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.
- Against capital punishment?
- For abortion?
- For gay marriage?
- For legalized cannabis?
- For medically-assisted death?
- 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….