In August, 2019, I authored a column defining Donald Trump as a fascist. In doing so, I relied on the definitions and standards of fascism set forth in the books, 1) Totalitarian Government and Autocracy, written by Carl J. Friedrich, my political theory professor at my undergraduate university, Northwestern, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor; and 2) Yale University Professor Jason Stanley’s authoritative and comprehensive work, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them.
The conclusive evidence of my claims of Trump fascism are now, in two respects, a matter of clear and present proof.
First, racism and bigotry are core principles of fascism. And now Donald Trump is actively promoting a false racist conspiracy “birther” theory that Senator Kamala Harris, the presumptive Democratic vice-presidential nominee born in California, was not eligible for the vice presidency or presidency because her parents were immigrants. This is the most vile effort of racist defamation taken by an incumbent president against a political opponent in modern American history. And anybody who denies the racism of Donald Trump is either a liar, ignorant, stupid, or profoundly bigoted themselves.
Second, the deprivation of the right to vote is also a core activity of fascism. And Donald Trump’s blatant and shamelessly admitted attempts to subvert and suppress vote-by-mail, through the actions of his sycophantic and corrupt Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/politics/postal-service-dejoy-conflicts-amazon-trades-xpo-stake/index.html) constitute the most vile effort to deprive citizens of their right to vote in the modern history of presidential elections.
In a column I wrote a few weeks ago, I predicted that in the face of an impending landslide so massive that he would be unable to steal the election, Donald Trump would withdraw from the campaign. (https://www.insidernj.com/gop-tisha-bav-today-day-mourning-lamentations-republican-party/)
I was wrong. I very much underrated the degree of Trump fascism, which is on the level of such late fascistic leaders as Argentina’s Juan Peron, Spain’s Francisco Franco, and Italy’s Benito Mussolini. Donald Trump has now established beyond any reasonable doubt that his racism equals or exceeds that of a Gerald L.K. Smith or the late Mississippi Senators John Stennis or James Eastland. I vastly misjudged the lengths to which Trump will go to steal this election. A second Trump term would mark the end of American democracy.
And the Republican Party in New Jersey and nationally stands guilty of complicity in Trump racism and fascism. There is no Republican nationally of the stature of the greatest American of the Twentieth Century in both war and peace, Dwight David Eisenhower, who had the courage to 1) stand up to Senator Joe McCarthy in 1954; and 2) send federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 to enforce school desegregation. You rarely hear these days a Republican laud the greatest Republican president of the twentieth century, Dwight David Eisenhower. Instead, you hear them defend the worst president of the twentieth century from either party, Donald Trump.
I will not join the Democratic Party. I am a man of the center-right. But I cannot support a Republican Party which is thoroughly polluted from the White House to the grassroots with Trump racism and fascism. And I can only hope that within the next decade, there is a new national, non-fascistic, non-racist center-right party in the tradition of Dwight David Eisenhower, Jackie Roosevelt Robinson, and Thomas Howard Kean which I can proudly support and join.
Alan Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.