That accusation has circulated about Trump ever since the 2016 election campaign. President Biden suggested as much last week in his fiery (and true) Independence Hall speech. Most scholars of fascism, however, do not regard Trump as a fascist, nor do they characterize the conditions of the United States in 2022 with Italy in 1921 and Germany in 1932. So, if Trump is not a fascist, what is he?
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of Italian and history, at New York University said:
“Trump certainly uses fascist tactics, from holding rallies to refresh the leader-follower bond to creating a “tribe” (MAGA hats, rituals like chanting “lock them up,” etc.) to unleashing a volume of propaganda without precedent by an American president. Yet the political cultures that form him and his close supporters are not fascist, but reflect a broader authoritarian history.“
Jason Brownlee, professor of government, at the University of Texas at Austin said:
“Trump is a celebrity-turned-right-wing politician. He acts as a consummate demagogue, fabulist, and ultranationalist, and he appears to have a strong inclination for nepotism and kleptocracy. His efforts to use the presidency to finance his lifestyle and enrich his family resemble the schemes of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.“
Trump does not quite fit the definition of a fascist according to all 8 scholars interviewed for an article published by Vox (“Is Trump a fascist? 8 experts weigh in” by Dylan Mathews on October 23, 2020. See – https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/21521958/what-is-fascism-signs-donald-trump).
Though he doesn’t fit the definition of a fascist does not mean he is not a clear and present danger to American democracy, as President Biden claimed, or a criminal as the DOJ, courts in NY, Georgia, and Florida must determine.
Joel Bellman said:
Those assessments were two years go? When scholars may understandably have been wary of allowing themselves to be quoted calling him a “fascist” just ahead of a presidential election. Given all the subsequent events—a detailed, multi-level conspiratorial scheme to wrest away the election legitimately won by Joe Biden, culminating in an incitement to violent insurrection and an unprecedented second impeachment for it, not to mention his ongoing insistence that the election was illegitimate—I think their assessment today might well be quite different.
Dennis Cambly said:
Not even close to being a fascist. Of all the links provided no one mentioned how he was hampered from day one by the Democrats. They were acting in a similar manner to fascists. They immediately dove into their pet called Hearings. Clinton was furious she did not win the election and proceeded to pull out the Russian card.
It was Clinton and the DNC who began what we are seeing today between Russia and the US. Trump said before the election he wanted to see a better relationship with Russia. Is that a crime? President Kennedy did too and look where it got him. Trump’s biggest problem was his short fused ego and his 25,000 +/- Tweets proved it. Had Trump played a bigger role in boosting domestic issues to the top of his agenda, he might have defeated the Clinton non-stop attacks, on the Presidency of the United States of America. I do not recall any President coming under fire from the Senate the way Trump did for his entire Presidency. (and they are still doing it). If Trump runs again he will blow all of those warmongering so-called democrats out of the House, Senate and Presidency.
Some of those scholars should read the complete volumes compiled before and after the Nuremberg Trials for a peak into fascism. Thank you Rabbi from your friend north of the border.