A fascist is a conservative who is winning an argument with a liberal.
Therefore Trump must be a fascist. That is about the level of discussion about Trump by liberals.
Having just refreshed my memory in Ian Kershaw’s To Hell and Back, Europe, 1914-1949, let me remind you what fascism actually consists of.
-autarkic economic organization, no free trade, and a war economy
-the invention and reviling of classes of subhuman who need to be exterminated
-one party suppressing all public dissent and opposition through the application of legal and illegal violence
-an emphasis on action, violence, and glorification of a leader.
By contrast, what Trump is talking about is getting control of US borders, negotiating better trade deals with China, and actually taking effective measures, or even ineffective ones, against Islamic terrorism, and being less predictable (and therefore less goody-goody two shoes towards the enemies of America).
The broad contempt for Trump, while justified, fails to recognize many Americans’ worries, as the economy sags, ISIL expands, Russian President Vladimir Putin struts, U.S. Congress gridlocks, and illegal immigrants swarm the country. These concerns won’t disappear just because they are not politically correct. The next president will ignore them at his – or her – peril.
America in 2016 needs a healthy debate about the policy flashpoints reporters have raised in debates. It also needs a deeper debate that, ironically, Trump has conducted telegraphically, symbolically.
We are not going to have that debate unless people like Trump are shouting from the rooftops what everybody knows, but which the Establishment denies. Liberal America is baffled and confused, the natives are restless, and when they step out of line, words like American fascist are easily at hand.
A short reading of history will make it clear that Trump is well within the range of American republican and democratic forms of government. He is far closer to the centre than Bernie Sanders, who is not, so far, being labelled an American communist.
But we all know how this game works don’t we? Sweet old curmudgeonly Bernie Sanders, the old socialist, gets a free pass, but anyone who actually wants to change the system of received liberal truths, as I think Trump does, must be condescended to.
I remember how Reagan was spoken of, and while Trump is no Reagan, the reaction to both men by the political Left is exactly the same. Shock, horror, revolt, condescension, and a bad case of the vapours.