All along, the truth was there – plain and neon-bright – for those willing to see and accept.
The truth, of course, is that Donald Trump doesn’t simply “flirt” with fascism at the margins, but embraces it not only rhetorically, but as the governing ethos of his perverse regime.
A coterie of writers and historians has long understood that Trump is indeed a fascist, while the centrist-hugging commentariat vacillated and quibbled about whether he is or isn’t.
Not burdened by such equivocating sensibilities, other, more astute observers, instantly recognised a profoundly hazardous man who, on the incessant, winding road to the White House – wittingly or unwittingly – channelled the spirit, words and deeds of his avowedly fascist American political and cultural ancestors, including the prewar evangelical anti-Semitic huckster, Father Charles Coughlin; the rabid 1950s Communist-hunting Congressman, Joseph McCarthy; and the slick, 1960s segregationist Alabama governor, George Wallace.
Like Trump, each of these fanatics – separated only by a few generations – attracted a legion of equally fanatical followers who converted popular support into great power and influence, which not only emboldened them, but also fuelled resistance to their odious racial edicts and modus vivendi.
Cloaked in Roman Catholic vestments and scripture, Coughlin’s blatant racism and anti-Semitism had the patina of profundity and eloquence that Trump’s spontaneous, sputtering expressions of white, Christian nationalism lack.
Still, beyond history, what binds these intolerant charlatans is the conviction that young, torch-wielding anti-Semites – wearing…
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