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Trump is only 62% fascist or 29 Benitos short of a dictatorship

5 min read

WaPo published an update to the estimation of whether Trump was more than a rhetorical trope as a fascist, or more of an actual, historical fascist.

29 more “Benitos” to go, Trump has yet to win reelection by rigged balloting and only has a fraction of the population incarcerated. Ripping children from their parents, and increasing disproportionate wealth by exploiting the Treasury are not so fascistic to the WaPo article writer. Not being an economic historian, John O’Neil does undersell the effects on the US economy with a looming recession. 

Capitalists were in bed with Hitler and Mussolini, willing to deficit spend for global conquest. Ferdinand Porsche’s tanks and Hugo Boss’s uniforms. Aside from the use of slave labor, there were those Nobel Prize nominations for Hitler, so Trump has a shot, considering how Spain, Chile, Argentina, and Belarus managed their dictatorships

Trump’s more about the kleptocracy than a thousand year Reich, leaving the world war for the second term. Destroying democracy might then garner a few more Benitos. Darn weighting is much like the dimensions from Trump’s physical exams or his dementia tests. Tim Snyder does leave more room for the kinds of tyranny that we are currently enduring and that may run rampant in the Trump second term. Just because we aren’t there doesn’t mean history won’t get us there. 

So where does Trump's administration stand as he is nominated for a second term? He earned 47 of a possible 76 Benitos, or 62 percent. He remains the greatest threat to American democracy since the Civil War, but his exercise of power only partly resembles that of real fascists. He still faces checks and balances in Washington. He hasn't shut down rival parties or uncompliant media.
He has not directed the armed might of the state against citizens on anything like the scale used by Mussolini, let alone Hitler. He does not have his own obedient “squadristi” eager to beat up foes, even if plenty of his followers advocate (and sometimes indulge in) violence against minorities and Trump's opponents. He has not arranged the murder of prominent political opponents. The cult of violence is integral to fascism but far less central to Trump. He is not ruling like a genuine fascist.  
But he has shown pronounced fascistic leanings. In the right circumstances — a crisis he could manage triumphantly, a more sympathetic military — perhaps he would try to extend his rule beyond whatever the voters allow him and convert the United States into a repressive, racist dictatorship. Or perhaps stage phony elections that hand the reins to Ivanka and Jared. At least a few members of Congress would probably support him, just as many parliamentarians voted to give Mussolini and Hitler emergency powers. Those lawmakers did not know at the time just where fascism might lead. We have a clearer idea.…



— Riff Raff (@RichardAOB) August 21, 2020


— Riff Raff (@RichardAOB) August 21, 2020



— Variety (@Variety) August 22, 2020

Trump is the kind of screw-loose blowhard who has inspired all too many of us to play armchair psychiatrist. We’ve been putting him on the couch for the entire run of his presidency. So most, if not all, of the insights presented by the upcoming documentary “#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump” (it drops on Aug. 28) will be familiar to any student of TISDS (Trump Is Seriously Deranged Syndrome).

Trump, as Dan Partland’s film explains, is a malignant narcissist. (Has there ever been a DSM diagnosis that sounded like more of a direct insult?) The film details the four qualities in Trump that define that syndrome: his paranoia (the feeling that any journalist who asks him a challenging question, or any staff member who doesn’t kiss his ring, is out to get him); his anti-social personality disorder (the constant lying, the lack of remorse about even the most destructive things he does); the sadism (the thousands of vicious attacks and insults in his tweets); and…well, his narcissism (do I need to detail that?).

In addition, the film analyzes his propensity to create and live in his own reality. It explores his absence of empathy — which, of course, is the defining quality of the sociopath. (They’re not insane; they just don’t care about you — or anyone else.) And it compares him to Hitler and Mussolini, and to the authoritarian leaders of our own time.


“#Unfit” never gets into what I’ve always thought of as the most mentally unsound aspect of the Trump personality, which is this: We all know how many lies he has told in office (and for years beforehand), since it’s well- documented. But apart from the sheer scurrilousness of his daily fraudulence, one has to wonder: What does telling that many lies, to the point that he may actually believe a lot of them, do to a person’s head? What reality is Donald Trump living in? If we knew the answer to that, they could title a new disorder after it, one he’d probably be proud to have his name on.…



— Timothy Snyder (@TimothyDSnyder) August 16, 2020


— Hong Kong Sojourner (@DavidLloydSmit4) August 16, 2020


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