In case you haven’t noticed lately, Donald Trump is a fascist. So are his advisors and supporters. And, if you don’t agree that Trump is a fascist then you’re a fascist. If you voted for Trump, even begrudgingly because you believed he was the lesser of two evils, and don’t deeply regret it now, you’re a fascist. If you’re not sure if Trump is a fascist, you’re a fascist. And, most importantly, if you don’t actively demonstrate against his fascist regime (hysterical shrieking online counts) then, you guessed it, you’re a fascist.
Progressives, bless their hearts, are no doubt trying to conjure up images of Hitler and Mussolini with their sloppy and ignorant use of “fascist” but in fact they’re using the word in the way George Orwell described it in The Politics of the English Language, merely to signify “something not desirable.”
Think about this rationally for a second.
Donald Trump is not the next Adolf Hitler. In many respects he is very much unlike your standard fascist leader. For instance, most fascists show their political and military ambitions relatively early. Trump managed to skip out on military service, then meandered around in business and showbiz for most of his adult life. He pulled the trigger on his vaguely expressed presidential ambitions just in time to capitalize on the political stars lining up in just the sort of a way that made a Trump presidency more possible than absurd. That’s hardly the sort of ruthless political drive you would expect to see in a fascist.
“My argument is pretty simple. American fascism cannot happen anymore because the American government is too large and unwieldy. It is simply too hard for the fascists, or for that matter other radical groups, to seize control of. No matter who is elected, the fascists cannot control the bureaucracy, they cannot control the judiciary, they cannot control semi-independent institutions such as the Federal Reserve, and they cannot control what is sometimes called ‘the deep state.’ The net result is they simply can’t control enough of the modern state to steer it in a fascist direction.”
Tyler Cowen in Can It Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America
People are free to not like Donald Trump and those who support him all they want. I support him and, believe me, there a lot of valid reasons not to that I am fully aware of, even wrestle with.
But people need to stop throwing the word “fascist” around, it’s just plain dumb.