In November 2015, Slate Magazine’s Jamelle Bouie argued that the best political label for Trump – the world’s 324th richest billionaire – was “fascist”. The reason? He insists that the Republican candidate displays a number of fascist hallmarks, including: a cult of action where “thinking is a form of emasculation”; an intolerance of criticism; a profound fear of what is “different”; a nationalist identity based on one’s country being attacked from both the inside and outside; a “popular elitism” driven by “contempt for the weak”; and a celebration of aggressive masculinity.
Former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, who served under Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997, has insisted:
I don’t think Donald Trump is a conservative. I think he’s an authoritarian. And there is a difference. I don’t think he cares about democracy.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, has suggested that Trump’s campaign is based primarily on a politics of division, fear, intolerance, and hateful rhetoric.
During his campaign, Trump has claimed that all Syrians are terrorists and that most Mexican migrants are rapists. Vox argues that he is exploiting the fact that most Republicans believe discrimination against Caucasians is just as much a problem as discrimination against ethnic minorities.
At his rallies, supporters have proven themselves to be angry, aggressive and violent. And on 29 February, a photographer from TIME Magazine was choked and pushed to the ground by a member of Trump’s security team during a rally in Virginia. U.S. Uncut even argues that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the USA tripled in 2015, with many of the attacks happening after Trump “made his infamously racist proclamation that the America should close its borders to Muslims”.
Trump’s wager was simple: Pretend to be stupid and angry because that’s what stupid and angry people like… He knew how undiscerning the populace would be, how little they cared about details and facts… [That is why he] has marched straight to the nomination without offering anything like a platform or a plan.
Nonetheless, it seems that a significant portion of the US population is tempted by this “latter-day Mussolini”, according to The New York Times. And as Trump goes from strength to strength, the Republican Party looks to be running out of time if it truly wants to avoid the car crash of a Trump candidacy (or presidency).