Why Trump isn't a fascist&The storming of the Capitol was not a coup.

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DSilva
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#41
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#41
(Original post by Pythian)
The US has an Enlightenment-inspired constitution with various organs of state abiding by the separation of powers doctrine. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are kept in totally separate and distinct corners to prevent any abuse of power. Consequently, the President (executive) never sits in Congress (legislature), and whilst the President can appoint his own cabinet posts, the Senate must ratify them. The courts are entirely separate again. The President nominates a judge and Congress confirms a justice to the US Supreme Court. This prevents the courts becoming independently too powerful. But, the Supreme Court is a check against executive power that is ultra vires. For example, famously, during the Korean War in the 1950s, President Truman nationalised steel mills during the steel strike. The Supreme Court ruled that the executive order was illegal because it exceeded the powers granted to the presidency under the Constitution. The Supreme Court rejected Trump's lawsuit to overturn election results. America has a complete and strict separation of powers which is much stricter than England's separation of powers. This is a v. old political doctrine going back to John Locke, Montesqieu, Thomas Paine, James Harrington etc... and their philosophical writings hugely shaped the framers of the United States Constitution.

The broader structure and strength of the US Constitution is an ability to resist and neutralise abuses of power. The very fact that proceedings are underway to impeach him next week goes directly against the thrust of your charges. There is simply no comparison with Hitler and fascism.
My objection to this argument is that is seems to say that because the attempt to overthrow an elected government (or prevent them from taking office) was bound to fail, that it cannot be called an attempted coup.

I disagree. What matters is the intent, not the outcome.

Another point that needs addressing is the suggestion that anyone less evil than Hitler cannot be called a fascist. Obviously Hitler was the very extreme end of fascism, but that doesn't mean one has to commit genocide to be accurately labelled as the term. I think trying to overturn the results of a presidential election, and inciting violence to that end is of the fascist play book. As well as the post truth agenda.

The only thing that stopped it succeeding is the strength of the US system, but that doesn't make the intended actions and less awful.
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Pythian
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#42
(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
He aligned with fascists. He has repeatedly called the Far Right "people who like me", he says things like "we love you" in their direction. He said "they are all good people" right after they committed murders during the BLM organised violence of the counter-reaction. He commanded them to attack the Capitol "be strong, do what is needed" and then said he loved them. He has announced that the QAnon lunacy is full of good people who love him.

Votes for Biden, were, according to Trump, "illegal". Only votes for Trump were legal.

This isn't exactly the same as Hitlerism, but it's fascistic to support fascists and urge them to attack the prime institution of one's democracy.

As for his tendency to ramble and be incoherent, folks probably don't realise that a number of leading historical fascists like Mussolini for example often made long illogical rambling speeches.

He hasn't issued black uniforms, but really, all I can see so far is that he's a fascist who hasn't yet made it to totalitarian rule, but came close and certainly wanted it.
Oh God! A sense of proportion is needed here.

Hitler usurped the constitutional role of the President alongside the Chancellorship in 1933. He suspended Habeus corpus, freedoms were annulled, banned other political groups like the communists, and unions were banned. When Hindenburg died in 1934, he simply tore up the Weimar Republic Constitution and declared himself Fuehrer for life passing the Enabling Act. Jews would soon be deported to concentration camps.

Have you heard/seen of China today? What language would use to define that state if you use the word fascism/Nazism with Trump? They actually have concentration camps and actually kill people.
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QE2
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(Original post by Pythian)
The very fact that proceedings are underway to impeach him next week goes directly against the thrust of your charges.
A complete non sequitur.
If a coup succeeds and a dictatorship established, the laws prevailing under the deposed system may no longer apply.
If Trump's fascist coup had succeeded, Democrats would not have been able to impeach him.
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QE2
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#44
(Original post by Pythian)
Oh God! A sense of proportion is needed here.

Hitler usurped the constitutional role of the President alongside the Chancellorship in 1933. He suspended Habeus corpus, freedoms were annulled, banned other political groups like the communists, and unions were banned. When Hindenburg died in 1934, he simply tore up the Weimar Republic Constitution and declared himself Fuehrer for life passing the Enabling Act. Jews would soon be deported to concentration camps.

Have you heard/seen of China today? What language would use to define that state if you use the word fascism/Nazism with Trump? They actually have concentration camps and actually kill people.
So because you define Nazi Germany and the current Chinese regime is fascist, an authoritarian, right wing coup in the US cannot be?
Not sure how that works.

And remember...
Fascism: An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
(in general use) extreme authoritarian, oppressive, or intolerant views or practices.
Fascist: An advocate or follower of the political philosophy or system of fascism.
A person who is extremely right-wing or authoritarian.
A person who is very intolerant or domineering in a particular area. - (OED)

If it's good enough for the OED, it's good enough for TSR.
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Pythian
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#45
(Original post by DSilva)
My objection to this argument is that is seems to say that because the attempt to overthrow an elected government (or prevent them from taking office) was bound to fail, that it cannot be called an attempted coup.

I disagree. What matters is the intent, not the outcome.

Another point that needs addressing is the suggestion that anyone less evil than Hitler cannot be called a fascist. Obviously Hitler was the very extreme end of fascism, but that doesn't mean one has to commit genocide to be accurately labelled as the term. I think trying to overturn the results of a presidential election, and inciting violence to that end is of the fascist play book. As well as the post truth agenda.

The only thing that stopped it succeeding is the strength of the US system, but that doesn't make the intended actions and less awful.
Hi DSilva,

Thank you for your replying. I think we're talking at cross-purposes here. I am not defending Trump. I am simply arguing that we have to keep criticisms under the right heading.

If you're talking about the recent events on Capitol Hill, I don't believe there was any attempt to overthrow the government for the reasons I cited above. You must distinguish between a mob that storms the government from a constitutional coup. Remember Hitler with his paramilitary troops attempted a violent insurrection in the 1920s; but it was only in 1933 when Hitler assumed powers under the Presidency when von Hindenburg died that the coup really took place under the assumed office of the Fuhrer. Trump did nothing of the sort. In fact, he left a letter in Oval Office to the next President - as is custom.

As for the definition of fascism, well obviously it's a question of emphasis and we're different people with different opinions on life etc.. which ofc I respect. Personally speaking, I really do think that fascism ought to reserve a sepcial provinence in our political lexicon and ought not to be diluted with various equivalences. I think there is a difference between far-right authoritarianism and fascism. For me, fascism is the ne plus ultra. Of course, the only 'true' fascist movement was led by Mussolini. And whilst Nazism and various inflections are a bit different, they do share several traits that make them v. dangerous. It's a government with absolute power (beyond mere 'authoritarian') that transcends nationalistism/militarism/controlled mass media into the myth of national/racial/ethnic rebirth after a period of decline/destruction and purge certain 'alien' groups. (Such as the Bosnian War etc...). Authoritarian governments are awful and oppressive, but fascist governments are dangerous (as in: pack your bags and get out of the country). Fascism is that level. Places like North Korea and China. Like communism, I feel it ought to retain its potency.
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DSilva
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#46
(Original post by Pythian)
Hi DSilva,

Thank you for your replying. I think we're talking at cross-purposes here. I am not defending Trump. I am simply arguing that we have to keep criticisms under the right heading.

If you're talking about the recent events on Capitol Hill, I don't believe there was any attempt to overthrow the government for the reasons I cited above. You must distinguish between a mob that storms the government from a constitutional coup. Remember Hitler with his paramilitary troops attempted a violent insurrection in the 1920s; but it was only in 1933 when Hitler assumed powers under the Presidency when von Hindenburg died that the coup really took place under the assumed office of the Fuhrer. Trump did nothing of the sort. In fact, he left a letter in Oval Office to the next President - as is custom.

As for the definition of fascism, well obviously it's a question of emphasis and we're different people with different opinions on life etc.. which ofc I respect. Personally speaking, I really do think that fascism ought to reserve a sepcial provinence in our political lexicon and ought not to be diluted with various equivalences. I think there is a difference between far-right authoritarianism and fascism. For me, fascism is the ne plus ultra. Of course, the only 'true' fascist movement was led by Mussolini. And whilst Nazism and various inflections are a bit different, they do share several traits that make them v. dangerous. It's a government with absolute power (beyond mere 'authoritarian') that transcends nationalistism/militarism/controlled mass media into the myth of national/racial/ethnic rebirth after a period of decline/destruction and purge certain 'alien' groups. (Such as the Bosnian War etc...). Authoritarian governments are awful and oppressive, but fascist governments are dangerous (as in: pack your bags and get out of the country). Fascism is that level. Places like North Korea and China. Like communism, I feel it ought to retain its potency.
Very well reasoned post.

I understand the desire to avoid the dilution of the terms 'far right' and 'fascist'. I also accept that they have been used too loosely in recent months even if the terms will always contain a fair degree of subjectivity.

I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that Trump was of the same ilk as Hitler or Mussolini. But equally I don't think anyone could reasonably argue he was a true believer in democracy and demcratic norms. He didn't mind them so much when he won, but he did all he could to overthrow the results of the election and essentially declare himself the supreme ruler of America. After all, if the President had managed to stay in office despite losing, then you are no longer a democracy.

Trump is probably of the same ilk as Bolsarano, Orban etc. While they may not persecute their people, they have very little regard for democracy or the rule of law, declare opponents as enemies of state, pump out propaganda, live in a post truth world, and cultivate a cult of personality around them.

Fortunately the US system was rigid enough to survive Trump's attempts to trample all over it. But who knows what we he would have done, or where he would have stopped were he able to get away with it?

Perhaps 'fascist' is too strong a word. But along with the likes of Orban and Bolsarano I don't think anyone could say they were 'democrats' or believed in the rule of law. Maybe hard right authoritarian is a more apt description.
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Pythian
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#47
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#47
(Original post by DSilva)
Very well reasoned post.

I understand the desire to avoid the dilution of the terms 'far right' and 'fascist'. I also accept that they have been used too loosely in recent months even if the terms will always contain a fair degree of subjectivity.

I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that Trump was of the same ilk as Hitler or Mussolini. But equally I don't think anyone could reasonably argue he was a true believer in democracy and demcratic norms. He didn't mind them so much when he won, but he did all he could to overthrow the results of the election and essentially declare himself the supreme ruler of America. After all, if the President had managed to stay in office despite losing, then you are no longer a democracy.

Trump is probably of the same ilk as Bolsarano, Orban etc. While they may not persecute their people, they have very little regard for democracy or the rule of law, declare opponents as enemies of state, pump out propaganda, live in a post truth world, and cultivate a cult of personality around them.

Fortunately the US system was rigid enough to survive Trump's attempts to trample all over it. But who knows what we he would have done, or where he would have stopped were he able to get away with it?

Perhaps 'fascist' is too strong a word. But along with the likes of Orban and Bolsarano I don't think anyone could say they were 'democrats' or believed in the rule of law. Maybe hard right authoritarian is a more apt description.
On Trump, some months ago, I watched a fascinating documentary on youtube on George Wallace. It was one of the most fascinating things I have watched in ages because I felt it was an insight into Trump. I've told all my friends about it. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLkCY0f73iE&t=3313s

George Wallace was the governor of Alabama who had White House aspirations. He was an intelligent man who became a federal judge, and eventually wanted to reach political heights. I think there are so many comparisons between him and Trump. For starters, neither were really political - in the sense that you would navigate the political world and stand by philosophical viewpoints. Trump & Wallace didn't really have any serious 'ideological' political fealties. They opted for convenient platforms. During the race for Governorship, George Wallace - who didn't seem to be an actual racist - went up against someone who had the backing of the KKK. The other guy was a 100% racist segregation supporter (and made no bones about it). During the next cycle of elections, suddenly, George Wallace stood pretty vehemently for segregation in the South. Ultimately, I get the feeling that George Wallace was not genuinely a racist, but he stood for positions that he knew would guarantee him support which were, invariably, racist. I have never been able to shack the feeling that Trump doesn't believe some/most of what he says. He was also so aggressive, brusque and abrasive. I saw an interview he gave (on youtube again) and he's not your usual-pleasant-type politician. He's so pugilistic and downright unpleasant to watch. But, that sort of attitude and demeanour seems to please a certain type of audience. I was really shocked when Trump would say at a rally "get these sons of b***ches!". Shocking to you and me - but, the audience loves it. In the youtube documentary, George Wallace actually stood blockading the entrance of the University of Alabama to stop the enllroment of black students. People who knew him said that that was a stunt. He did that for show and theatrics. Wallace was huge on the whole "us v washington" trope also. It's a very interesting insight into a corrosive populism.
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Napp
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#48
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#48
(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
He aligned with fascists. He has repeatedly called the Far Right "people who like me", he says things like "we love you" in their direction. He said "they are all good people" right after they committed murders during the BLM organised violence of the counter-reaction. He commanded them to attack the Capitol "be strong, do what is needed" and then said he loved them. He has announced that the QAnon lunacy is full of good people who love him.
I'd say there's a difference between him aligning himself with fascists and merely accepting their quasi-backing of him. Equally there being a difference between the 'far right' and fascists as well.
His indulging of either set though, whilst decidedly unpleasant, isnt exactly the same as making him a fascist.
So have the Republican party in Hawaii, if the tweet still exists, it was absolutely hilarious saying they were patriots at heart :rofl:
Votes for Biden, were, according to Trump, "illegal". Only votes for Trump were legal.
Corrupt, illogical and moronic but still not exactly fascism though.
This isn't exactly the same as Hitlerism, but it's fascistic to support fascists and urge them to attack the prime institution of one's democracy.

As for his tendency to ramble and be incoherent, folks probably don't realise that a number of leading historical fascists like Mussolini for example often made long illogical rambling speeches.

He hasn't issued black uniforms, but really, all I can see so far is that he's a fascist who hasn't yet made it to totalitarian rule, but came close and certainly wanted it.
Mmm quite possibly, but what he might have done in the future is somewhat beside the point i was making that despite him being a corrupt 'little' hooligan who indulged the worst aspects of Americans wasnt a fascist by any meaningful definition of the word.
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Napp
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(Original post by QE2)
That's quite the straw man, even for you!


You seem to have entirely missed the point.
The actions and aims of Trump and his supporters fits the definitions of "fascist" and "fascism" in the OED, in which case it seems somewhat strange to make such a big fuss about its use in that context.

BTW, rather odd use of "slatternly" there. Or were you trying to be ironic?
You're really alleging i made a 'staw man' by using your given example? :lol: Bold, if nothing else.

You havent made a point other than 'i dont like orange man, he fascist', that hardly being a point. One is merely telling you that Trump, whatever else he may be, does not meet the definition of a fascist. Something you seem entirely unable to grasp. You managed to find the definition from the dictionary now go dig a little bit deeper and maybe you'll discover the series of errors you made after that. Or is this more of you thinking you know more than the various political scientists et al. who have stated he isnt one, with a slightly more respectable rebuttal than copy and pasting the first thing your google search threw up :rolleyes:
You keep saying rubbish like this, "making a big fuss" a rather pathetic little attempt to try and deflect from your own quackery but not overtly surprising at this stage.
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QE2
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(Original post by Napp)
You're really alleging i made a 'staw man' by using your given example? :lol: Bold, if nothing else.
In reply to my post quoting the OED's definitions of fascist and fascism (which fit the Trump/GOP narrative sufficiently), you said...
"The OED does not consider Trump a fascist, nor does any serious political scientist consider his views equatable to Hitler or Mussolini,"
Neither point had I made or even implied. Your response was so far removed from my actual point as to be more of a straw giant.

If you think that those actual definitions don't apply in any way to the actions of Trump and his supporters, feel free to explain.
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Napp
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(Original post by QE2)
In reply to my post quoting the OED's definitions of fascist and fascism (which fit the Trump/GOP narrative sufficiently), you said...
"The OED does not consider Trump a fascist, nor does any serious political scientist consider his views equatable to Hitler or Mussolini,"
Neither point had I made or even implied. Your response was so far removed from my actual point as to be more of a straw giant.

If you think that those actual definitions don't apply in any way to the actions of Trump and his supporters, feel free to explain.
Are you being intentionally dense or do you honestly not see how you quoting the OED to support your point that Trump is nothing but the 21st century Hitler is more than slightly implied? It beggars belief.
Please don't lie, i know its tricky for you but really.
Ah so we're back to your policy of changing goal posts, how cute. His supporters are irrelevant. Unless you'd like to acknowledge that the Labour party and its leadership are all a bunch of raving anti-semites because of some of its supporters? As but an example.
As to "the actions of Trump", this is not what is being discussed dear, perhaps you got lost on this again though? We are discussing whether Trump himself is a fascist, not whether some of his regimes policies have the tint of it. Do you need it explaining to you the difference between someones personal ideology and the actions of a government? :rolleyes:. Never mind that, whilst many of his policies were odious in the extreme, few of them can be described as "fascist".

You really are a case in point as to why words mean nothing anymore. Calling anyone you disagree with a fascist, anti-semite, homophobe, transphobe, racist etc. Completely irrespective of whether it's true or not. Alas, rather typical of those who know little of history or politics to use such loaded terms so flippantly.
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QE2
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(Original post by Napp)
Are you being intentionally dense or do you honestly not see how you quoting the OED to support your point that Trump is nothing but the 21st century Hitler is more than slightly implied? It beggars belief.
There you go again, with your massive but poorly constructed straw man.

Look, this is just getting silly now. You really need to try and respond to my actual points and arguments. People might be watching.

Please don't lie, i know its tricky for you but really.
*ssppprooinnggg!!!*

Ah so we're back to your policy of changing goal posts, how cute. His supporters are irrelevant.
Are you high?
This whole issue came to a head because his supporters in the general public attempted to storm the seat of government with the intention of imposing an illegitimate government, following months of planning and incitement by not just Trump but by Republican politicians and associated legal and media actors.

You need to get a grip. The Kremlin isn't going to pay for the kind of shoddy work you've been producing of late.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Napp)
I'd say there's a difference between him aligning himself with fascists and merely accepting their quasi-backing of him. Equally there being a difference between the 'far right' and fascists as well.
His indulging of either set though, whilst decidedly unpleasant, isnt exactly the same as making him a fascist.
So have the Republican party in Hawaii, if the tweet still exists, it was absolutely hilarious saying they were patriots at heart :rofl:

Corrupt, illogical and moronic but still not exactly fascism though.

Mmm quite possibly, but what he might have done in the future is somewhat beside the point i was making that despite him being a corrupt 'little' hooligan who indulged the worst aspects of Americans wasnt a fascist by any meaningful definition of the word.
You know after he was in prison, Hitler posed as distancing himself from the street thuggery of the SA. He was a gentleman fascist, the sort who would restore law and order and make Germany great again. Not one of those nasty obvious fascists.

Fascists don't all arrive with swastika armbands and raised arm salutes.
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Pythian
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
You know after he was in prison, Hitler posed as distancing himself from the street thuggery of the SA. He was a gentleman fascist, the sort who would restore law and order and make Germany great again. Not one of those nasty obvious fascists.

Fascists don't all arrive with swastika armbands and raised arm salutes.
Even Hitler's transformation that you mention doesn't account for much. On the subject of Hitler, if I remember correctly, he never really got anything beyond 37% of the popular vote in the elections prior to his being given the Chancellorship by Hindenburg. This means around 60% of the vote was against him.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Pythian)
Even Hitler's transformation that you mention doesn't account for much. On the subject of Hitler, if I remember correctly, he never really got anything beyond 37% of the popular vote in the elections prior to his being given the Chancellorship by Hindenburg. This means around 60% of the vote was against him.
Yes, although Hindenburg could justify it on the basis that Hitler had been leader of a national coalition government involving the NSDAP and the DNVP. Of course, I'm not arguing there's a direct mapping between the events of Germany in the early 30s and the US under Trump, just pointing out that fascists come in different flavours, not all of them completely obvious. Another example is Pinochet in Chile - he never adopted the trappings of fascism per se, but he sure acted as one.
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QE2
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(Original post by Pythian)
On the subject of Hitler, if I remember correctly, he never really got anything beyond 37% of the popular vote in the elections prior to his being given the Chancellorship by Hindenburg. This means around 60% of the vote was against him.
Kinda the point really. If you can win a free and fair election there is no need for a fascist coup.
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Pythian
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Yes, although Hindenburg could justify it on the basis that Hitler had been leader of a national coalition government involving the NSDAP and the DNVP. Of course, I'm not arguing there's a direct mapping between the events of Germany in the early 30s and the US under Trump, just pointing out that fascists come in different flavours, not all of them completely obvious. Another example is Pinochet in Chile - he never adopted the trappings of fascism per se, but he sure acted as one.
Yes, I don't think I would disagree with what you say. I just find the rise of Hitler a very interesting subject.
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