As we head towards the upcoming elections in November 2024, a strange phenomenon is occurring. We have presidential candidate Donald Trump who openly calls himself a dictator and takes revenge on journalists, his opponents and anyone who disagrees with him. His speeches are filled with racist insinuations, anti-gay and anti-women opinions.
He openly says he admires authoritarian leaders such as Russia's Vladimir Putin, Hungary's Viktor Orban, North Korea's Kim Jong Un and China's Xi Jinping, and often cites some of them in his speeches. He compares political opponents to vermin that he will uproot and exterminate. He repeatedly echoed Hitler's words, saying immigrants are poisoning America's blood. And America's greatest threat comes from within. These are all echoes of the speeches of Hitler and Mussolini.
Is Trump a fascist? Fascist leaders believe in the supremacy of certain groups of people based on characteristics such as race, religion, ethnicity, and nationality. Fascist regimes cultivate the image of their leaders as great figures to love and admire, often through media and propaganda, creating a personality cult of a single person. Fascist governments are undemocratic, leave little room for dissent, and strive to centralize power. In this regard, fascist regimes often display totalitarian tendencies by attempting not only to dominate politics, but also to control the hearts and minds of their citizens. Looks like Trump's plans are exactly that.
Meanwhile, members of the GOP condone his speech, his attitudes and his desires. So how much would you like some fascism? Do you want journalists to be arrested and thrown in prison for their opinions? Do you condone the imprisonment of former White House staffers and appointees because they did not support the January 6 insurrection?
When governments pass laws requiring the rewriting of history books to reflect right-wing political views, is that fascism? When rioters invade the halls of Congress to intercede and interfere in the confirmation of the results of a presidential election, is that fascism? When books are banned from schools and libraries because they do not reflect the right-wing point of view, is that fascism? When women and transgender people are denied their right to privacy and the right to make their own decisions about their medical care and their bodies, is that fascism?
Throughout history, when a country's elected government bodies cease to function in the interest of the common citizen, the social product is an alienated and dissatisfied populace. When this happens, political opportunists who want to become dictators and seize power arise, with a litany of words claiming that they are the answer. They, and they alone, have the ability to change everything for the better, usually returning the country to a golden era that never really existed. Looks familiar?
Freedom Caucus members across the country and in Congress have capitulated to their duty to uphold the Constitution and the law of the land in order to get elected, re-elected, and gain more power to implement their agenda.
January 6 was an attempt to turn people's frustrations into violence. If re-elected, Trump could attempt to use the military to quell opposition to his openly avowed retaliation against his perceived political enemies and against organizations he and his supporters view as un-American. Banning books and controlling libraries is just another form of book burning. We must never forget the words of the German poet Heinrich Heine: Those who burn books will ultimately burn people.
A reporter asked a person leaving an Iowa caucus after voting recently: What do you think about Trump saying he would be a dictator? His response was worrying: that’s leadership.
If this attitude does not alarm us, then we are asleep at the wheel. It's time to wake up and stop this slide into the abyss.
So how much would you like some fascism? It's our decision. Only engaged, informed and active citizens can protect our democracy from this threat. The life you save could be your own.
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