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Is Donald Trump Really A Fascist? Here Are 12 Warning Signs That Will Leave You Führerious

Is Donald Trump Really A Fascist? His Authoritarian Behavior Isn’t Doing Him Any Favors

It’s been perhaps the most popular label slapped on “President” Donald Trump since having won the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton. Progressives, moderates, and even some conservatives have taken a liking to referring to Trump as a “fascist.” But is it an apt description of Donald Trump and his administration? Is there any meat to go with those potatoes?

So far, it’s not looking so good for The Donald. The fact that I can refer to him as “Kim Jong Don” in any group of friends and immediately elicit pangs of concern rather than the childish giggles I’m typically hunting for is rather worrying. Whether or not Trump truly is a fascist is something historians can decide, but for those of us experiencing his reign first-hand — those of us who aren’t sporting brown shirts beneath red baseball caps, anyway — his administration is resembling a dictatorship more than a presidency, and those similarities become more and more evident with each passing day.

I can’t really call Donald Trump a “fascist” out of hand. Not with a straight face, anyway. The internet’s Godwin Law should remain ever-present in such debates. What I can do, however, is state emphatically that there are certainly some warning signs that all of us need to take strongly into consideration when weighing this “fascism” question with regards to Donald Trump. And here’s a list of some of those warning signs now.

Twelve Warning Signs That Donald Trump May Be A Fascist

#1 – Unifying Your Supporters Behind Those You Perceive To Be Enemies

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, liberals/ progressives, the media, Muslims, Mexicans… Trump seems to have more enemies than he has friends, and his supporters hate (not to be confused with “dislike”) those that Trump declares as enemies of his “movement.”

#2 – Xenophobia As A Foreign Doctrine

Fascists tend to be extremely xenophobic. They don’t like “outsiders” or those with cultural differences they aren’t personally keen on. Trump’s attempted Muslim ban through executive fiat fits this description aptly.

#3 – Declaring War On The Free Press Because They Call You On Your Bullshit

Trump’s recent ban on media outlets he perceives to be “fake news,” without any supporting evidence of course, is easily one of the most fascist things his administration has done in the very short time Trump has been in office. Attempting to discredit large groups of journalists and press agencies that report openly and honestly on your dealings is textbook fascism at its worst.

#4 – Extreme Narcissism And Megalomania

Trump, who suffers from extreme delusions of grandeur, flagrantly labels himself as “the best,” “the smartest,” and other egocentric titles on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Trump also believes most of the country is behind him, despite polling data showing that a sizable majority of Americans are actually opposed to him.

#5 – Dismissing Human Rights And Civil Liberties

The Muslim ban, the proposed wall, the grotesque repeal of transgender rights… these are most likely the early warning signs of far worse human rights and civil liberty violations to come.

#6 – Obsession With National Security

Fascists tend to obsess themselves with national security in ways most other world leaders do not, revolving much of their legislative and executive actions around the idea that the country and its borders need to be closed to outsiders. Initiating bans and wanting to surround the country with huge walls to keep brown people at bay? Yeah… let’s add that one to the fascism checklist, shall we?

#7 – Touting Your Own Collection of “Facts” To Counter Universally-Accepted Ones

Remember Kellyanne Conway’s famous (and hilarious) “alternative facts” gaffe? ‘Nuff said.

#8 – Openly Friendly Toward Other Dictators

We all know that Donald Trump has a serious bromance going on with Vladimir Putin. Trump better hope his phone never gets hacked, because I’m at least 90% sure he’s texted Putin and 3 am and asked “you up?” I was going to work in a “brojob” joke there but I didn’t want to be responsible for the ensuing terrible images that would go through your minds.

#9 – Cronyism And Corruption Run Amok

Fascist regimes tend to witness a lot of cronyism and corruption. One look at Trump’s initial cabinet picks should be all the evidence anyone needs that his administration has a serious problem on this front.

#10 – Extreme Sexism And Homophobia

Fascists tend to dictate to others what constitutes social norms. Trump’s war on transgender citizens, Vice President Mike Pence’s support of gay conversion therapy and general homophobia… his administration isn’t earning support from the LGBT community any time soon. And don’t even get me started on the sexism. Trump’s “grab her by the p–y” remark is amongst the most heinous things I’ve ever heard a presidential candidate say.

#11 – Vindictive Personality; Holds A Grudge And Likes To Exact Revenge

Trump can get very litigious and seems to enjoy suing those who criticize him or make jokes at his expense. Bill Maher learned this the hard way in 2013 after making a joke in which he referred to Trump as an Orangutan. Trump rather hilariously sued Maher, waving around his birth certificate in a court room as evidence that no, he isn’t an ape. Fucking. Hilarious.

#12 – Obsessed With Crime And Punishment

Fascist leaders tend to be obsessed with punishment, however extreme, as a means of deterrence, and Trump? He’s certainly likeminded. Trump openly endorsed waterboarding and other forms of torture on the campaign trail. He once proposed we should kill the families of terrorists to convince said terrorists to surrender. And Trump can’t stop talking about Chicago and how the city needs to be cleansed.

Is Trump A Fascist? That’s For You To Decide

I won’t claim definitively that Trump is a fascist. What I will say, however, is this: the evidence is certainly mounting unfavorably against him. And if he continues down this path he’s chosen, impeachment may be our last resort to stop a tyrannical jerk from something horrible. Can we make it a week without Trump adding to this list? Only time will tell, but my gut tells me we’re in for a bumpy ride.

Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/ Getty Images

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Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He's now moving into more "serious" subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots