Is Trump a Fascist? Will there be a Coup?

Does it matter what we call Trump? Does the Left need to to chill out?

Some years ago, Randy Newman sang “the end of an empire . . . is messy at best,” and American society is now in a mess that Winston Wolfe couldn’t clean up.  No one has to ignore the long sordid corporate liberal record of Joe Biden or the Wall Street/Prosecutor career of Kamala Harris to understand that Donald Trump has to be deposed by whatever means necessary and if the tactic of voting does that, there’s no reason to knock it. 

But it’s also a time for thinking rationally and coldly, not being hysterical and panicking, and there’s a lot of that on the Left these days. 

Trump’s scary and dangerous, absolutely.  Though he’s not as abnormal as a lot of Leftists and especially Liberals insist  (think of Nixon and Reagan and Bush, not to mention Clinton and Obama), he’s openly, crudely, vulgarly, maniacally, and virulently presenting a challenge at home of a greater magnitude than we’ve seen probably since the 1960s.  While logically building on the neo-liberal and inhumane programs of his predecessors, he’s topped them off with a dismissal of a public health crisis that’s killed over 200,000 and is openly inciting white supremacist violence from Portland to Michigan. 

He has to go away, and immediately.

But recently, there’s been a surge of articles and opinion pieces in Left media verging on hysteria—with some crossing that line—that Trump is a fascist and/or a Nazi, that he’s going to steal the election or refuse to leave office, and, most troubling, that others on the Left who do not share such alarmist views are really no better than MAGA-wearing Trump fanatics. The most extreme example may be a recent social media observation from the lead writer of a well-known online publication which shrieked that “any asshole ‘radical left’ douchebag who goes around posting and publishing denialist bullshit based on the absence of full on parallels with the Third Reich disgraces themselves and pollutes the discourse with ahistorical drivel.”  The evidence?—border detentions, Charlottesville, El Paso, tweets to “liberate” various states, Kenosha, referring to Democrat politicians as Communists, ominous warnings about the election, and the like.

Long before that, since January 2017 really, there have been listicles of traits of fascists, 20 ways to spot a fascist, 5 reasons why Trump is the new Hitler, countless memes explaining what fascism is, and so forth.  It’s reminiscent of the 1950s “how to spot a Communist” propaganda, and I’m waiting for a lefty Jeff Foxworthy to strike it big with a “you might be a fascist if….” routine. 

Most of these focus on Trump’s bluster, vulgarity, threats, and overtly racist and sexist ideas, as well as some genuinely frightening programs and policies.  But being fascist involves so much more than being a horrendous, and dangerous, individual, even one with power.  (Continued on page 2)

About buzzanco

Historian, Agitator, Sicilian
This entry was posted in Constitutional Crisis, Foreign Policy, History, Immigration, Liberals, Military, Muslims, Politics, Repression, Trump, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Is Trump a Fascist? Will there be a Coup?

  1. adoyle45 says:

    brilliant article! Completely agree that the severity and potency of the term fascism is slowly being diluted by its slap dash usage whenever the left sees something unpleasant.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Is Your Outrage Pure? | Afflict The Comfortable (The Mind of Bob Buzzanco)

  3. JDC says:

    A sidereal google search brought me to this page and I admit it gave me a good chuckle to read that concerns that Trump might refuse to leave office or stage a coup was not just irrational but a sign of hysteria. Given the last two months, the author might want to offer a mea culpa to those ‘hysterical’ people who turned out to be more prescient regarding just how far Trump and his supporters would go to stay in power. Whether you call it a coup (yes, I see that that author refuses to acknowledge it as such) or not, the intention was to overthrow an election with a result of effectively ending democracy as we know it.

    But to the main issue of hand, the question of whether Trump is a Fascist.

    Perhaps better to ask is Trumpism fascist.

    Trumpism represents policies that are authoritarian, nationalist, prioritize Christian religion, prioritize Northern European western civilization, military idolization, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, pro-police state, anti-democratic and utilize a zero sum game foreign relations strategy that eschews international norms and cooperation in favor of coercive economic and military intimidation,

    In terms of a movement, Trumpism inculcates and encourages fear and anger towards outsiders alongside aspirations of winning. Total loyalty is a requisite. Loyalty to Trump supersedes loyalty to party or nation. Ends justify the means.

    I’m not a historian who lectures on Fascism, but it begs the question of how many boxes have to be checked before the term is relevant for Trump?

    What makes a fascist leader?

    Is it intellectual capacity? Do you have to be able to write your own treatise defining the your core political and philosophical motivations? Trump can barely read, much less write anything short of his signature in sharpie. Does that matter?

    Is it economic success and turning around a failing economy using the authority of the state? Trump did try to strongarm certain industries to do his bidding, but couldn’t restore manufacturing but claimed success for an already improving economy.

    Is it military success by invading another country? Trump saber rattled frequently, but usually backed down if his bluff was called.

    I don’t know if any of this matters. Trying to define a fascist today by seeing how well they match the descriptions of fascists 80 years ago may be missing the point. My career is in data architecture and I get the pleasure of labeling and defining the data that gets stored. One thing I’ve learned is that no matter how perfect a label and definition, there will always come along a piece of data that forces you to modify your understanding.

    Maybe Trump is not a Fascist in the classical sense, but from what I’ve seen in the last four years, he and some of his supporters have a fascist nature and that is all that matters.

    Like

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