The tendency these days is to want to compare a current political figure to someone from the past. It can be dangerous to attempt to do so because each historical figure lived in a diametrically different time and era from today to make the comparison foolhardy. The best we can do is to understand what the definition of fascism is and to see if the person we are alleging to be a fascist, i.e., Donald Trump, fits the definition. He may share some of the attributes and beliefs of let us say Hitler, or Musolini. A closer comparison that might lend itself to a better comparison would be to compare Donald Trump to let us say a Silvio Berlusconi.
The definition of fascism is an authoritarain and nationalistic right-wing system of government. Does Donald Trump have authoritarian tendencies? His actions will determine the answer to this question but it would appear that he has authoritarian attributes. So far he does not appear to accept criticism very well, and finds and admires leaders who fit the description of being a dictator. His followers seem to follow him blindly immune to any negative comments condemning him for any bad behavior. He wants for his followers order, and safety while requiring obedience.
Benito Mussolini was the father of fascism. He stated in his doctrine of fascism the belief that fascism is anti-individualistic, the person is not as important as the nation. He went further and stated that fascism is totalitarian. What matters is the state, the nation. His belief was that we must exalt the nation, the state above all else.
To me fascism is nationalism on steroids. Trump tells us how America should always come first. He insists that for years we have never won, a war or a deal when it comes to trade. A fascist tactic is to use ethnic stereotypes, thereby encouraging a fear of foreigners. It is a fascist tactic to pit one group of people against another, to denegrate them and to dehumanize them. We can see that now as Trump has said that people from Mexico are rapists and drug lords. It is a fascist tactic to take a persons fears and make a people a scapegoat for their fears. To his way of thinking it is always the other guy to be feared and scorned. His whole effort to use and enlist the working class voter smacks of fascism. His followers readily accept the notion that blacks are less than human. He might not say the words, but his followers know that all white supremacy groups are welcome to support him.
We really do not know nor do we really understand what makes Trump tick. Is he all about the deal and what will make his family more wealthy? We do not know yet what he will do as President of the United States, but his appointments thus far give us a clue. He is not backing down from his promises. He has promised to build a wall. We should expect him to do so. He has said that he will ban Muslims. We should accept him to do so. Are these not fascistic tactics?
During the rise of Hitler and Mussolini both countries were in decline as a result of the first World War. We have not had such an event occur. But Trump has succeeded in making people believe that we are in decline. He has said that our military is weak and people believe him. A fascist leader wants you to believe that your country is in decline and that only you, Donald J. Trump can save the day. The great Recession provided Trump with the raw meat of unhappy and angry people who in some cases have never recovered from the Recession. If your stomach is empty and your hopes for the future are dim, you have a perfect situation for a revolution.
Who does not love your country? He uses this love of country this nationalism on steroids to increase his popularity. It is a good feeling to love your country and your country above all. But this is what fascism is all about. It is an effort to turn the working class into a political force who will want a greater America right or wrong. One can almost hear the echo of storm troops now. Dissent may be on the way out if Newt Gingrich has anything to say about it as he has mentioned the need to have a committee on unAmerican activities. At the very least Trump’s empire will grow and corruption will be rampant. Which is why Silvio Berlusconi is probably a better example of what we are to expect in the future. Berlusconi is another billionaire businessman who became Italy’s PM for several terms.
One can only hope that the extremism of his appointees does not get the world in deep danger with a greater danger of war in the future. The military will benefit by greater expenditures. Will the latest appointee, General Flynn be another, Curtis LeMay who famously wanted to nuke the Soviets?
Is Trump a fascist? Yes, we will have to wait and see how bad it gets. Will Congress succumb to his will or be a source of protection for we the people as the founders intended? History will tell us how bad of a fascist Trump will be and how far the corruption goes!