Fascism Has Come To America

Flickr / Gage Skidmore
Flickr / Gage Skidmore

I have a confession to make. I’ve been meaning to write a piece about fascism and comparing Donald Trump to Hitler. But the words have somehow escaped me. A part of me is flabbergasted that a candidate as hateful and divisive as Donald Trump can become elected and that yet another person can become president without winning the popular vote. But the issue of the Electoral College is a problem for another day.

In the words of Ellie Wiesel, “neutrality always helps the oppressor; never the victim.” The idea might sound dramatic. But saying the United States isn’t as bad as Germany was before Hitler became the ruler, misses the point. Donald Trump echoes characteristics of fascism and more parallels to Hitler than one would like to admit. Because people who also say something as bad as Hitler could never happen in the United States don’t get the point. America shouldn’t be turned into a game to see how close it can get to Hitler/Nazi Germany while people are squirming and recoiling in fear. So, let’s have some real talk and examine the facts.

The general characteristics of fascism can be found here, and there are clearly some overlaps with Donald Trump. One characteristic of fascism is extreme nationalism. Yes. There’s nothing wrong with having pride in one’s country. And that would normally be a good thing. But fascism takes the idea to an extreme. Donald Trump had the opportunity to be a unifier and could have emphasized rebuilding America’s economy without feeling the need to blame Mexicans, Muslims, and other immigrants.

Guess what? Identifying an enemy or a scapegoat for a scapegoat as a unifying is another characteristic of fascism.

Also, Hitler blamed Jewish people for Germany’s problems. So, it’s only natural that people might get a little nervous when Trump and/or his surrogates make comments about a Muslim registry. Whether that actually comes to fruition or not is another matter. However, being concerned about national security shouldn’t be an excuse to intrude on people’s rights. Trump once again gets another tally in the fascism column because him and the Republican Party exemplify more zealousness over national security than helping to improve America’s economy.

Obsession over the phrase, “radical Islamic terrorist” is case in point. America should be carefully and respectfully concerned about its national security no matter who the terrorist is (which would include white people if we’re talking about domestic terrorism and violence-like the Charleston church shooting BTW).

Ultimately, I would imagine white people would be the first ones screaming if the situation were reversed and white people had to register. And guess what? Atrocities don’t just randomly happen overnight. Hitler made the Jewish people register way before enacting his ultimate endgame.

Disdain for the recognition of human rights is another element of fascism.

And Donald Trump once again gets a less than favorable score. Sure. He hasn’t committed an atrocity. But he does prefer to throw tantrums on Twitter rather than speak up about the hate crimes and hecklings that have been going on in America since he “won” the election. For more information about hate crimes and hecklings against African Americans, immigrants, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community following the election of Donald Trump, people can look here.

In fact, people only need to look at Twitter and Facebook for smaller evidence about the increase in hate crimes and hecklings since Trump has been elected. And, sure. He might have told his radical followers to stop it during his 60 Minutes interview after his “win.” But he came off as phony because he can’t play dumb when he ran on a campaign of hate and bigotry. Someone can argue that hate against African Americans, immigrants, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community already existed in a small way since Donald Trump didn’t invent it. But people need to understand that’s the reason people are mad. Trump has validated hate against African Americans, immigrants, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community.

Corporate power being protected and the suppression of labor power are also other characteristics of fascism, which more loosely connect to Donald Trump.

The reality is, Donald Trump doesn’t care about helping the middle class. The Carrier deal isn’t as great as Trump and his cronies would like people to believe. 700 jobs are still being outsourced to Mexico, and people can learn about the Carrier situation here

So much for Donald Trump knowing how make a deal and negotiate. Because saying how great his Carrier deal is the kind of doublespeak that echoes fascist propaganda.

The media is yet another issue related to fascism since controlling mass media is one of the fourteen characteristics of fascism.

Sure, Trump doesn’t control the media. But throwing temper tantrums against The New York Times, Vanity Fair, CNN, and Saturday Night Live (to name a couple of examples) is a slippery slope. I don’t recall George W. Bush complaining every time a liberal media outlet criticized him. Also, Obama doesn’t have a meltdown whenever Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh spew toxic divisive rhetoric. As a result, Donald Trump has every right to be upset about negative publicity. But he shouldn’t be making it the issue of the day in an attempt to distract people. Doing so will probably get his supporters to hate the liberal leaning part of the media even more and think they are the one’s spreading misinformation. The opposite is true, though. Donald Trump is the one who said Global Warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese, which is reckless.

Disdain for intellectuals and the arts is another smaller indirect connection to Donald Trump and fascism.

Trump sets a dangerous precedent when he says he knows more about ISIS than American generals or when he doesn’t get his security briefings as much as he should. Sure. The two examples don’t directly relate to college professors or artists. But they do relate to the idea of information (which a college professor would have) and Donald Trump wanting people to trust he’s wise.

A more direct connection to intellectuals exists because people in blue states that have advanced degrees such as a Master’s or PhD’s might come off as elitist to someone living in a red state. Well, time for some real talk. Knowledge isn’t a bad thing as long as you use it appropriately and don’t condescend people. The sad fact is, people in red states are the ones that believe Trump is the answer to all of their problems just because his campaign uses neat little slogans like “lock her up,” or “Make America Great Again.”

So, yes. Fascism has arrived in America. Someone can still echo fascist undertones even if a part of the Republican Party. Americans need to be vigilant because we are no longer fighting battles about spending or more wars. There’s no positive spin on hate and bigotry or room for compromise. Now is the time to draw a line in the sand. America’s future is at stake, and it isn’t a laughing matter. TC mark

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