For all my editorializing against Jonah Goldberg’s bestseller Liberal Fascism, the attempt at identifying fascism with big-government Democrats looks better to me now than it once did. To his credit, Jonah quotes real fascists and real Nazis. And he makes some sort of argument in defining the nature of fascism, in a work of several hundred pages.
Now we get journalists who just throw the “f” word at the president-elect, entirely at random. One particularly egregious example of this is Michael Kinsley’s latest column in the Washington Post, which begins and concludes by telling us that “Donald Trump is actually a fascist.” Kinsley claims to be defining the “f” word in “a clinical sense” and insists that “it’s ridiculous to compare any living person to Hitler or Mussolini.” Fascism for Kinsley must be understood as a “philosophy” or set of “principles,” and it can be summed up as believing that “a toxic combination of strong government and strong corporations should run the world.” Apparently Trump embodies these “bad principles,” and Kinsley dreads the thought that these principles may come to dominate the US for the next eight years.
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