I am going to do something I don’t do often. I have recently gotten a jump in followers to this blog. Thank you so much… but a word of warning. I don’t often do political posts, but they will happen on occasion. This blog is intended to be a place for me to share my thoughts on all aspects of my life, and that includes what’s happening in the world of politics. I am probably what some would call a progressive, and what many would call a bleeding heart liberal. I do not like Trump, I do not like the GOP, I do not like that Democrats are not more progressive on almost every issue. It is exceedingly rare for me to fall with the Republicans on any issue. I tell you this so that you know what to expect when/if you choose to read my political posts. I always do a page break so that they are easily ignored. I will not get into comment debates over an issue. You can disagree with me, and if the comment is not hate speech I will approve it. I may or may not reply however. So with that-
I’ve seen a number of people (even people that dislike Trump) say that they are annoyed that critics are calling him a fascist. “Well he’s not REALLY a fascist this is still a democracy”. Okay, yeah I get it… but here’s the thing, fascism happens in two ways. One it’s handed down generation by generation, or the type we are comparing Trump to where someone came into a free (or relatively free) country and then turned things upside down.
The point is a fascist doesn’t wake up and say, “Hey, I am going to over throw the government”, and then by closing of business hours it’s done. No they come in, they are often elected, and they slowly and carefully pick away at rights and freedoms. They attack the press (check for Trump). They begin to block things that go against what they want (check for Trump). They fire people that stand up to them (check). They make sure to surround themselves with yes men and people that also want to destroy certain parts of the government (check and check). They find scapegoats so that when people have the nerve to stand up to them they have someone else to point the finger at (multiple checks). They attempt to circumvent the law in order to get the things they want done (check). Or even worse they flat out ignore it (check). And they step by step slowly yet surely chip away at the rights, freedoms, and basic laws that make a country what it is until all that is left is something easily taken over.
Yelling at people because they are comparing Trump to a fascist is ignoring the reality that we are facing. Especially in the wake of him ignoring court orders, calling it a success, and then firing the people that stood up to him. Now he may not actually try to take over the government, he may not succeed even if he tries. He is in fact taking a lot of notes from the fascist playbook however. It’s an apt comparison, and people have not only the right, but the duty, to point it out. There is a long list of things that Trump has done wrong, but his response to the court orders with the Muslim ban are illegal and a degree of the destruction of the separation of powers that many of us have not seen in our lifetime. Ignoring court orders and firing people attempting to make them is not okay, and could very easily lead us down the road to fascism. Trump not being a fascist YET implies that it’s just something that a person snaps their fingers and makes happen instead of a process.
Now do I personally actually think that’s what he’s doing? I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s that or that he’s infantile and doesn’t get that he’s not a king. I do know that either way basic rights are already being violated, the will of the people is being ignored, and less than a month in Trump has done several impeachable offenses. The motivation matters little to me because it’s still wrong. I also know that when people who have studied up on the subject say, “Well this is kind of the things that a lot of fascists did early on” it’s worth considering.
NOW a lot of people use the term fascist with Trump as a form of hyperbole. I don’t actually have a problem with the use of hyperbole other than most people don’t get it. It often times becomes a distraction from the conversation at large. Instead of debating if it’s right or wrong that Trump has placed a gag order on scientists we end up arguing about whether or not that actually constitutes fascism. As I said for me it has little to do with the motivation and everything to do with the outcome. Whether or not he is intending to destabilize our democracy for some greater purpose the end result is still the same.