Yeah, Trump’s a Fascist

One of the things I hear about from readers most consistently is my somewhat frequent assertion (I just did it again yesterday) that Donald Trump is a fascist. Well, he is. He meets the definition.

Here’s part of the definition of a fascist from my online dictionary: “a person who is extremely right-wing or authoritarian; a person who is very intolerant or domineering.”

You don’t think Trump is extremely right-wing, authoritarian, intolerant and domineering? Heck, that’s what his most adamant supporters love about him. In an opinion piece yesterday never-Trump Republican journalist Jonah Goldberg wrote, “The Republican Party now has a sizable number of voters who like the worst stuff about Trump. They want the entertainment, the policy stuff is incidental. They enjoy watching Trump take the low road, and even those voters who might wince at some of Trump’s antics, still recoil at anyone making hay of it. I’m not saying all of Trump’s most loyal voters are bad or deplorable people. But what a lot of them want from politics is bad and deplorable.”

The man behind the curtain is a fascist.

And here’s the first definition of fascism that comes up when you Google it: “A system of government led by a dictator who typically rules by forcefully and often violently suppressing opposition and criticism, controlling all industry and commerce, and promoting nationalism and often racism.”

I’ll concede that Trump hasn’t tried to control industry, but he doesn’t aspire to be a dictator? He didn’t call for the suspension of the constitution so that he could be reinstated? He didn’t lie about the election he lost and incite a riot at the Capitol to overturn the result? He didn’t pressure election officials in Georgia to doctor the outcome? Trump doesn’t promote nationalism and racism? He didn’t tell the Proud Boys to stand down and stand by? He doesn’t forcefully suppress opposition? He didn’t call the free press “the enemy of the people”?

Some readers go so far as to assert that Joe Biden is the real fascist. That’s so ludicrous that it doesn’t deserve a response, but I’ll provide a brief one anyway. Biden may be more liberal for your tastes (he is for mine sometimes), but he is a small “d” democrat through and through. Can you honestly imagine him calling the press the enemy of the people? Do you have any doubt in your mind that if (God forbid) he loses the next election he won’t ease the transition, say the right things and peacefully and gracefully relinquish the office? Frankly, if you want to compare Trump to Biden on these scores you’re just not in touch with reality.

As for Trump supporters, I put them in two categories. Here they are.

  1. Country clubbers. These are traditional conservatives who may clutch their pearls over some of his antics but they vote for Trump because they want him to cut their taxes and/or because they think Biden and the Democrats are actually worse. Or maybe they don’t really believe Biden is worse, but they need some rationalization for voting for a fascist who will cut their taxes. I’m no fan of the woke left either, but no serious person can really believe that they’re even worse than a guy who has repeatedly demonstrated his contempt for American democracy.
  2. Blue collar workers. I have empathy for theses folks. They’ve been pummeled by free trade, internationalism, technology and a needless reverence for a college education. They see my party, the Democrats, as a bunch of self-righteous, preachy, hypocritical snobs who claim to be on their side yet daily express their contempt for their values, their lifestyle, their religion, their patriotism. Trump gets their votes in large part because my party pushes them in that direction. Voting for Trump is a way of showing their middle finger to NPR listeners. The project of the Democratic Party should be to win these people — the people who built the party and for whom the party once stood — back. I have no confidence that the elites in my party get that and they most certainly would not act on it even if they did.

So there it is. Donald Trump is a fascist and Joe Biden is not. Country club Trumpsters have no excuse, while blue collar Trump supporters have reason for their lashing out. I wish Republicans would move on from Trump and Democrats would stop insulting anybody without a college degree. I have little hope that either thing is going to happen any time soon.

But it’s Memorial Day weekend, the weather looks to be great and at least for now we’ve got fascism held at bay. Have a nice weekend.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

5 thoughts on “Yeah, Trump’s a Fascist

  1. I would add that Facism entails a heavy dose of blood and soil nationalism (Trump and the MAGA intellectuals do promote this) hence the xenophobia, a strong deference and support of traditional societal hierarchy (hence the appeal to traditional conservatives who tend to prefer traditional hierarchy), and a hefty dose of state control to impose all of the above on society. Facism is extremely statist but is not socialist like some people like to claim.


      1. Two in the senate are J.D. Vance and Josh Hawley. There is some National Conservatism conference I hear about once in a while that seems to be attempting to build an intellectual framework around Trumpism. Rod Dreyer I think counts as a MAGA intellectual as well. From what I’m able to gather it’s social conservatism mixed with somewhat left leaning economics. Which kinda sounds a bit like Facism if you add a dose of authoritarianism to it.


  2. Thank you for defining your term Dave.

    Where’d you get the first definition? Dave’s Conveniently Self-Serving Dictionary for like-minded liberals who can’t see the beam in their own eyes?

    How about we use a neutral historically well recognized source like Merriam-Webster:

    “often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) 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.”

    Trump certainly fans the flames of nationalism and race.
    Trump is not for centralized autocratic gov’t.
    Trump is not for severe economic and social regimentation
    Trump is not for forcible suppression of the opposition
    Does he have dictatorial tendencies? I would say yes.

    Biden and the left fan the flames of race and sow seeds of division.
    One easy example:
    “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” from Biden’s not campaign speech.

    Biden and the Democrats are pushing hard for autocratic-style gov’t
    ” a person (such as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority”
    As a convenient example, I’ll use the noisome sounds being made by Democratic legislators for Biden to (unconstitutionally) use the 14th Amendment to neuter their constitutional authority and settle the national debt limit. Other examples include the forcible suppression of free speech around matters of health, creating an eviction moratorium, national vaccine mandate, canceling student debt and censoring anyone who doesn’t follow the governmental/corporatist position. More on that in a minute.

    Economic and social regimentation? Covered above

    Forcible suppression of the opposition – I’m pretty sure referring to your main political opponent and his followers as threatening the very foundations of our republic easily qualifies.

    Most of Biden’s regulatory agencies are dominated by their respective businesses. Corporate control of gov’t being one of the backbones of fascism – Corporatism
    Biden’s administration is aggressively pro-war. I would argue this is a key feature of fascism.
    Biden’s administration is pro-censorship. He doesn’t need to call the press the enemy of the people, he just gets them to censor views that do not conform to the party line- the Twitter Files is another easy example.

    Biden is a velvet-gloved dictator. Or more precisely, the people who are actually running the show are. For now.

    This list is by no means exhaustive. And it’s not limited to Biden. Any Globalist will fit this bill, Democrat or Republican.

    I am not a Republican or a Democrat. To me it’s just Pepsi or Coke. A Republican like Pence would be the same or worse. Harris would make them both look like soft-hearted liberals.


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