It has become so commonplace in American politics to demonize an opponent by likening them to Hitler that when a candidate appears who exhibits strong authoritarian indications, none dare call it fascism. America is faced with a dilemma. A candidate has risen from the ranks of the corporate elite to captivate large portions of the country with the promise of establishing an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. He uses violent rhetoric to energize his base supporters. The comparisons to Hitler abound, but they are disregarded. The question remains: is Trump a fascist?
Dr. Lawrence Britt published an article identifying the 14 common characteristics of fascist governments. The article was published a decade ago, far from today’s election climate. It wasn’t written as a critique of Trump. Trump has shown fascistic trends matching 13 of the 14 characteristics. The 14th relates to rigging elections and would only be exhibited after he is in power. His campaign promises are not of peace and prosperity or of making America great again. They are of militarization and cowering to government.
He has stated he would attack civilian targets to “take away their (ISIS’s) wealth”. In one sentence, a candidate for President of the United States publicly used the same rationale as the stated perpetrators of the September 11th attacks.
Simultaneously, he stated he would wage war to take natural resources from an occupied country, a violation of international law.
He supports the government’s domestic spying program.
He promised a return to a militarized domestic police force to target citizens.
He has advocated the use of torture and “worse”.
He’s promised a “deportation force” to round up 11 million people and ship them off. He’s never explained what happens to their children, who may be US citizens by birth.
He wants to be able to punish those who criticize him.
He would force specific companies to manufacture in the United States, even though he has no power to do so.
He proposed a “one-time tax” in which the government simply levies money from whoever it chooses, starting with the rich.
He said “I happen to agree with it 100 percent,” when speaking of using eminent domain to seize land from private citizens.
He promised to murder the families of suspected terrorists.
He expressed the desire to execute US citizens who resist government tyranny by peace or by force.
These are just a snippet of his actual statements. In summary, he will promote a militaristic country that exercises control of private companies, seizes land and money at will, stifles the free press, engages in domestic surveillance while backing the surveillance with a militarized police force, conquers countries in a colonial fashion, attacks civilians, violates international law, tortures, murders foreign innocents, and executes anyone who resists domestically. These are not inferences. These are his stated positions. Additionally, he has called for actions outside of the law as a candidate. What will he do when he holds the implied immunity of the Presidency? If this cannot be called fascism, what can?
The White Rose:
Under Nazi Germany a small opposition group arose. These people, mostly students, formed The White Rose. At great personal risk, they distributed leaflets calling for active opposition to the Nazi regime. Their leaflets, which can be found here, made a significant impact, especially after being retitled and dropped by the Allies over Germany. Several of the White Rose members were beheaded by the Nazis. As Hans Scholl, one of the more commemorated members, was executed by guillotine he issued his last act of defiance. He simply commanded, “Let freedom live.”
A common response to anyone demonstrating Trump’s fascist tendencies is to proclaim that Trump isn’t Hitler and that he hasn’t killed millions of people. No, he isn’t Hitler, but he is a fascist. How many people does he have to kill before we can speak out? Ten? Ten thousand? Ten million? Some may support Trump because he appeals to anger directed at Muslims or Mexicans or any of the other groups he vilifies. The fascist structure he promises to implement will not cease to exist once that group is eliminated. It won’t stop there anymore than Nazis limited their activities to Jews. The main lesson from the fascist surge in the first half of the twentieth century is that we must speak up before men of this ilk come to power. Sophie Scholl was 21 when she was executed. She wasn’t even in her teens when Hitler came to power. This brave young woman died because Germans of her parents’ generation fell victim to a man who claimed he wanted to make Germany great again. We can’t make that mistake again. It’s time for a rebirth of The White Rose.
If you’ve read this far and are being honest with yourself, you must see that a rise of fascism in the United States is a possibility. I would like to believe the original members of The White Rose would support us. Our goal is simple. We want to “let freedom live.”
We believe that if a person “does not protest wherever and whenever he can against this clique of criminals, if he shows no sympathy for these hundreds of thousands of victims. He must evidence not only sympathy; no, much more: a sense of complicity in guilt. For through his apathetic behavior he gives these evil men the opportunity to act as they do; he tolerates this ‘government’ which has taken upon itself such an infinitely great burden of guilt; indeed, he himself is to blame for the fact that it came about at all! Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!” (Second Pamphlet)
We agree that every person “must ask himself how he can fight against the present ‘state’ in the most effective way, how he can strike it the most telling blows. Through passive resistance, without a doubt. We cannot provide each man with the blueprint for his acts, we can only suggest them in general terms, and he alone will find the way of achieving this end”. (Third Pamphlet)
It is with this end in mind that we are orchestrating the #WhiteRoseRevolt. We want to inform the American people of the dangers posed by fascism and provide some insight into what each person can do to counter it.
Keep an eye on the hashtag, more information will follow. Young men and women from all of the world gave their lives to prevent fascism. Your complacence or neutrality betrays their sacrifice. The struggle goes on even if you’re not there.
“We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!”
If you are interested in making a statement against Donald Trump, please consider changing your social media profile picture to the White Rose. If we stand together, we can accomplish anything.