One popular fad these days is to compare Donald Trump to Hitler/other Nazis. One of my friends made a smirking comment to me about how they preferred Trump’s speeches, “in the original German”. Ho, ho. As if that hasn’t been said about basically every politician since 1946.
Trump is not a Nazi. He’s also not a Communist. He’s a Republican, but only by virtue of how much support he’s getting from people who call themselves such.
No, what Trump is is something very different, and something we’ve not seen in American politics at this level, or at least haven’t seen in quite some time.
Trump is, simply, a fascist. This is not a term I use lightly. He’s a fascist by any reasonable definition of the term, and is pushing a fascist agenda.
It can be quite tough finding a definition for fascism, but it’s kind of like porn; hard to define, but you know it when you see it. I think we can agree that, historically, fascism has included much of the following:
- Creating a sense of threat against the nation.
- Ignoring facts in favor of rhetoric, and accusing people of lying when they bring up the facts.
- Blaming certain minority groups for the nation’s troubles.
- Singling out those minority groups for special sanction.
- Talking about restoring your nation to a glorious past, when all was right and perfect.
- Endorsing violence against those who disagree with you.
- Favoring a strong, active, and expansive, military that you will use at every given opportunity.
- Subordinating individual freedom to the state and making capitalism serve it as well.
Trump certainly hits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7. He flirts with 6, in that he doesn’t disavow violence and doesn’t seem to mind when his supporters mete it out. He doesn’t support 8.
Still, six-and-a-half out of eight isn’t great. While I doubt that Trump will ever go the full eight, the mere fact that a major American political figure hits this many marks on the fascist scale is troubling, and says nothing good at all about the modern Republican party.
I continue to believe that Trump will never get the Republican nomination (he continues to poll extremely high, but the number of people who don’t support him far outweighs those who do), yet it does disturb me that someone like this, who has no political experience, and whose only real talent is making a lot of money (which isn’t that impressive), is doing as well in the polls as he is. Yes, the first elections are still a month or so away, but it still bothers me. We’re a better nation than this. Hopefully the GOP is a better party than this.