Putting Accusations of Trump as a Fascist in Context

Almost from the moment he entered the Republican Party nominating process, Donald Trump has been the target of accusations from the Right and Left that he is a fascist. Everyone from his primary opponents to the Democratic candidates, from rabid Facebook posters to such esteemed writers as Noam Chomsky, has leveled that loaded charge against him.

It’s understandable. In many ways, his “policies” reflect fascist thinking. But on closer examination, he is less a fascist than he is a right-wing nativist with populist overtones. But that’s a pretty big mouthful for a TV commentator, and far too complex and nuanced to fit on a bumper sticker or in a soundbite.

Peter Baker, in a New York Times op-Ed piece dated May 28, puts these charges into the broader context of the growing debate over global fascism taking place in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He points out that if we begin by defining fascism as, “a governmental system that asserts complete power and emphasizes aggressive nationalism and often racism,” Trump falls short on the very first part of the definition. He is more a neoliberal favoring small, unintrusive government than a big-government fascist.

Read Baker’s article. I think you’ll find it enlightening, not only with respect to the 2016 Presidential election in the United States, but with respect to worldwide geopolitics.

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