Lets examine the “Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism” By Lawrence Britt and compare to Trump.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
– Check mark for Trump. Make America Great Again is not just a patriotic motto, its nearing religious fervor in its repetition.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
– Check mark for Trump, agenda is to bring torture back and ban refugees.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
-Check mark for Trump. Muslims, liberals, Mexicans, the mainstream media and political opponents themselves were all rallied against in a unifying patriotic frenzy to eliminate a threat.
4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
– Check mark for trump, who wants to increase military spending, in a country that already obliterates every other nation on earth in military spending.
5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
– Check mark for Trump on Rampant sexism. Gamer gate, rape culture, and promoting masculinity on a level this country hasn’t seen is all on the agenda for Trump and his base. The only thing here Trump ignores is divorce. Probably because he’s been divorced so many times, but I don’t really think that suppressing divorce is a part of sexism.
6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
– Check mark for Trump. While not even in power, reporters are scared and have been threatened not only by Trump himself, but his foaming at the mouth feverish base. The calls that “CNN Sucks” while lashing out in violent rhetoric towards media members at their rallies. Intimidation tactics are used, some supporters are harassing them on their personal time. The goal, to show hate. The outcome, suppression, unless the reporter is brave enough to wade through the poo being slung at them.
7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
-Check for Trump. Extreme vetting, the unconstitutional stop and frisk, While you are more likely to be shot by a cop than a Muslim terrorist, the people are paranoid and fear Muslim terrorists. Right wing extremists in the U.S. nearly paralleled the deaths caused by Muslim terrorists. You just don’t hear about them as often.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
– Check mark for Trump. Trump stated “We will restore faith to its proper mantle in our society. That’s what we have to do. And we have to do that soon. (Applause) We will respect and defend Christian Americans. Christian Americans. We will give parents control over their schools. So important. We’ll uphold the values our founders gave us, which we’re not doing now.”)
9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite
-Check mark for Trump, tax cuts to the wealthiest “people” of all time, in a world where the rich have exponentially increased wealth over everyone else while not trickling down the gains to the people in jobs and salary.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
– Trump does not get #10. Not a crucial aspect of fascism
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
-Checkmark for Trump. Academia is the liberal enemy, the well educated well read media is the enemy. Trump’s dialogue reeks of lies, conspiracy theories and anti intellectualism. “I have the best words”. “No puppet, you’re the puppet!” “I know more about ISIS than the generals”. All big red flags.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
Check mark for Trump – “I am the law and order candidate”. Stop and Frisk. A vengeful intolerance towards anyone opposing him. Essentially, clamoring fervently to jail their political opponent before they are found to be guilty of any crime, even by a pro Trump FBI, is a crucial essence of fascism.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
-Check mark for Trump so far. Only those loyal to Trump are getting in the administration.
14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
-Not a check mark for Trump, but ironically the call that the elections were essentially is fraudulent if he loses, makes this one pretty damn close.