Ronald Reagan's family has pointed out
that he couldn't run as a Republican today and win an election.
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