“Unlike real dictators around the world, he follows the opinions of courts, though he may take swipes at a judge or two on Twitter, and he begs congress to pass legislation that he can sign…That hardly sounds like the dictators Jinping, Putin, and Maduro.”
One of the favorite past times of the Democratic Party is calling the Republicans fascists. In fact, the band Green Day was extremely popular when I was in college, and they rejuvenated their career calling George W. Bush a fascist. Because of that and so many other examples, I tend to roll my eyes when they label Trump a fascist because they are simply participating in one of their favorite pastimes and ignoring world events that suggest Trump is far from a fascist dictator.
The most recent event is President Xi Jinping in China currently asking top party leaders to remove a rule preventing him from ruling for life. He has placed men loyal to him in key leadership and party positions and his anti-corruption campaign has (conveniently) removed many of his opponents from power. Analysts believe he will get the term limits removed and will rule for life.
President Maduro in Venezuela is hardly better. As the successor to Hugo Chavez he has nationalized the oil industry, and presided over the bankruptcy and ruin of his nation. He went around the national congress by creating a new body loyal to him. This constituent assembly is charged with changing the constitution and essentially expanding Maduro’s power. He has placed the military in charge of key industries and put many of his rivals in prison. Even though Venezuela sits on some of the largest oil reserves in the world, he presides over ruinous inflation and even mass starvation. He refuses to cede power and is doubling down on his policies.
Vladimir Putin has been in power for the last 20 years. He is up for reelection, but barred many of his opponents from running for office. He has little challenge to his authority and there are persistent accusations that he poisons dissidents and those that cross him. And this is on top of his blatant interference in elections, aggression in Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and support for a dictator in Syria.
With this background in mind it’s fairly easy to see the hot air of Democrats from the New Republic and Salon that accuse Trump of fascism. They complain that a database registering radical Muslims is like the Star of David the Jews had to wear, his liking an anti-Muslim video, and using the phrase “enemy of the people” and so much more are all elements of his proto-fascism.
Big legal win today. U.S. judge sided with the Trump Administration and rejected the attempt to stop the government from building a great Border Wall on the Southern Border. Now this important project can go forward!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018
But that is nonsense. Unlike real dictators around the world, he follows the opinions of courts, though he may take swipes at a judge or two on Twitter, and he begs congress to pass legislation that he can sign. He listens to his advisers, and defends the Constitution, particularly the Second Amendment, against critics. That hardly sounds like the above dictators Jinping, Putin, and Maduro, and it doesn’t even sound as bad as FDR who interred minorities and tried to stack the court.
In reality, the media and Trump critics don’t like the president and they use the most loaded and scary words possible to try and attack him. But a calm and careful analysis and comparison to real dictators around the world undermines those claims.