The rise of political unrest and deployment of unmarked federal officers to recent Portland protests has regenerated debate about the presence of fascist ideals in American politics.
“Fascism is about targeting minorities, it’s anti-global, it’s anti-science.” — Jason Stanley, author
President Donald Trump’s illustration of radical left chaos and race baiting in response to the protests has only added fuel to the conversation around fascism.
Listen: What is fascism and how does it work?
Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He is also the author of five books, including “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them.” He says that fascism is revolutionary nationalism motivated by fear and loyalty.
“Fascism is about targeting minorities, it’s anti-global, it’s anti-science,” says Stanley. He adds, “When you want to think of fascism in the United States, think about the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists.”
On Trump’s typical campaign messaging, targeting immigrants and the left, Stanley says the President peddles in fascist ideals.
Trump “is unquestionably doing that. He’s using fascist tactics to win elections,” says Stanley. He says President Trump isn’t an enigma, rather an outgrowth of the contemporary Republican party. “Trump is a symptom and not a cause. You can’t have a political party in a democracy that values loyalty to a party over loyalty to a two-party system,” says Stanley.
In order to combat the rise of fascist ideology in the United States, Stanley says America needs to directly confront and eradicate its longstanding racial injustice.