I think that, as of today, I have seen more than a dozen items from various media outlets pondering whether Donald J Drumpf is a fascist.
My twitter stream nearly melted down after images from a March 5 Drumpf rally in Florida showed Drumpf supporters offering a quasi-fascist salute. Now, to be fair, these folks weren’t saluting Drumpf. Drumpf asked the good people of Florida in attendance to pledge to vote on Primary Day. But it’s how he asked them to do it that evoked memories of a certain European regime.
And depending on your checklist, be it from Umberto Eco or the Holocaust reader I’m using in my Grade 12 Jewish history class, Drumpf either falls short or fits the definition of FASCIST. <Cue ominous music.>
[If you really want some historical perspective (or more wood to stoke the fires of hysteria), check out this news item from November 1922, the first time the New York Times reported on a Bavarian hothead named Adolf Hitler.]
My issue with Drumpf is different. And it has everything to do with his campaign and the “heart and soul” of the Republican party. Drumpf is portrayed as “not a true conservative” by the GOP establishment in an attempt to distance the party from Drumpf’s racism, xenophobia, misogyny, contempt for a free press and obsession with his hands-to-schvantz proportion. As if, mainstream GOP bobbleheads assert, the GOP is not racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, hostile to the fifth estate or obsessed with Drumpf’s shmeckel.
But here’s the thing… not only is Drumpf all those things (and more), so, too, is the GOP. One need not catalogue here how mainstream Republicans have touted ideas like “self-deportation“, mosque closures, or denying women access to reproductive health care under the guise of protecting “women’s health” to acknowledge that Drumpf’s positions are only extreme in the degree of outrageousness, but not their intent.
[See what I did there? It’s called paralipsis… the device of giving emphasis by professing to say little or nothing about a subject… hee hee.]
In other words, Drumpf is just the GOP “talking straight” on steroids. And the message is unmistakeable.