What Would America Look Like as a Fascist Country?
Fascist. The term calls to mind the likes of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Francisco Franco, but it’s more abstract than the rhythm of jackboots. Fascism is a political philosophy based on the importance of national and often racial identity as exemplified and “protected” by a strong central government. Fascism is the enemy of diversity, but not necessarily the enemy of the extant political class, only viewpoints that exist in opposition to a rigorously defined norm. There is no such thing as a fascist republic so, when people talk about the rise of American fascism, they are fundamentally talking about the dissolution of the American political system as imagined by the country’s founding fathers. Fascism has become a looming specter, with Donald Trump heading toward the White House because the idea of making America great again implies a static idea of greatness that doesn’t make intellectual sense in an evolving democracy. It is — whether or not Ronald Reagan intended it to be when he embraced the phrase — fascist language.
Trump is also viewed as a potential fascist because the views of his most ardent supporters seem to lean in that direction, and because his big-fisted rhetoric regularly implies that the rejections of a set of somewhat antiquated capitalist and Judeo-Christian values is unpatriotic and anathema to democracy. Liberals on social media are circulating the term, and analyses of the degree to which Trump actually fits the fascist bill, have been circulating the internet.