The Accidental Fascist

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.

About revjtomgough

In the more than 30 years I have spent in parish ministry, I have held a wide range of related interests and theological foci. From Process Theology, Creation Theology, and Liberation Theology, to spiritual practices, Celtic Christianity, and World Religious Traditions. I have learned a great deal about a very few things. Otherwise, I'm not especially interesting.
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3 Responses to The Accidental Fascist

  1. Kathy says:

    I think you clarified one of the key aspects of TRump’s attractiveness – his ability to articulate a sense of outrage at being betrayed by our elected leaders. As much as I dislike him and fear the consequences of a Trump presidency, at least politicians now know how deeply we abhor betrayal…good post!


  2. Comment: 10-17-2016.

    To: Tom Gough
    From: Tito Cevallos

    You are great in how to describe Trump’s personality, relating his narcissistic character with “accidentally fascism.” Sure, I am agree; Trump is not the typical fascist we see in Hitler, Mussolini or Pinochet in Chile; his characteristic are more in the way of an ego-centrism and pathological money-sicker, whose “Cosmo-vision” is minimized from his covetous anxiety for earning money, power, and admiration, as a one hard packet to convert the USA in a “personal” enterprise.

    Anyway, from his speeches, always disarticulated and disconnected from the real game of economy and political forces present in our international relations, and also in our own USA, we can discern a “subtle,” but also aggressive opening for a permeation of fascism ideologies in his anti-plan to governing USA, promoting with anticipation the industry of war, and hard repression to any potential reactions in our midst. He is really a risky political leader for a dialogical building of justice and peace; just because of his pathological impetuous reactions, or for permitting others’ fascist participation in his team in power, or ultimately because he has not a true national development plan for governing our nation.

    Thanks for letting us think about it.


  3. Certainly we have to beware of the fascist attitude that he is projecting in terms of creating a right-wing Christian prerogative, if this ideology is left to unrestrained the consequences could be “horrendous”. In addition, creating a exclusive America is not just hypocritical it is Un-American.


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