Billionaire businessman Donald Trump is poised to win Iowa in his first electoral contest as a candidate for the Republican nomination. This win is one without comfort. His future as the Republican nominee is not set in stone; he is facing stiff competition from his rivals, notably the hardcore conservative Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, the latter of whom, despite also in possession of strong conservative beliefs, seems to be putting a modern face on America’s right. Trump may not win the nomination, he may not face off the Democratic nominee in November, he may not be inaugurated as President in January 2017, but his impact on American politics – and that of much of the western world – is notable enough to assume he already has won. I don’t think I’d get an award in investigatory journalism if I said Trump was divisive, but his comments regarding a number of issues have brought his name into disrepute and reputation through, um, much stronger stuff.
One of the accusations levied against Trump is that he is a fascist. His views on Muslims, Mexicans, disabled persons, women and other nations all suggest a politician rich in racism and in adherence to a divisive populist ideology (if that’s not an oxymoron), but do these positions he holds dear make him a fascist?
TL;DR: No. Trump isn’t a fascist. He’s a cunt. He’s an obscene, bigoted cunt, but he isn’t a fascist. Well, not yet.
I think a number of us on the centre and left use ‘fascist’ as an all-purpose line of attack, likewise with racist, bigot, xenophobe etc against our political opponents. No one wants to be labeled as any of the aforementioned. To be so toxifies and discredits the value of their position in the public eye. Sometimes, these accusations are not accurate, and, alas, in this case, calling Trump a fascist is not accurate.
Trump doesn’t seek to destroy or rig democracy. Him winning the presidency would destroy my hope in democracy, though.
Fascism seeks to overthrow democracy and replace it with a dictatorship of some sort. Trump doesn’t want that, he doesn’t seek to end the parliamentary democracy that the US Congress offers. Trump doesn’t seek to modify the US Constitution, or rig elections. Trump doesn’t aim to enlarge the powers of the Presidency if in the unlucky instance America drunkenly elects him. Trump doesn’t see violence as a means to achieve the bigoted ends he desires. Trump is not Hitler, Mussolini or Stalin, no matter how pleasurable it is to photoshop toothbrush moustaches onto his face. Trump is not a revolutionary. He is not interested in changing the state or contemporary society; he simply instead desires denying it to those who he despises. That isn’t fascism. That is idiocy, bigotry, racism. It is the hallmarks of a divisive far right winger, not fascism.
We must not sully the meaning and impact of actual fascism by lumping horrible far-rightists with the ideology. It is ridiculous and childish. It is easy, but silly.
Trump doesn’t seek to destroy or rig democracy. Him winning the presidency would destroy my hope in democracy, but, y’know, that’s a given.
Update, 19/03/2016: Lol, I regret writing this.