Donald Trump is an incipient fascist. It’s time for the pundits to stop beating around the bush with phony claims that he reflects some kind of legitimate anti-establishment, anti-government populism and state the naked truth. Consciously or not, Trump is aping Mussolini and Hitler.
For a long time many have correctly recognized that the Republican Party has been taken over by the right-wing extremist section of corporate power – the Koch brothers, etc. But Trump is something new.
Previously, the GOP only covertly empowered racist, anti-immigrant and fascist-like forces in its base to get elected in order to enact tax, war and union-busting policies favorable to the billionaires.
Trump has openly embraced, encouraged and identified with this base. He has incited violence against his opponents at rallies, scapegoated minorities and immigrants for the problems created by Wall Street, and posed as a savior uniquely capable of addressing the real insecurities of the people.
His slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is code for white supremacy and global domination by U.S. imperialism. He glorifies militarism abroad and racist police violence at home. He reminisces from the pulpit to a time in American history where mob violence could be used to put down protest.
Whereas previously, the slogan of progressives was “defeat right wing extremism,” this now must be modified to address the more immediate danger of incipient fascism. The strategy remains to build a broad coalition of democratic forces against this threat. The question now is one of tactics.
Labor and its grassroots allies have sounded the alarm. At the last AFL-CIO executive board meeting, President Richard Trumka denounced Trump as “an anti-American bigot.” Leaders of 21 highly respected progressive grassroots groups representing women, immigrants, students, environmentalists, labor organizations and the LBGTQ community have issued an open letter, “a five-alarm fire for our democracy,” calling for “a voting renaissance and mass nonviolent mobilization to stand up to Trump’s bigotry and incitement of violence.”
These statements must be circulated widely, publicized to the membership of all labor and grassroots movements and endorsed by every religious, labor and community organization possible. This includes reaching the members, leaders and candidates of all political parties and insisting that they speak out forcefully and denounce Trump as a fraud seeking to destroy our living standards to satisfy his over-blown ego.
In terms of tactics, Trump may be using or planting disruptors at his events to justify goon violence. Instead, democratic forces should organize picket lines outside his events and hold mass peaceful disciplined demonstrations. If any violence occurs, it must be crystal clear that Trump and his supporters initiated it. We must be ready to isolate provocateurs. We must send a strong message to Trump and the GOP that this is what is in store for them as they prepare to nominate Trump.
Trump is an incipient fascist, but unity and mass mobilization of democratic forces can nip this danger in the bud.
Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP