It has been only one week into Donald Trump's administration and so far the outlook is not good. So far, Donald has placed a gag order on all federal agencies' social media accounts after the National Parks Service tweeted about how Obama's 2009 inauguration was more widely attended than his; signed an executive order to freeze the hiring of federal workers, the only exception being the military; is still trying to get Mexico to pay for a 2,000 mile border wall that will take $25 billion dollars and 16 years to build; and remove federal funding to sanctuary cities in an effort to combat illegal immigration; and has signed an order to ban the immigration of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and limit the immigration of Muslims coming from the Middle East, just to name a few of the events that have transpired the past seven days. Many of these executive orders are borderline violations of civil rights. Donald Trump is the most dangerous man to ever been named President. Donald Trump is a fascist plain and simple and, using the 14 points of fascism, here's why.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
Donald's campaign slogan was "Make America Great Again." His campaign was built on the promise that his America will be the greatest nation the world has ever seen. As Sinclair Lewis put it in the 1930s, "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, sing the national anthem, carry a cross, and be called 'Americanism.'" Also, the issues stated on the Whitehouse.gov website begin with either "America First" or resemble his campaign slogan. Comparatively, President Obama's issues were neutrally named, simply calling them what they are like Climate Change, LGBTQ, Economy, Civil Rights, etc.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
Donald has also been open about bringing back the use of torture on suspected terrorists.
"[Waterboarding] works. It works. If it doesn't work, they deserved it anyway," he's quoted. As I mentioned above, he has censored government agencies from posting on social media, a blatant violation of the 1st amendment. So now agencies like NASA, NPS, EPA, and USDA have gone rogue, creating alternate Twitter accounts to continue spreading knowledge that Donald wants to censor, like climate change for example.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
Donald Trump has made sure the world knows he doesn't like anyone who isn't a straight, white, cisgender, able-bodied male. His claims that Muslims are terrorists (despite the fact that the overwhelming majority hate terrorism) has bolstered his efforts in banning their immigration to the United States. Donald is creating the notion that immigrants are the enemy, they are why the US is failing (even though the US is a country made by immigrants). Donald sounds scarily similar to a certain someone in 1939 Germany.
4. Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
Donald Trump has instituted a freeze on the hiring of all federal workers, except the military. They are allowed to be as large as they want. According to the Making Our Military Strong Again page on Whitehouse.gov, the Trump administration wants to ensure that America will be at the highest level of military readiness.
5. Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
Donald Trump's blatant sexism is one reason why the Women's March on Washington happened January 21st. During his campaign, Donald has said many vile things regarding women, most famously saying "Grab them by the p*ssy". He considers women to be below him, saying that "all women on The Apprentice flirted with me--consciously or unconsciously."
At the time this article was written, on January 27, the March for Life took place in Washington, D.C. March for Life is a huge pro-life demonstration and was attended by Mike Pence, who was quoted, "Life is winning." The March ended at the steps of the Supreme Court, which is significant because Donald's supreme court pick is sure to be someone extremely conservative. The administration has made it known that the wish to refund Planned Parenthood, which would prove disastrous for those who rely on their services, mostly women, because PP does more than provide abortions, the give birth control, sex education, hormone replacement therapy, men's sexual health services and so much more. Millions of low-income people will be without reproductive health care if Planned Parenthood gets defunded.
Not only that, Donald wants to repeal marriage equality, which on June 25, 2015, marked a huge step forward in American civil liberties. Millions of same-sex couples will lose their right to marry if this happens.
6. Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
Donald Trump claims the media is unfairly biased against him. He has said the media is the enemy. Now he has made it so that outright lies are just "alternative facts" and that any data from the EPA must be submitted for "approval". Meaning since Donald is a climate-change denier, any life-as-we-know-it altering findings could be denied approval for publication. Not only is this level of censorship scary from a 1st amendment standpoint, it's scary period. A top presidential aide has also told the New York Times that the press should "keep its mouth shut" to which CNN news anchor Jake Tapper responded, "No."
7. Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
Donald Trump uses the fear of terrorism in order to get support for his highly unconstitutional ban on Muslims, whether US nationals or not, from entering the country. His campaign was run using peoples' fear of the "other"-- immigrants, Muslims, black people, Latinx, LGBT, poor people, etc-- by saying that we are the cause of America's downfall.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
The separation of Church and State is one of the most important aspects of our nation's policies. However, with a GOP-led Congress it will be much easier for religion to interfere with legislature.
9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
Let's get one thing straight: Donald Trump has no place in politics. If that isn't clear by now, I spelled it out for you. He is a business man, or as much as a businessman someone who filed for bankruptcy four times can be. Which means that he wants to protect his business in order to line his pockets. Donald Trump has allowed the Dakota Access Pipeline to be built. The problem? The pipeline will run through Native American lands, which violates the federal treaties stating that Native lands are their own sovereign countries. Presidents are required by law to honor the treaties, so not only is this illegal, it has huge environmental repercussions as any leak in the pipeline will pollute the water in the Standing Rock reservation and the water of 17 million Americans downstream. "Donald Trump has put corporate interests ahead of American interests," says the president of NextGen Climate Tom Steyer.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
Donald has cut funds for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, meaning that things like PBS and NPR, as well as smaller educational outreaches across the country will lose valuable grant money. As a musician, this one hits me hard as I have dedicated my entire life to music and performing arts. Many of my friends are left wondering will our degrees in the Arts and humanities mean anything? What will become of academics who speak out against Donald Trump?
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
Donald Trump wants his administration to be known for "law and order." He has threatened to send federal officers to Chicago, to combat violent crime, which is a violation of the 10th Amendment. The 10th Amendment states that all other powers belong to the States or to the people, with congress being permitted to regulate commerce between the States. This is why Donald simply cannot "send in the Feds" to deal with a local issue.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
Donald Trump's staff and cabinet have some interesting people including his own son-in-law as his senior advisor, a literal neo-nazi, an ironically uneducated Department of Education nominee, and a neurosurgeon for the department of housing and urban development, just to name a few incompetent people.
14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Donald Trump claims over 3 million people voted illegally. The only reason he says this is because he lost the popular vote, of course, to Hillary Clinton, and he just can't stand losing. The New York Times reported that Donald Trump told the story of golfer Bernhard Langer. The story goes that Langer was in line to vote at a polling station when he was told he wouldn't be able to because he is not a US citizen. Langer is a German citizen, with permanent residency in the US. "Ahead of and behind Mr. Langer were voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote, Mr. Trump said, according to the staff members — but they were nonetheless permitted to cast provisional ballots. The president threw out the names of Latin American countries that the voters might have come from." So a white guy saw some brown people at a polling and immediately assumed that they are illegal immigrants voting illegally? It's not like Latin-Americans can be US citizens, amirite? Nevertheless, Speaker Paul Ryan has launched an investigation based on nothing but hearsay.
Just so you all know, what Donald Trump is doing is not normal. This is not the America I want to live in. Fascism is dangerous and if unchecked, Donald Trump will be the cause of millions of deaths worldwide. We must act up. We must fight back. We must survive.