Based on Trump's rhetoric there has been a growing tendency for those of us more liberally minded to refer to him as a Fascist. I admit to having done so yesterday. It turns out I was wrong, and when I see the guy I was talking to I will tell him so. Realizing we all have a personal responsibility to speak responsibly, I decided to reacquaint myself with the definition of Fascism:
Full Definition of FASCISM
often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
A little more digging yielded an informative article that will help Trump's detractors (and his supporters) understand why he is not quite a Fascist, and what he is instead. Here is the link to the article, and an excerpt:
"Again, fascism requires stepping outside the system and attacking the democratic structure. As long as that structure itself is handling illiberal attitudes on race, those attitudes don't themselves constitute a fascist trend.
But the views are still illiberal. To be very, very clear: Donald Trump is a bigot. He is a racist. He is an Islamophobe and a xenophobe. He profits off the hatred and stigmatization of traditionally oppressed groups in American society. That makes him, and his European peers, and racists in other eras in American history, a threat to crucial values of equality and fair treatment, and a threat to the actual human beings he's targeting and demonizing. And he's in particular mainstreaming Islamophobia, which is on the rise in recent months, as seen in a recent incident in which a Muslim engineer was harassed at a Fredericksburg, Virginia, civic meeting. "I’m really not sure those views in Fredricksburg would be aired were it not for Trump’s ‘mainstreaming’ of these prejudices," Feldman says.
Kevin Passmore, a historian at the University of Cardiff and author of Fascism: a Very Short Introduction, puts it well: "For me, the point about Trump’s proposals is not whether or not they are ‘fascist,' but whether or not they are moral." And they very clearly are not."