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Donald Trump And Fascism Make For Best Sunday Newspaper Read

May 29, 2016

There is no doubt that Donald Trump with his aggressive nationalism, overt racism, disdain for reporters, creating disorder among his followers, and a zeal for total control can be correctly termed as leaning fascist.  Today the front page–above the fold–of The New York Times put Trump and other fascists like him world-wide into context.

The debate about terminology may ignore the seriousness of the conditions that gave rise to Mr. Trump and his European counterparts. The New York real estate developer has tapped into a deep discontent in a country where many feel left behind while Wall Street banks get bailouts, newcomers take jobs, terrorists threaten innocents and China rises economically at America’s expense.

“It seems to me in developed and semideveloped countries there is emerging a new kind of politics for which maybe the best taxonomic category would be right-wing populist nationalism,” said Stanley Payne, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We are seeing a new kind of phenomenon which is different from what you had” in the 20th century.

Roger Eatwell, a professor at the University of Bath, in England, calls it “illiberal democracy,” a form of government that keeps the trappings of democracy without the reality.

“Elections are seen as important to legitimizing regimes,” he said, but instead of imposing one-party rule, as in the past, today’s authoritarians “use a variety of devices to control and/or manipulate the media, intimidate opponents” and so on.

Either way, it has found pockets of support on both sides of the Atlantic. Lilia Shevtsova, a political analyst in Moscow, said neo-fascism in liberal societies in the West stems from crisis or dysfunction while in illiberal countries like Russia and Turkey it reflects an attempt to fill the void left by the failure of Western notions to catch on.

The problem, she added, is that “the Western political leadership at the moment is too weak to fight the tide.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 31, 2016 10:50 AM

    PK,

    You miss the forest for the all the trees. You take the reference about the press and reporters and fail to put it in context in relation to the theme of the post—which is about fascism and Trump.

    If you better understood that fascism is dismissive of democratic institutions you would see how the undermining of the press is part of the reason Trump is being correctly labeled as such. Let us not forget that he has desires to “dismantle the establishment” which he acknowledges includes cracking down on free press by toughening libel laws, as an example. So would you be in the camp of those suggesting bloggers such as myself should be prosecuted for calling attention to Trump’s fascism? That is after all the thrust of what Trump desires from his contempt for the working press and others who use their rights under the First Amendment.

    As to Trump’s desire for the ethnic cleansing of eleven million people (“illegals”), stripping away citizenship of those seen as illegitimate members of the nation (children of the “illegals” all falls under the term undemocratic.

  2. May 30, 2016 5:29 PM

    Disdain for reporters? Did you write that with a straight face?with most media a liberal mouthpiece in this country a good portion of America has disdain for reporters. And the fish wrap is correct Americans are tired of what is going on in America the use of the term newcomers is comical America is not tired of newcomers we welcome them we are tired of the illegals invading us.

  3. May 30, 2016 12:05 PM

    Not trying to belabor the point, Gregory, because I know you know what I mean. But here’s a good recent example of the Good Germans at work in Washington County:

    http://washingtoncountyinsider.com/2016/05/did-any-of-the-wbsd-superintendent-candidates-sign-the-walker-recall/

  4. May 30, 2016 10:36 AM

    We agree on the Wisconsin legislative Republicans being a most troubling lot, and I have used the same term for a few of them, too. I admit that fascist is a tough word, and must be used in a proper context, but there is no doubt that what has transpired in Wisconsin in some ways meets the definition.

  5. May 29, 2016 4:05 PM

    I know that we disagree on this, at least up to a point. But the real heirs of European-style fascism are the Tea Party Republicans. For a perfect example, look right up the street from you–“my way or the highway,” huge gifts to corporations who could care less about this country, the systematic denigration of education and the educated, intolerance of alternative views, the muzzling of the media (see the lead story in the online WSJ today which is just a rehash of the administration’s talking points on the state economy).

    None of this can be laid at Trump’s door, at least not now. He may be a buffoon who shouldn’t be President, but we’ve got plenty of real fascists already in power in this country. When they point fingers at The Donald, I have to laugh. “What, you didn’t think I noticed that brown shirt you’re wearing?”

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