This is quite a long post, so I will summarize. Since Trump began considering his staff and signing his executive orders, I have been concerned about the similarities between past fascist regimes and the current Regime; they are so close that it is uncanny. Trump and other extremist Republicans have accomplished, are attempting to accomplish, or building on previous Republican measures to accomplish all of them. They are 14 for 14
Be afraid, my friends. Be very, very afraid.
The following is from “The 14 Characteristics of Fascism” by Lawrence Britt published in the Spring of 2003. The headings and italics are cut and pasted from the article. https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html The other text is mine.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
“Make America Great Again”, “America First” are typical nationalist slogans. And who can forget the MAGA hats and the huge number of flags behind Trump during his speeches. His idea of make America Great is making America white again.
Has Trump or the Republicans accomplished #1? Yes
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
The enemies of the Trump Regime are Latinos and Muslims. They are immigrants who, even if they are here legally, must constantly be prepared to prove it. Young men and women who were protected under DACA are now subject to arrest. Many “good” Americans, turn away because they are not being harassed, and they believe clearing of immigrants make things safer.
Trump said last year he would be “fine” with repealing the USA Freedom Act, which limited bulk data collection on U.S. citizens, and he has advocated “surveillance of certain mosques” and shutting down others entirely — an idea that he followed by proposing to “close up certain areas” of the Internet. “Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech,’” Trump scoffed, “These are foolish people.” http://www.learnliberty.org/blog/president-trumps-...
Has Trump or the Republicans accomplished #2? In process
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
Hitler named Jews as the enemy; Mussolini had the socialists; Suharto of Indonesia, had communists. Donald Trump has named Muslims as his enemy of choice. He coined terms that make a normally peaceful people sound ominous and dangerous. "Islamic Terrorist" and "Radical Islam". He referred to "...radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.” It seems as though he does not care how many innocents will get swept up in his eradication. It is ominously similar to the opinion that another fascist government had of Jews about 80 years ago.
Has Trump or the Republicans accomplished # 3? Yes
4. Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
I don’t think anyone has any doubt that we are at war with ISIS, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. There is no question that more assets need to be brought to bear against these groups. However more submarines, aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons will not identify and stop a suicide bomber.
For all his rhetoric about defeating ISIS, Trump has indicated that he will return the military “to its former glory”. "History shows that when America is not prepared is when the danger is greatest. We want to deter, avoid and prevent conflict through our unquestioned military dominance," Trump said. “As part of removing the defense sequester, Congress must fully offset the costs of increased military spending, thus, making government leaner and more responsive to the public." [Emphasis added] http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/06/politics/donald-trum...
In other words, other programs would be used to offset the costs of Trump’s military build-up.
Has Trump accomplished #4? In process
5. Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
Grabbing Pu$$ies, reversing LGBTQ policies, opposition to gay marriage are all hallmarks of the Trump Regime. Although the administration has women in key positions, the overall conduct is sexist in nature.
Has Trump accomplished #5? Yes
6. Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
The American Media is so diverse, that it is doubtful that total domination by Regime is possible like it is in Russia. However, by delegitimizing the media if they disagree with Trump, failing to give them access to the administration and generally screaming “Fake News” accomplishes nearly the same thing. This tactic also solidifies the base, which is committed to Fox News, Brietbart, News Max and Infowars.
Has Trump accomplished #6? Yes
7. Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
From the C-PAC podium, he beseeched attendees to “look at France, look at Germany, look at Sweden. It’s horrible…Just horrible.” He failed to mention white radical attacks at a Mosque in Canada by a Trump supporter, or the arson attack in Tampa, because that does not fit the National Security narrative that all the ills of society can be traced back to uncontrolled borders.
Has Trump accomplished #7? Well on the way
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
Trump has been subtle but his statements that “We will be one people, under one God, saluting one American flag” are certainly different than “under god”. The Republicans have long held that the United States is a “Christian Nation” built on “Judeo-Christian ethics”.
Has Trump and the Republicans accomplished #8? In Process
9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
Big Republican Donors are working hard to get Republicans elected. Trump appointed members of the “business aristocracy” to his cabinet, and as heads of departments are who against regulations that protect citizens from being poisoned by Big Energy and other industries, which were forced to change the way they did business to comply with financial and environmental regulations.
His failure to divest himself of his own businesses, which makes him able to protect and build his own business interests.
Has Trump accomplished #9? Yes
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
It comes as a surprise to no one that the Republican Party has fought Labor for years. Right to Work (for less) states dilute the power of organized labor. Republican governors are making Public Unions illegal and making it illegal to deduct union dues from paychecks.
All of this weakens unions and suppresses their ability to affect the influence of workers on public and private corporate policy.
Has Trump or the Republicans accomplished #10? Yes
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
The National Endowment for the Arts and Public Broadcasting have been under attack from the Right for years. Trump, by his sixth-grade speech patterns, seems to confirm his disdain for education and people who are not duped by his ill-conceived “plans”. Trump's campaign was pitched entirely at the idea that egg-headed wonks and liberal elitists — including the entire literary and entertainment culture centered on the two coasts — were not only deeply out of touch with the concerns of average Americans but also dismissive of them. Despite bragging about graduating from Warton, he constantly denigrated President Obama for his “wonkiness” and Hillary Clinton to this day for her Yale law degree.
Has Trump accomplished #11? Yes
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
Trump spoke loudly about the “Rule of Law”, yet he is invoking the rule of law by giving law enforcement virtually unlimited power to stop and interrogate anyone who “may be ‘illegal’”. Someone who “looks wrong” is probable cause to stop and detain. Police are given the authority to enforce immigration laws and this also gives them unlimited power to “investigate” other crimes as a part of the immigration investigation.
His Attorney General has frequently refused to prosecute crimes against minorities and now refuses to recuse himself from investigations against Trumps actions during the campaign, giving him virtual unlimited power over investigations, even if they trample civil rights.
Has Trump accomplished #12? Yes
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability.
Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Steve Bannon, to name three, are cronies that hold high positions in his regime. 73 people that the Trump transition considered for influential positions, gave $57.3 million money to his presidential campaign or groups supporting it.
He is taking this to a different level, by appointing former political opponents, such as Ben Carson, Rick Perry and Nikki Haley to senior administration positions.
Has Trump accomplished # 13? Yes
14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
With both houses of Congress, controlled by the Republicans, demanding investigations; and with Trump’s rabid insistence that “there is nothing to see here”. It certainly seems like Trump had something to do with tainting the election, or at the very least, offered tacit approval of the meddling.
Was this election a complete sham? No, but there can be no doubt that, according to Britt, “elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against…candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Emails, hacking, voter ID and gerrymandering. Trump and the Republicans certainly have the tools in place to make future elections fraudulent.
Has Trump and the Republicans accomplished #14? Yes