The Plague-Ground – I’m a far-left Fascist. Are you?

Last Friday at Mt. Rushmore, Donald Trump demonized the large majority of his fellow Americans:  “In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.”

So I asked myself: “What is a far-left fascist, anyway?”

I asked because most fascists are right-wing, like Mussolini, Franco and, of course, Hitler. In fact, fascism always involves a dictator with complete power to suppress opposition. He (rarely she) is also big on aggressive nationalism and often racism. Sounds more right than left to me. Like Trump talking to his mirror.

I’ve always labelled myself an economic conservative and a social liberal. I suspect many of you do too. It’s easy being both in Canada. But it’s impossibly hard to think this way in America, where all your beliefs get sent in a single package to one pole or the other.

In fact, I have a 6-pack checkbox that tells me how liberal someone is. It’s not complete, but it’s quick.

  1. Against capital punishment?
  2. For abortion?
  3. For gay marriage?
  4. For legalized cannabis?
  5. For medically-assisted death?
  6. For more immigration?

Not everyone I know checks all six of these, but so many of my friends do that I don’t even think to ask what they believe. It’s a non-issue.

Besides, unless someone makes a point of it, saying over dinner, “Do you really think we should open our borders to more immigrants?” I won’t bring it up myself. The fact that virtually no one else asks questions like this testifies to another thing that’s so easy in Canada and so hard in America.

As for these questions being used as a loyalty test for my standing as a Canadian citizen, that’s even less relevant. Again, the very opposite holds true in America. But then, we’ve never had a House Committee on UnCanadian Activities.

We’ve also never had a Prime Minister who talks like a fascist.

If we had, perhaps we’d be a little quicker to make the connection to Donald Trump, the right-wing fascist who has learned from history more than we ever thought he could:

In 1925 Adolph Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

This week, President Trump said: “99% of coronavirus cases are totally harmless.”

In 1928 Benito Mussolini said: “Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice, it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.”

It seems that day is closer than ever….

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9 thoughts on “The Plague-Ground – I’m a far-left Fascist. Are you?”

  1. Jamie Laidlaw

    America’s democracy has been assaulted as our PM was a few days ago many times before. And the gentle reader will know this was true during the FDR era where these two fascists were having their heydays. Alberta after the United Farmers of Alberta elected a Radio Bible preacher with no formal education who set a course of discord with the federal government and you might say still does. My maternal grandfather worked for premier Bracken a province away in Manitoba who brought the qualifier progressive into the federal conservative party which he led for 5 unhappy years. They called it Brackenism and he was the lone premier to survive the depression which my friend Len Gelfand told me he did by not promising too much. I must add there are no photos of John smiling except faintly with his grandchildren. Are there lessons to be learned? There always are. Both Bracken and Aberhart grew up on farms in rural Ontario perhaps one principal difference was that John was educated a the Ag College in Guelph and Bill received whatever authority he had through a mail-order course. Bill was kind of like having a DD conferred by an online “university” John was one of the best students in his year of graduation and went on to responsible jobs in the prairie provinces. So that is that.

  2. The tide has turned over the past week. Now that Trump has publicly argued with and dismissed Dr. Fauci (ideologically today; who knows whether he will be fired by week’s end) it’s all about the Republican “Southern Strategy”, the election and the ego. The graphs rise, the hurt is visceral for so many and the damage is just collateral to MAGA..

    And Trudeau’s absence at the foot of the throne today is notable (and front and centre on the news.)

    In his farewell address George Washington (who refused to be crowned a king and refused another term) imparted two pieces of advice: Do not become involved in foreign wars and do not practice partisan politics.

  3. robert duShaw

    Pres. Trump meeting with Mexico Pres. today in Washington on new trade pact for autos- Canada part of the deal– Where is Trudeau hiding ???? When only USA and Canada were involved- auto. trade pact was working- Letting Mexico supply all the cheaper parts- has screwed manufacturing in Canada and USA. Mexico caught shipping drugs- illegal immigrants with the auto. parts- Can we build the wall tall enough???

  4. Adam Plackett

    Good comments, Bob, as always. I would make a change and an addition to your six pack. I would add “in favour of a carbon tax” and I would change “for more immigration” to “in favour of immigration”. I suggest the latter because whether you are in favour of more immigration or keeping it at the same level depends on what level we are at currently and that may vary from year to year. You would have to replace the term six pack with something else mind.

  5. Jennifer Laity

    What remains to be seen . . . will Trump, like Mussolini and Hitler before him, leave landmines on the path of his humiliating retreat?

  6. I’m no fan of Trump but it seems to me that fascism in the sense of authoritarianism and the insistence on only one way to look at the world could be applied to Stalin and to China’s Cultural Revolution. Can political correctness be carried to such an extreme that it forbids debate on important issues? Perhaps.
    Jonathan Haidt’s book The Coddling of the American Mind describes this in some detail.

    1. Sharon Taylor

      That’s an interesting point.

      .btw .. Love the six pack and someone’s add on controversial question about carbon tax … Not sure this one is as clear as the abortion or capital punishment ones.. but definitely topical and ripe for healthy and helpful debate.

      But the point above, about political correctness silencing discussion … This is already very very much true.

      I know many people who simply don’t speak up or question or wish to engage in a back and forth on many touchy issues not becauae they are :on side, but because offering additional or “yes but” points immediately generates accusations of ‘white privilege’, or ‘colonial benefactor’ or ‘transphobic bigot’: Etc.

      Not to suggest that some of those retorts would not be ‘if the shoe fits wear it’ scenarios. However, there is a lot of feet shuffling downcast and fearful eyes and many lemmings who immediately post #blacklivesmatter and a black screen for blackout Tuesday, not because they are informed, but because the are on a bandwagon and not necessarily at all informed.

      These things are complex. Life is complex. Cultural and social economic constructs are complex and unfair. Discussion is healthy when done well and respectfully with good intentions.

      Ah the road to hell. ….

      Let us not allow political correctness stop meaningful and healthy two / multi way discussion.
      Thank you for sharing this observation about the politically correct with the hint of a future of intellectually stagnant and value exchange bankrupt world.

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