Skippy wrote:What were the goals of the "protest" then, if not to overturn the results of the election, and thus install Trump as what would be an unelected leader? Yeah, he and the rest of them probably did do it for their idea of freedom, but that idea of freedom seems incredibly nebulous, and seems to amount to little more than "we like this guy". It would help if they had a proper manifesto behind the movement, but unless I've missed it they don't.
What exactly do you think facist rhetoric is? Do you think Hitler, Mussolini or Franco talked about how they wanted all the power for themselves all the time? No, it was always "these people are taking your liberty (insert country here) first, lets get them!" Trump has constantly floated all democratic rules he wants to. He constantly talks about Nationalist exceptionalism, has made numerous attempts to suppress free press (the Twitter thing, for example) and give himself more powers (limiting the powers of individual states, for example). He came to power blaming immigrants for all the problems of the country, and did his upmost to limit the rights of anyone he considered not American enough - another hallmark of fascist (well, all) dictatorships. Finally, and most importantly, he regularly talked about shutting down his main political rivals, the Democrats, while also talking about how he's going to run for a third term. Hell, even to use your metric, he has constantly talked about how he thinks his fans should use violence against their politcal opponents. To think Trump's rhetoric is anything other than fascism dressed up seems a little naive.
Installing unelected leaders has been done in the name of democracy, aristocracy, communism, and other more niche ideas. It is not intrinsically facist. It is usually illegal though, as it is here, but not always facist. If these people want Trump back, they are not getting a facist leader if they succeed.
Just a few points:
Keynesian economics Is facist -Trump does not go for that. Not at all. He’s protectionist free market all the way.
Expansion through war is facist - Trump has started less international conflict than any president in my lifetime.
Anti-democratic policies are facist - I think Trump is looking to run in his third democratic election in 2024. He wants to win the game, not get rid of it. That is clear.
All of Trumps actions/behaviours that you list above are regarded as populist. They are often appallingly crass, inflammatory and destabilising, but not facist. Not even close. He is held very much in place by the American system and his main motivation appears to be a narcissistic ego, not a codified political ideology. Characterising him and his supporters as facist is just incorrect. And worse, it vilifies people who feel ignored and forgotten - people in that position could turn to something worse if they feel a social contact has been broken. While they operate within the law, We should be as kind as possible towards them, listen as much as we can, while keeping a moderate perspective clear, accessible and strong. Calling people facist, when they have no such ideology is not conducive to such a dialogue.
For clarity: Both Hitler and Mussolini did, once they had power, talk at length about gaining more power; and both picked apart the democratic system with a vast swath of support from the people. You have to remember, though ‘The third way’ wasn’t politically anathematised as it is today. People where very suspicious of capitalism and democracy, especially in countries who where very new to it. To paraphrase Orwell: capitalism offered wealth and modernisation, communism offered equality and a full belly, and Hitler offered blood, glory and death... we know what they chose. He didn’t hide it. None of them did. Enough people wanted it, and so it happened. It’s a difficult thing to swallow for those countries, but it is true.
The American people, including the vast, vast, vast, majority of trumps supporter do not want a facist despot, if they did, they would have it. It’s how democracy works.
Trump disregard for truth is my least favourite thing about him, it leads to unease, distrust and misunderstanding - including some of this thread. And as an an Englishman, I find it hard to understand the American mentality that brought Trump to power. But I can try, it would be beneficial if more people undertook this same effort. If they did, maybe even Twitter would be a nicer place to be.