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In the wake of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Donald Trump advocated for a ban on all Muslims trying to enter the U.S. The Republican presidential candidate issued the statement and then gave a speech at an event in South Carolina, drawing roaring applause from the crowd. Trump's statements have sparked a great deal of criticism (and media attention), including accusations that the billionaire is inching dangerously close to fascism. In this episode of TestTube News, we examine the core characteristics of fascism to see if Trump is evolving into a leader similar to Benito Mussolini, the Italian Prime Minister who founded fascism as we know it today. According to Italian philosopher Umberto Eco, the basis of fascism is a rejection of modernity, in favor of a return to traditionalist values. Trump appears to be incorporating this into his campaign, with his main slogan: "Make America Great Again."
Fascism also devalues intellectualism. To this point, Trump has said sheer knowledge is not the most important quality in a leader. Eco also writes that fascism rejects diversity and dissent of any kind. Trump's xenophobic comments on deporting 11 million immigrants and blocking entry to Muslims are worth considering here. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the tendency for fascist leaders to distort reality, speak in half-truths, or flat out lie. Although Trump has been called out repeatedly for how he manipulates and distorts facts, it appears to have little effect on where he ranks in voter polls.
Donald Trump Is a Fascist (slate.com)
"In trying to explain Donald Trump, I looked to George Wallace, who played a similar role in American politics through the 1960s."
Donald Trump wants to deport every single illegal immigrant - could he? (bbc.com)
"US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to deport every illegal immigrant from the United States."
What is Fascism? (orwell.ru)
"Of all the unanswered questions of our time, perhaps the most important is: 'What is Fascism?'"