I don’t believe that Donald Trump is a Fascist. There, I said it. I don’t believe that Donald Trump is a Fascist because, in order to be a Fascist, Donald Trump would first have to hold a coherent worldview. Beyond the malignant narcissist’s pyretic belief in his own importance, Trump appears to have no substantial motivation beyond the shoring up of a weak ego with the props of money, power, and adulation. Fascism, of the sort that rose to prominence in early 20th century Europe, ultimately costing millions of lives, is a radical and nationalistic form of authoritarianism that is likely beyond Trump’s capacity of vision, but it doesn’t make him any less dangerous.
He is extremely dangerous in part because of his overwhelming need to be admired, and his reactionary willingness to seek the destruction of anyone who doesn’t admire him sufficiently. He is dangerous because he lacks a coherent political ideology and responds to perceived threat by whim rather than strategy. He is dangerous as well because his caustic and dismissive style appeals to, and energizes, those among us who harbor actual, violent, visions of a Fascist state.
Trump’s raw and xenophobic rhetoric appeals to many white nationalist and white supremacist sympathizers. This is bedrock ideology for Fascism of course, but add to this the legislative take over by right wing politicians parroting the Koch Brother’s Oligarchic vision. They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars thus far on ALEC initiatives, as well as in state and congressional level races, in the hopes of reinventing America as a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.
Into this already unpalatable syllabub, mix a toxic helping of Christian Dominionist theology. This is the ultra-right wing Christian perspective that believes Christians should not only run the government, but should be quite able to repress any ideologies, practices, or “lifestyle choices” found to be offensive to their version of God. The perfect storm is brewing just off shore in American waters. Like the bottom of an adolescent boy’s gym locker, this is an environment that could breed something entirely horrendous. It may not technically amount to Fascism, but in the end, if left unchecked, I doubt we will be quibbling over terms.
While his most ardent followers seem completely willing to overlook so much that is disconcerting about him, such as; his very liberal past, his cavalier approach to marriage, his troubling business practices, or his strong ties to enemies of the American people, he is able to articulate their pain and frustration at how their own political leaders have betrayed them.
As an accidental Fascist, Trump need not hold such political convictions himself to be the catalyst for a horrifying rise in ultra-nationalism and Corporate control in this country.
Those of us who oppose both Fascism and money-grubbing billionaires must speak up and speak out now before this becomes a perfect storm of unrighteousness that destroys our democracy and our faith pluralism.