As I argued, the Republican party stands for smaller government. Government should do fewer things and do them better, and government should do only those things that only the government can do. Fascism is different: a fascist demands absolute power with the promise of protecting us from our enemies. From his entry into the 2016 Presidential campaign he identified his target: immigrants.
But what makes him particularly dangerous is that there is no such thing as a fascist democracy and it’s become clear that he has no interest in leading a democratic nation. Simply put, he has chosen ignorance of the democratic process. Let me give a couple of examples:
He doesn’t understand that government employees work for us, not him. Even before his election there was concern over possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. President Trump appointed Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General fully expecting him to end the Russia probe. When General Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, President Trump was livid because he felt Sessions should have had his back. In other words, he felt Jeff Sessions works for him, and not the American people.
He sees disagreement not as free speech, but as treason. Last month he gave the annual State of the Union Speech. Article 2, Section 3 of the US Constitution requires that the President “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” We all know that the State of the Union has become a political speech but it’s also a time where members of all three branches of government come together. And several times during the speech the President pauses for applause; some of those in attendance clap at his last line, and some don’t. It’s just how it happens. Good Presidents accept it. President Trump does not. Speaking a few days later he said this. He suggested that those who didn’t applaud him were un-American and even treasonous. He doesn’t seem to understand that we pledge allegiance to our nation and our Constitution but not our current President.
He’s demanded a parade to show the world that we are powerful. As Americans we all love parades as a way of celebrating what we value. But our parades celebrate our diversity (think of the Macy’s Parade on Thanksgiving or the Tournament of Roses on New Year’s Day) or our heroes (think of the recent parade to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory). But President Trump wants a military parade that will show our strength. Frankly, I think that’s what Viagra is for.
Fascist leaders depend on isolationism from trade with other nations. This creates both poverty and a dependence on their leader. Candidate Trump spent much of his campaign criticizing the Trans Pacific Partnership and NAFTA. He does not believe international trade benefits us (it does) but instead believes it makes us weaker (it doesn’t). He claims our best future lies in self sufficiency when the rest of us know our future lies in free trade. Free trade results in the European Union while isolationism results in North Korea.
In fairness, we’ve been a democracy for nearly 218 years. It’s unlikely one person can destroy that. But history buffs like me fear that Trump supporters will eagerly trade their patriotism for the false promise that they will do better with a fascist leader. I’m more worried about the 46th President than the 45th. I pray the 46th will be more like the 44th than the 45th.