Fascism in America
Fascism in America
Fascism is not calling someone hitler. That would take a whole lot of other criteria and frankly is not quite accurate for Trump. Fascism is authoritarian nationalism. And Trump certainly qualifies for this description all too well.
Ben Shapiro and Julia Ioffe have both seen attempts to repress opposition first hand. And there is nothing acceptable about saying “Jews to the ovens.” Ever. And make no mistake about it: his supporters are nationalists.
Patriotism & nationalism are profoundly different. Patriotism is love of country. FA Hayek called nationalism “a twin brother of socialism.”
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 9, 2016
When describing fascism and Trump, Robert Kagan in the Washington post says this:
Republican politicians marvel at how he has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.” Conservatives have been warning for decades about government suffocating liberty. But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.
This is what Trump is doing. The idea that the first amendment protects journalists is something Mr. Trump wants to eliminate. He does not want a loyal opposition or journalists asking him icky questions. A schoolyard bully or tin pot dictator? Perhaps but I think his political views fall under the spectrum of fascism.
This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.
What is the role of the GOP? Look to the larger fascist states like Germany 1933-1945 and Italy under Il Duce. Not a pretty picture. To be blunt the ones who will not play along will be destroyed by Trump and his minions. And his having the federal government to smash his enemies should be the stuff of nightmares. The Trumpers call for Party Unity at what price?
When the choice is party or principle, principle has to win. Fascism is not acceptable.