It isn’t of course. That’s a silly non-sequitur, like “Bananas are Ballroom Rollercoasters“, but it didn’t stop WaPo from publishing garbage titled “Trumpism is American Fascism“.
The word fascism used to mean:
A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
But now means:
A word I use.
For much of my adult life, the left has been hurling insults at the right and the middle. Initially this was done to suppress discussion and thought long enough for social changes to be embedded into the structure of society and become effectively irreversible. Or simply to be unpleasant.
If someone suggested that soaring black on black crime might be in part caused by fatherless children, they quickly discovered that they were racists. Have you ever wondered if rap lyrics create a good climate for raising children that respect women? Racist. The underlying social / political change this covered for was the destruction of black self-sufficiency and subsequent reliance on the state, and declining opportunities for growth. Why this is good is unclear, but it is done.
If you once thought, as billions did, for thousands of years, that marriage was a social and legal construct designed to keep the father around, because – pre-social science – biological fathers and mothers raising their children seemed to the natural order of things, and post social science because we know that children so raised fare better: homophobe.
Hypothetically, one might wonder if giving powerful hormones to pre-pubescent teens, and promoting the notion that irreversible surgical alteration of their reproductive organs is always in their best interests, but then one would be transphobic.
Do you think hiring, firing, salary and promotion decisions should be made based on ability, effort and accomplishment, and not gender or skin color: misogynist, and a few others.
Christian: bible clinger. Gun owner: gun clinger. Hater. Far right winger.
For a long time these things worked, primarily because they abused peoples’ innate decency. When first accused of one of these things, most people immediately become concerned that they said or did something that offended someone, or perhaps, really are racist, etc.
By the ten thousandth time, people understand the game. They understand it even more clearly when they see it ramp up for 3 months before any election, and then disappear magically.
Most sane people over 30 ignore these things, assuming this to be the most graceful way to manage unpleasant people.
More recently, as the left hurls insults, they are aimed less at the seemingly intended target, and are actually aimed at left themselves. Two or maybe three generations of children have been structurally indoctrinated by the left to believe Americans are fundamentally racist, and that freedom is a tool to be abused by the white supremacy. There’s no need to defect older people who know better when you can just brainwash every new generation.
After the election in 2016, the left doubled down on rhetoric and actions that made people turn against each other. While doing this, they blamed the subsequent anger and violence on Donald Trump and Trump voters. Trump, for his part, used the same language of flighting and winning that the left has been using for decades, making the left’s story a little easier to believe. It’s likely that at least some Biden voters believed they were voting for an overdue de-escalation of the anger in the country.
There are going to be disappointed.
For the last 4 years we have watched the left tell each other that the right is intolerant, ignorant and responsible for all the violence and anger in America, ignorant. And they seem to believe it. Don’t be confused when they say Trump, or Trumpism – they mean you.
The right’s immediate response to the capital riots was a tactical mistake, but one made for the right reasons. It was the same response the first time one is accused of being a racist: No, I’m not. That would be terrible. Am I? I’ll get back to you. The right denounced the riots immediately, as decency required, and they gave the left the benefit of the doubt that Trump incited them.
At least for a few days, when it became clear that was nonsense.
There’s a new theme on the left, and a dangerous one. Consider the recent Tim Cook memo. His objection to facebook’s business model is not that it erodes privacy, but that it could (or did) create an information feedback loop that makes ignorant people violent. And by ignorant people, he means the right. Tim slanders half the country, offers not a shred of evidence, and is celebrated for his kindly thoughts.
It worth noting that neither Apple under Tim Cook, nor facebook is in favor of freedom of speech. And somewhat ironically, they are in perfect agreement as to what speech is to be allowed. Apple recently removed Parlor from the app store, breaking the company, because they allowed speech not approved by silicon valley.
The meme in the news, and my facebook feed, is that the legacy of Trump is an ignorant, angry and violent right.
Notice how effective this trick is. In the old days, you might have wanted to say something about the mathematics of evolution, but you found yourself explaining why owning a shotgun doesn’t make you an angry, fearful bitter clinger. A conversation that you had lost before it began. Prior to the capital riots, the conversation was (always) about election fraud, and after, about the danger of the fascist right.
Politely ignoring this will not work. It will not stop. It will become an excuse to destroy more freedom.
The right has a choice: Do nothing, and lose. Fight back using the same techniques, and probably lose, and likely cause great damage, or find a way to defuse this nonsense.