How many times have you heard President Trump called a fascist? Here is one example: Sean Spicer Apple Store.
Is there any truth to the accusation? Let’s look into that.
According to Merriam-Webster, fascism is “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”
Let’s break it down:
“Exalts nation/race above the individual”
“Make America Great Again” is a campaign slogan, but does it rise to the level of oppression of individuals in favor of the state? No. That is not a reasonable argument. Patriotism, and even belief in American exceptionalism, is not a fascist movement because they do not involve oppression of individuals. Just the opposite. America, at its best, promotes freedom and democracy around the world.
Has President Trump ever promoted one race as superior to others? I know of no evidence for this.
(Some may point to his travel ban executive orders as evidence he discriminates against one religion, but the facts do not support the allegation: the stated purpose of the travel executive order was national security as the seven chosen countries, previously identified by the Obama Administration as countries of concern, do not have functioning central governments and therefore, travelers cannot be effectively vetted for ties to terror on their end. In that regard, the selection of those countries for the order makes logical sense. In addition, the travel restriction was not permanent, but a 90 day stoppage until additional vetting procedures can be put in place.)
Do you know who has promoted one race as superior to others? The Black Lives Matter movement. Repeatedly, promoters of Black Lives Matter have denounced those who use the phrase “All Lives Matter” as racist. Just google “All Lives Matter apology” to see how many people have been pressured to apologize for using the phrase “All Lives Matter”.
It’s been explained this way: If you break your arm and have your doctor say, “All bones matter,” you’ll respond by saying your broken bone is the one that matters most right now.
So Black Lives Matter, by virtue of that explanation, is saying that right now, black lives matter most. How is that not exalting race above the individual?
“Stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader.”
Does President Trump display this characteristic? Using his healthcare push as an example, President Trump reached out to many more members of Congress in an attempt at persuasion than President Obama ever did.
Remember President Obama’s 2014 threat: “One of the things that I will be emphasizing in this meeting is the fact that we are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we are providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”
Additionally, the Washington Times writes: “The president was never good at reaching across the aisle…He never accustomed himself to operating in a system where he was not the sole player.”
“Severe economic and social regimentation.”
President Trump said during the campaign he wants to cut taxes and eliminate regulations that hinder economic growth. This is the opposite of economic and social regimentation. A reduction in taxes and regulations is a promotion of free market capitalism.
Do you know who is promoting economic and social regimentation? Those who say the rich don’t pay their fair share, and they should be taxed more so their wealth can be redistributed to the middle and lower income brackets.
(We’ve discussed this issue here.)
“Forcible suppression of opposition”
Yes, President Trump has picked on the media. He is called them dishonest and labeled certain outlets “Fake News”. One could argue, though, that this tactic, while perhaps not the most presidential of actions, is a defense against unfair treatment by the press.
Regardless, the “Fake News” label is mild compared to what we’ve seen elsewhere this week.
Exhibit One: Ann Coulter’s invitation to speak at the University of California at Berkley. Students of the University rioted in an attempt to silence her.
According to NBC News, “Tensions remained high…in part because of Berkeley’s recent history. Two disagreements over conservative speakers slated to appear on campus in recent weeks have erupted into violence.”
In other words, forcible suppression of opposition.
Exhibit Two: Climate Change
Bret Stephens this week wrote his very first opinion piece in the New York Times. The subject he chose was climate change, specifically that their is not a scientific consensus.
(See our thoughts on the issue here and here.)
Readers of the New York Times are cancelling their subscriptions over the publication of Mr. Stephens’ opinion.
So, the question becomes: Who is the real fascist? Donald Trump or his opposition.
Please understand that in writing this, I am not accusing any one person or group of being fascists. I am merely pointing out that in many cases, those who are calling President Trump a fascist are guilty themselves of the characteristics of fascism.
More facts…less rhetoric.
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Sean Spicer Apple Store
Travel Executive Order
All Lives Matter
Pen and Phone
Obama and Congress
Ann Coulter and Berkley
Bret Stephens New York Times