The description of fascism is frighteningly similar to the voice of the far-right wing of today’s Republican Party led by Donald Trump. Trump consistently heaped praise and admiration for authoritarian leaders during his presidency. In a July 2019 article, CNN’s The Point reported examples where Trump praised dictators. “Trump’s admiration for and praise of authoritarian rulers – and how they maintain their power – is a feature not a glitch of this President and his presidency. When you combine the fights he’s picked with traditional US allies (Australia, Germany, etc.), you begin to grasp where Trump’s mind is when it comes to the preferred way to lead people. And that’s scary”):
- In Helsinki, Trump sided with Putin over U.S. the intelligence community regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election saying “President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
- “I know and respect Kim Jong Un, he is open and terrific.”(Sept., 2018)
- Introducing Turkish President Erdogan he said, “it’s my honor to be with a friend of mine, he is doing a very good job in Turkey.” ( Sept. 21, 2017).
- “President Xi ( JinPing) who’s a friend of mine, is a strong man and a very, very good man.” (April 12, 2018).
CHARACTERISTICS OF FASCIST GOVERNMENTS
- A strong central government, ruled by a dictator who uses charisma and personality to gain support. Leader is intolerant of ideologies that differ from his.
- Extreme Nationalism (emphasis on national glory and violent, oppressive resistance to outside influences
- Corporatism : state controls the economy; unions, strikes, and labor rights are illegal. Enrichment of the ruling class
- Superiority of the Nation’s People (a country’s people are seen as superior to others; pervasive persecution of minorities)
Taken from Constitutional Rights Foundation, “Mussolini and the Rise of Fascism,” Bill of Rights in Action, 25(4), p. 5.
Putin’s attack on Ukraine is a continuation of his long history of invading countries, murdering innocent people, and attempting to recover the former status of the Soviet Union. In 2008 he invaded Georgia, and in 2014, he annexed Crimea. Military experts speculate that Putin won’t stop his aggressive takeovers when he succeeds in Ukraine. Instead of attacking Putin as a man and a leader like both Democrats and Republican members of Congress are doing, Trump praises his strong leadership and campaigns on a fascist-like lie that he is still the legitimate president. Mental health professionals call such thinking delusional or sociopathically motivated rhetoric.
Republican elected officials and their constituents who are promoting the ” big lie” scam are moving American democracy towards authoritarianism. Promoting a one-party government, supporting criminal behavior to overturn elections, legislating to limit access to vote, and blind loyalty to a corrupt leader is the definition of an authoritarian government. Trump and his accolytes have targeted communities of racists and Christian- extremists who live only for their guns, to oppose a woman’s right to an abortion, and suppress the equal rights of minorities. Hope for American democracy to survive the Trump-controlled Republican far-right lies in the reality that we have a Constitution, a judiciary branch that consistently rules against the corruption, and the majority of Americans recognize a coup when they see one.