Fascism for Dummies
President Trump condemned last Saturday’s White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville, saying it was a “display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” during short remarks at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
“On many sides,” he repeated.
For those of us who would never even consider voting for a man like Trump for President (and who now feel quite justified in calling ourselves the “I-told-you-so” voters), this response from Trump is not surprising, considering the fact that overt White Fascism has been on the rise since Trump took office..
Trump’s half-hearted comments represent a significant development because they shed light on a symbiotic relationship that can no longer be ignored. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are promoters of the alt-Right agenda in America, even though they do not announce those views openly. The fact that he refuses to call the White Nationalists what they are, “White Supremacists” or “Right Wing extremists” and that he did not denounce their hostile views, as Virginia Governor McAuliffe did, serve as tacit admissions of Trump’s alignment with the views and objectives of White Supremacists.
Lurking about FoxNews and its piece denouncing the White Supremacists, I found the comments section from Fox readers appalling, particularly comments declaring Black Lives Matter Movement as “terrorists,” “racists” or “fascists.” These comments, in addition to the ones made by Trump last weekend, seem to suggest that there is fascism coming “from all sides” and that the two extreme views were equally dangerous, or somehow “all the same thing.”
Can we really equate the two (i.e. Right Wing extremism and so-called Left Wing extremism)? Of course not. They are very, very different. Here’s why:
Dr. Lawrence Britt has offered an excellent (albeit brief) summary of the fourteen common features of fascism for those who want to read more on the topic. But I have offered another definition to consider, something I call, “Fascism for Dummies,” or “Knowing When You’re on the Wrong Side of History.”
First, ask yourself, “Do the ideals that I ascribe to primarily benefit me, my family, and my own ilk (race, class, religion), or are they collectively beneficial ideals?” If you answered that they benefit primarily yourself (as most Right Wing goals do), that would be, in my opinion, a fascist position.
Case in point: The beliefs held by Right Wing White Nationalist Movement clearly benefits White Anglos, not White Hispanics or Jews, for example. One would be hard-pressed to find a non-White, non-Christian supporter among their ranks.
Black Lives Matter Movement, on the other hand, enjoys between moderate and strong support among Whites and other non-African American ethnicities. In fact, one of the premises of the popular Bernie Sanders presidential campaign was that “…when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win.”
Yet we see more evidence of thinly veiled fascism in this current administration than during any in recent memory. Take education, for example. Let’s ask ourselves again, “Who primarily benefits from a) appointing a wealthy campaign donor as Secretary of the DOE, b) requiring public schools to promote a religious agenda in the classroom, and c) deregulating student loan sharks?”
The answer? Upper-class, white Christian families (who can afford an education without a loan or who want to see more God in the classroom). And of course the loan sharks love Betsy DeVos since their profits margins are enhanced. But think about the poor and the working class, who will probably spend decades paying back the interest on the recently “enhanced” college loan policies, or even more likely, will not be able to afford to go to college…ever. I see the “education gap” increasing, NOT decreasing” as a result of DeVos and Trump’s self-serving policies.
But the list of pro-White and pro-Christian policies promoted by this administration goes on and on, from tax cuts that actually hurt single parents, to a GOP health care bill that is merely a guise for tax cuts for the wealthy. This administration feels increasingly emboldened to divide us into a nation of Whites and non-Whites, wealthy and non-wealthy, Christians and non-Christians while giving tacit preference to the former.
In short, Trump is, by definition, a fascist, because his policies, agenda and cabinet members work towards a common goal of benefiting and protecting ONLY himself, his family and his ilk while disenfranchising those outside of that group. The proof is not only in the legislation and executive orders he signs, but also in the words he speaks (and does not speak).
On the other hand, the so-called “Left Wing Radicals” exist merely to combat the discrepancies created by the above said policies, not to endanger or hurt those outside of their own “group.”
Hence, Trump’s recent comments make it clear that Radical White Racism, Extremism, Theocracy are on the rise in America, and that he is not interested in curtailing them because they benefit his political survival and promote his self-serving interests. So, I’m sorry, Mr. President, but the extremism diving this country is NOT coming “from many sides.” It is coming from YOU!