This is an explanation as to why I call Mr. Trump a fascist, in the tradition of Mussolini and Hitler, and why history teaches us that a fascist is very dangerous to democracy itself. Feel free to ignore it, but at least read the next paragraph.
The most important point is that both Mussolini and Hitler were democratically elected to their parliaments. Both were lawfully appointed as prime minister. Later, when people realized that both were very dangerous, it was too late. Using violent gangs of thugs, the fascists had already seized control. I love democracy, just not blindly.
This is directed at Mr. Trump, and some of his top advisors: Miller, Barr, Bannon, etc., not at his supporters.
Mr. Trump posted a tweet on February 5th, 2020, in what I call a declaration of intent to establish a “4EVA” Reich. This is not some mindless tweet. He PINNED it to the TOP of his twitter page, the very day the Senate told him he could get away with whatever he wanted to: criminal, unconstitutional, immoral, anything, it didn’t matter. Nothing would happen to him.
Turn on the music. It’s deliberately ominous. It’s just 30 seconds.
Below is a screen shot from the beginning of the video, and 2 later ones:
26 seconds in:
At the end of the video:
Mr. Trump has made it clear that he wants/expects to stay in power, no matter what. We can’t let that happen.
It has been noted that Mr. Trump has made “at least 20 statements about refusing to give up power”, all in line with the video. This is the guy who says he’s the best president ever, and we should be blessed to have him remain in office for as long as he can. I’ve never heard any other president even hint at such a thing.
Fasci italiani di Combattimento
I probably need to explain something. Yes. I’ve seen various lists of 10 or so traits of fascism. I am, among other faults, also a linguist. To me, it boils down to the meaning of the word “fasci” in Italian. A “fasci” is a bundle, such as a bundle of sticks, as shown in the picture below. It can also refer to a group, as in “Fasci italiani di Combattimento”.
Combattimento means what you think it means – combat, or fighting. “Fasci Italiani di Combattimento” translates as: “Italian combat groups”.
I loosely translate it as: gangs of thugs, as it more accurately describes how they operated. This is what both Mussolini (black shirts) 1 and Hitler (brown shirts) 2 used extensively early on to rise to power. It’s terrorism. In Germany, notable were the “Night of the Long Knives”, when they murdered political opponents, and “Kristallnacht”, when they went after jews.
Here’s a photo of another Fasci di Combattimento:
Only this is not Belarus. It’s Portland.
I did not apply the word fascism to Mr. Trump until I was seeing these gangs of thugs this summer. Then it was all too familiar. The bikers and illegal “militias” that have been threatening civil war are also Fasci di Combattimento. These are the thugs Mr. Trump told to “stand by.”
Fascism can also add a dose nationalism, as in “America first”. Both Mussolini and Hitler portrayed their countries as victims. It worked.
We can also add in antisemitism and/or racism. Below is what Mr Trump said in Minnesota September 19, 2020, before a crowd with many scandinavian descendants – this is why their NFL team is called the “Vikings”. Minnesota also has numerous german descendants.
Mr. Trump: “You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.” Note: he’s talking about DNA genes, not blue jeans. https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1307124621389463553
Another word for Scandinavians and Germans is “Aryans”. Mr. Trump’s words amount to an endorsement of the Nazi theory of aryan supremacy. “Racehorse theory” is a reference to breeding a superior race. Most people did not catch that, but white power folks did. It’s a dog whistle. He’s a racist. (There’s more below3)
Feel free to use your own definition of fascism. There are many. This is mine: gangs of thugs.
What does this have to do with elections? Both Mussolini and Hitler were duly elected to parliament. They were later appointed by the King of Italy or President Hindenberg of Germany to become prime ministers, according to established law. This, even tho Hitler had already written Mein Kampf, and Mussolini’s thugs had been beating people up and ransacking government offices for years. These warnings were not taken seriously – until it was too late.
The problem is not that it can happen here. The problem is that it’s already started. We need to stop it before it’s too late.
I am not willing to give genuine fascists a fair shake. They will use it to beat you, literally.
I repeat: Mussolini and Hitler were democratically elected, and lawfully appointed prime ministers. Only ask the Italians and Germans how well that worked out …
I love democracy, just not blindly.
1] A very good history podcast will give you an idea of how the takeover occurred in Italy: https://historyofthetwentiethcentury.com/198-1919-italy-ii/
Here’s the transcript : https://historyofthetwentiethcentury.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/198-1919-Italy-II.pdf .
2] PBS is doing a series on the “Rise of The Nazis” that is available until Dec 8, 2020, starting here:
3] Jonathan Greenberg created a video here called:
“12 Indicators that Trump would create a (fascist) dictatorship in his second term”
https://twitter.com/JournalistJG/status/1292355557165162496 (2 mins 18 secs)
There is also a longer version here: https://youtu.be/CktKPHNJUWE (4 mins 48 secs)
The video contains 2 racist quotes:
“Do we believe in the gene thing. I mean, I do.” and
“You know I’m proud to have that German blood. There’s no question about it.”
Start at 1:50 into the shorter video., 4:05 in the longer one.