Is Trump a fascist?
- Credit: Archant
The New European says: Don't listen to what Trump says. Look at what he does.
Six months ago, a Vancouver-based collective of artists called Adbusters (www.adbusters.org), published a photograph of Donald Trump with a barcode across his upper lip making him look, at first glance, a little like Hitler.
Back then, most people laughed at the notion Donald Trump might actually have fascist tendencies. We're not laughing now.
Our front page today, in homage to that original artwork, reflects a very real and growing concern that the President of the United States is acting in a way that threatens some of the fundamental assumptions we make about life in a free and open democracy.
Don't listen to what he says, his apologists said when Trump was elected. Look at what he does.
What Trump said in campaigning was awful. What he is doing in office is worse.
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In the few weeks since he was elected Trump has openly attacked mainstream media as liars (frequently presenting clear lies to support this), has incited citizens against judges who do not agree with him, and has targeted minorities both at home and abroad.
Don't listen to what he says. Look at what he does.
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When the officials who talk for him have such open disregard for facts that they challenge the very concept of truth, and conduct open war with a free Press established by Constitution – that is a fascist act.
When he uses lies and slogans to spread his propaganda direct to the masses, peddling them a narrative that they are a nation that teeters on the edge of disaster because of forces arrayed against them, that is a fascist act.
When he tells citizens to blame judges if bad things happens, when he lies that there is a media conspiracy to conceal news of terror attacks, when he tells America that Europe is engulfed in terror, these are the tactics of fascism.
When he brings into his inner sanctum a man, Steve Bannon (see our profile on page 12) who believes in the coming of a 'cleansing war', who ran a far-right website that openly attacks minorities, and who has been publicly-labelled a white supremacist by respected politicians, that is the company of fascists.
When he talks of a total shut-down of Muslims entering the US then delivers on that threat with a ban of seven nations, but excludes ones he does business with, that's a fascist act.
When he sets about building a wall across a border. Bullies nations with economic threats. Openly agitates about the economic stability of other nations. Keeps a book of Adolf Hitler's speeches next to his bed. These are the acts of a fascist.
These are not acts to be shrugged off with a casual 'ah well, that's The Donald! That's just how he rolls!'
These acts have profound and lasting consequences, do damage, hurt real people, throw us backwards as a people.
This week John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, spoke not just for many MPs, but for many millions more people in this country who are absolutely revolted by the idea of our craven and desperate rush to suck-up to this President.
Bercow has been criticised for overstepping the mark. We applaud him.
He may well enjoy the limelight (and, by the way, the Commons would be blowing through with tumbleweed if that was a disbarring characteristic for an MP) but Bercow has a moral compass and he's not afraid to use it (see Tim Farron's article, page 8). If only more of those Labour MPs, so quick to cheer the Speaker over Trump, would show a fraction of Bercow's backbone and bite over Brexit!
The other criticism thrown this week at Bercow is one of hypocrisy – that he has been happy enough for other dodgy leaders to come to Westminster Hall and address both Houses.
There is a world a difference between engaging with someone like Xi Jinping of China, a country walking (however slowly) towards a better social reality, and a leader like Trump, who threatens to take perhaps the world's greatest democracy and debase it.
Faced with a man who attacks minorities; attacks judges; abuses the free press, subverts public opinion with lies; a man comfortable in the company of racists, liars and bigots, we believe John Bercow did the decent thing.
Don't listen to what he says. Look at what he does.
Until Trump stops talking like a fascist, until he stops tweeting like a fascist, until he stops acting like a fascist, many people are not going to stop wondering if Trump is not, in actual fact, a fascist.
Matt Kelly, editor
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