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No, Seriously, Trump Is a Fascist

Eyes roll whenever comparisons to Nazi Germany are made, and for good reason. The analogy is almost never called for, and is almost always an example of rhetorical hyperbole. George W. Bush was compared to Hitler. Barack Obama has been as well. Neither comparison is fair. But that does not mean Nazi comparisons are always inappropriate. If anything, the overuse of Nazi references has desensitized the public to manifestations of actual fascism. When "fascist" becomes nothing more than a pejorative, few will take its meaning seriously.

Right now, we have an actual fascist running for president of the United States, and he seems poised to secure the Republican nomination. Donald Trump is a fascist, not in a vague rhetorical sense, but according to the father of fascism's own definition. Benito Mussolini coined the term and defined it as complete subjugation of the individual to the state. He wrote:

The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State...

The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone....

Note, fascism is not characterized by the Holocaust. It is not characterized by the deaths of millions. The Holocaust was a product of fascism, not a component of it. One need not propose or carry out mass murder to be a fascist, but only support an all-powerful state that completely subordinates the individual to the arbitrary will of its leader.

Liberals called Bush a fascist because, in their broad view, he subordinated the personal liberty of the individual to the state. Conversely, conservatives have called Obama a fascist because, in their broad view, he has subordinated the economic liberty of the individual to the state. But whether the subject of comparison has been Republican or Democrat, either has always held some allegiance to individual liberty. Bush at least feigned allegiance to self-determination, if more in the economic sphere than the personal. Obama at least feigns allegiance to self-determination, if more in the personal sphere than the economic. Trump makes no pretense in support of liberty in any sphere.

Conservative author Matt Walsh, known for his provocative commentary in defense of principle, notes that Trump is perhaps the first serious contender for president of the United State who campaigns openly as a tyrant. Other presidents may have exhibited tyranny to one degree or another, but none have been as unbridled as Trump promises to be.

"Hillary Clinton is a tyrant," Walsh noted in an interview with television host Dana Loesch. "But she has to pretend, at least, that she's not." Indeed, American tyranny has always been piecemeal, the product of pitting one group against another, promising spoils while retaining a sense of freedom for a favored constituency. Trump promises only "greatness," a vague concept defined by bombast and brute force.