Don't like a politician? Just describe him or her with the 'f' word. Fascist, that is. Maybe Bernie Sanders, who wants onerous taxation and an all-powerful federal government, qualifies as a fascist. How about Barack Obama, who set up a big-government monstrosity that forces Americans to purchase health insurance?
But of course, the truth is that people on the left are rarely described as fascists, no matter what they do. Liberals have hijacked that word and regularly use it as a cudgel with which to beat their political opponents.
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini named his Fascist Party after an ancient Latin word, which literally meant a 'bundle of rods.' One rod might break, but when bundled together they were far more powerful.
One definition of fascism comes from Fox News regular Jonah Goldberg, who wrote a book on the subject: 'Fascism is the view,' he explained, 'that every nook and cranny of society should work together toward the same goals overseen by the state.' Sounds like a working definition of socialism, doesn't it?
Etymology and accuracy aside, fascism has morphed into a damning accusation hurled by leftists at anyone they don't like. And right now the f-bomb is pretty much reserved for one politician, namely Donald J. Trump. He is regularly assailed as an authoritarian thug who would run roughshod over the Constitution, maybe even the world.
The latest slander comes from south of the border, where Mexico President Nieto breezily compared Trump's popularity to that of Mussolini and Hitler. That's from the leader of a nation that leads the league in corruption. Nieto seems to be following an unwritten rule on the left – start off by assailing your opponent as a fascist, then work your way up to Adolf Hitler himself.
Not to be outdone, Lawrence O'Donnell, who reportedly hosts a show on MSNBC, said this: 'This is ugly fascism in America, this is 21st century American fascism.' Larry forgot to work in Hitler, but give him time.
Then there is columnist Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, still trying to live down the day he showed up as a guest on MSNBC clad in an orange hunting cap and vest. It was a joke – get it? – aimed at Dick Cheney's hunting accident. Anyway, Milbank is really stretching things by comparing Donald Trump's supportive fans pledging their allegiance to Hitler's Brownshirts giving a stiff-armed salute. Hey, Dana, maybe you're still suffering from shell shock after that lame hunting bit.
Milbank has company in the fever swamps. Abe Foxman, former director of the Anti Defamation League, also looks at Trump's crowds raising their right hands and discerns a resemblance to the 'Heil Hitler' salute. Are these folks serious? Unfortunately, they are.
Donald Trump defies an easy one-word description, but he has certainly been brilliant at channeling the anger felt by so many traditional, country-loving patriots. Over the past seven years this is what frustrated Americans have witnessed:
– Attacks on police officers who are accused of hunting down black men.
– A porous border that invites bad guys to smuggle people and narcotics.
– A stagnant economy in which wages are declining and prices are rising.
– A national security apparatus that will not utter the words 'Islamic terror.'
– A culture that is overrun by political correctness and is hostile to religion.
– A left-leaning press corps that describes conservatives as, yes, fascists.
– Universities that charge exorbitant fees to indoctrinate young Americans.
– Cities that give 'sanctuary' to illegals, leading to vicious and deadly crimes.
– A Congress that refuses to pass a life-saving measure like 'Kate's Law.'
– Elites who imply that every ill in the world is somehow caused by the USA.
– Race hustlers like Al Sharpton and 'Black Lives Matter' at the White House.
– A Justice Department that considers prosecuting 'climate change' skeptics.
– An administration that seems to ignore the deadly carnage in black precincts.
– A Secretary of State who falsely blames four deaths on an Internet movie.
– A refusal to bring up sensitive issues like the dissolution of the black family.
There is more, much more, and Donald Trump has tapped into the anger that is an understandable result of the above litany. Like all of us, he is flawed and his rhetoric has at times crossed the line. Trump should stop the QVC presentation, as Dennis Miller called it, and outline some real solutions to vexing problems. Go easy on the insults, begin outlining policy prescriptions.
And, by the way, it's worth mentioning that many of Bernie Sanders' supporters seem to be angrier than Trump's fans. They rail not against people who enter the country illegally, but against their fellow citizens who have done better in life than they have, at least in financial terms. Bernie Sanders is the head of a 'green movement,' but that green is mostly about envy, not the environment.
The bottom line is that the USA has been on the decline, both overseas and at home. It started long before Donald Trump threw his coif into the political arena, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Mussolini or Hitler or the 1930s.
Now, it is certainly true that some bad people are exploiting the Trump campaign to disguise their own racial hatred. Trump should condemn that, and he should tone down some of his own inflammatory language. But don't call him a 'fascist' or the next coming of Hitler. Reserve those vile insults for true thugs and actual mass murderers. The USA of the 2010s is troubled, but in far different ways than Italy and Germany of the 1930s. That is a history lesson worth studying.