The United States is a nation that has held complete disregard for the Nazis, for Mussolini and the Italian Fascists, and has fought hard against Islamo-fascism. The US is a country that has always held a disdain for fascism and has always sought to stamp it out. So, it’s hard to imagine that American citizens would ever accept a fascist regime or be willing to go along with a fascist government. What possible scenario could ever place the US in such a hold of authoritarianism?
Firstly, it could come incrementally, as a natural outcrop of bad policy coming from either Democrats or Republicans. But also, when American voters become convinced that the only real choice is fascism, then they will choose it. When the country’s two main parties put forth two different brands of fascism and voters want to select one of them just to keep the other out of power, then it will happen.
I have always been aggravated and annoyed when people cry out fascism toward anyone that disagrees with them and say things like, “You know who else thought that way? Hitler!” I think it’s important here to distinguish that as I describe elements of fascism, I am not calling anyone a fascist. Holding a point of view on one aspect or holding just one or two political positions does not make you a fascist. It just means you have some agreement with fascists on a couple of things.
The obvious and naked fascism of white nationalists is not the only fascism on which Americans need to focus their vigilance. The right fascists are better known and understood. They are supportive of things like using illegal immigration as a cover to enhance xenophobia, and to use “build that wall” as a rallying cry to foment negative outcomes toward immigrants. Corporate welfare might not necessarily be obviously fascist in nature, but fascists grab onto it and support it because crony capitalism suits them for the purpose of establishing control over the means of production and distribution of goods and services. They use the sentiment of unfairness of perceived trade imbalance to foment protectionism and paint people across the globe as nasty villains content on the destruction of America. They encourage us to work up fights not for the protection of Americans but for protection of American influence, and they wish to bend the world to the will of the US so as to dominate their ideas around the globe.
What seems lesser known to people, in general, is the idea that fascists do indeed exist on the left side of politics as well. At first glance, the agendas seem a little different, but when examined through the same light, a fascist is still a fascist, and there can often be a collision between the groups because it furthers their goal of a larger, more powerful government that can accomplish what they want.
Where white nationalists have a goal of a national representative of what they believe is white culture and power, the left nationalists seek an identity of all but what they perceive to be white culture, particularly white male culture. Many would be happy to stamp out all white males within the country. They believe in a sort of civic form of nationalism that idealizes the use of government to support a nation that serves only non-whites and provides systems that encourage a disparity of income and power away from whites and to “minorities”. Where right fascists see gender as playing a major role in each gender using specific sets of attributes to contribute to the state, left fascists see the absence of gender as a best means to serve their needs.
Left fascists, while decrying capitalism as a fair means of effective and fair distribution, make use of crony capitalism by offering subsidies and advantages to businesses which support clean energy and environmental concerns. Their concern for the environment is couched in their desire to control the behavior of people. By forcing people to act in certain ways for environmental concern, they seek control in general.
My grave concern is that these forces are beginning to congeal and strengthen in ways that they have not before. The US has had plenty of periods of xenophobia and racism, and it has had many periods of authoritarian control used to suppress groups of people, but that control keeps growing and has never been drawn back. Most of the political positions of the fascists on both sides are viewed separately by the public. They see them as being sound policy when examined individually, while not considering them within a larger picture. And, I believe that at no point in US history have the fascists on both sides held so much political power.
Both sides of fascists need to grow governmental power and will continue to do so. They will do it by working their constituent political parties into frenzies over each individual issue until there is enough power in government to accomplish all they desire, and then the only two obvious options will be your favorite brand of fascism. People will say “I don’t support all of this, but these people are on my side of the political spectrum, and that’s the lesser of evils.”
Despite what appearances may be, you do not have to support a fascist duopoly. Antifa and the various extreme political groups on the left need to cleanse membership of left fascists, and the tea party right needs to cleanse itself of right fascists. Democrats need to push away from and recognize being used by fascist ideals, and so do Republicans. At the same time, voters should consider no longer voting for either one. It’s only a lesser of evils if you decide that you can not choose evil at all. If we do not recognize the danger, I fear there will be a new American brand of fascism that embraces both right and left fascist ideals, and perhaps a struggle for the strongest brand of fascism as Americans just assume it to be better than the other one.