October 22, 2017

Do We Have a Fascist in the White House?

by Hal Gershowitz

Comments Below

Of Thee I Sing Heading AuthorsThe term fascism was “born” in 1921. Its proud father was Benito Mussolini. Interestingly, the adjective “goofy” was born in that same year.

Referring to President Trump as a fascist has become de rigueur in many circles. We’ve toyed with that sobriquet ourselves, as well as with its 1921 birth mate mentioned in our opening paragraph. Alas, we find President Trump’s antics and governing style to be more “goofy” than fascist. We’re not suggesting that one is necessarily cause for less alarm than the other. We just think it’s a good idea to know with what or with whom we are dealing. While President Trump’s demeanor and behavior are eerily, almost comically, reminiscent of the late Italian dictator, a key tenet of Mussolini’s fascism is, and we quote from Il Duce, himself “The growth of empire! That is, to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence.”  Mussolini also preached that the State is Everything and that the individual is always subservient to the State. Trump evidences no such philosophy.

President Trump may be a thin-skinned, narcissist and remarkably lacking in the qualities we like to identify with those we send to sit in the Oval Office, but he is no expansionist and he is not a statist. His dream of “making America great again” does not anticipate empire nor does it embrace any notion of manifest destiny. His game plan, if one exists at all, for Making America Great Again is economic growth, stronger exports and a positive balance of payments.

We can explore the efficacy of his program(s) to Make America Great Again (assuming such a program exists) in a future essay, but today we deal with Trump the Fascist, which is easy to do because he simply isn’t. He is bombastic, intolerant of criticism, inarticulate and, unquestionably, vindictive, but none of that makes him a fascist. It might make him dangerous, but not a fascist. We see no evidence that President Trump wants to plant the American flag anywhere other than, perhaps, at every NFL team’s bench.

Now, we believe our readers know that we have not been happy with President Trump. We would rather see him working back on the 26th floor of Trump Tower in New York than in the Oval Office in Washington. That’s because we don’t think he has a worldview to lead the free world, and we don’t believe he identifies with the diverse and wonderful mix of humanity that is the United States of America. Some of his statements regarding trade suggest an incredibly narrow view of world trade and a loathsome view of those with whom we trade (Mexico is our third largest export partner).

We believe, as we have written in some of our columns, that the “anything goes” school of criticizing Trump will return him to the oval office in 2020, assuming Independent Counsel Mueller finds nothing impeachable with which to charge the President. Calling Trump a fascist, as many critics have done, and are doing, will backfire when the voters go to the poles three years from now.

In spite of all the ridiculous coverage devoted to President’s Trump’s call to the widow of a fallen American soldier last week, we believe most Americans will, and should, view the call as an attempt to provide comfort and pay respect, however inarticulate some may judge that call to have been. Some commentators referred to Trump as treasonous last week. Salon, the leftist news and opinion website proudly ran the headline just prior to Trump’s inauguration, “Congratulations, America — you did it! An actual fascist is now your official president.”

Many Americans, especially those on either coast, love this sort of hyperbolic political scrumming. Most Americans, however, don’t.

And, no we didn’t elect a fascist. and no he isn’t one. President Trump is a lot of things we don’t particularly care for. We think he’s a demagogue, a nativist, a poor leader, narrow-minded, unread, over-rated, and an outstanding candidate to replace James Buchanan as our pick as America’s worst choice for president. But he’s not a fascist and he probably didn’t collude with the Russians to steal the election.

There is plenty of which to be critical with this President. But keep criticizing him with complete abandon, with an anything goes agenda, with constant ridicule, as various media outlets are doing, and we’ll see the 45th President become the 46th President.

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4 responses to “Do We Have a Fascist in the White House?”

  1. Peggy Jacobs says:

    Again, I completely agree with you. He is not a fascist.
    I do wish our “liberal” press would stop beating a dead horse. It almost makes one feel sorry for his ineptness.

  2. susan duman says:

    I think all of your readers, and plenty who do not follow you, need to understand the messiness of a democracy.
    I agree with the points you have made.
    Could you offer a review course on debate and separation of powers?

  3. Perry Green says:

    While Trump may be viewed as inept,unscripted and superficial
    he has indeed awakened the American Public to the fact that as a
    nation we are failing our citizens woefully and that besides the
    great gains in the stock market and the wealth in Silicon Valley
    and the counties surrounding D.C. are doing quite well the
    Heartland of America is struggling and a nation struggling with
    20 plus Trillion Dollars in national debt, perhaps 50% of American households find themselves with less than $400 cash.
    Wages are stag net and inflation is making life more difficult for many.
    PS Enjoyed your accurate summation this week.

  4. irv becker says:

    right on as usual !!! however i do think you were a little tough on james buchanan. irv

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