Thu 2023-Aug-10

Robert Reich on Trump's Fascism

Tagged: Politics / Sadness

Remember back when I started referring to Trump as a fascist? (Neither do I. It’s been way obvious for a way long while.) Well, now plenty of well-informed others are saying it too.

Informed Opinions Piling Up: Trump is a Fascist

Remember back when we were talking about the ominous impact of authoritarianism in cops? [1]

These things start from the top. Republicans have no problem calling anybody to their left “socialists” or “communists” or “Marxists”, despite those assertions being just laughably stupid. (I’m personally something like a democratic socialist of the Western European mold, but Republicans round that off to “Stalin”.)

So why do they pitch a hissy fit when we call them “fascists”, with ample and convincing evidence?

It is, after all, a description of their policies, not really name-calling. Even a major scholar of fascism has been agreeing for a couple years now:

RO Paxton @ Newsweek: Fascism scholar says Trump is fascist

Trump’s incitement of the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, 2020 removes my objection to the fascist label. His open encouragement of civic violence to overturn an election crosses a red line.

The label now seems not just acceptable but necessary.

— Prof Robert Paxton of Columbia, a distinguished historian specializing in fascism, particularly the Vichy government. [2]

Now Prof Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, offers a similar opinion as part of a series of instructional videos he’s been making. [3] I particularly like the way he breaks down the technical definitions of political scientists and those who study both authoritarianism and fascism, into simple practical points:

  1. The rejection of democracy in favor of a strongman.
  2. Stoking rage against cultural elites.
  3. Nationalism based on “superior” race and historic bloodlines.
  4. Extolling brute strength and heroic warriors.
  5. Disdain of women and LGBTQ+ people.

All of those are prominent features of Trump’s rhetoric, and of the Republican party. It used to be that these were pretty much Republican policies, but sotto voce. Now they’re pretty much screaming it. (If you listen to Marjorie Taylor Greene, it’s not even “pretty much”; it’s literal screaming.)

The Weekend Conclusion

Trump, and for that matter the entire Republican Cabal, are fascists engaged in an effort to roll back not just democracy, but the Age of Enlightenment itself.

Do not vote Republican. Not for any candidate. Not for any conceivable office. Not under any circumstance.

Also, don’t vote 3rd party: that’s how Republicans get elected, by splitting the non-right-wing vote. Vote Democratic, or resign yourself to American dictatorship.

Notes & References

1: Weekend Editor, “On Authoritarian Cops in the US”, Some Weekend Reading blog, 2022-Aug-29.

2: R Paxton, “I’ve Hesitated to Call Donald Trump a Fascist. Until Now”, Newsweek, 2021-Jan-11.

3: R Reich, “Is Donald Trump a Fascist?”, YouTube, 2023-Aug-08.

Published Thu 2023-Aug-10

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