America is at a fascist turning point — and only totally disempowering and humiliating Trump will stop it

Will our leaders and media have the courage to do it?

Thom Hartmann

--

Photo by Nathan Shipps on Unsplash

If Trump isn’t exposed as a weakling fraud, our country dies.

Battle lines are now drawn in neighborhoods, workplaces, and even families, as longtime relationships are torn apart over loyalty to America’s strongman fascist leader, Donald Trump.

The main key to fascism, the one element that shows up in fascist takeovers worldwide and has for a century, is the emergence of a strongman leader who uses age-old aspects of toxic masculinity to draw in and hold his mostly-male followers.

While the ground is typically laid by an economic crisis and political power vacuums, the strongman and his masculinity-based rhetoric and actions are key to the movement really taking off.

Whether it’s the fascism of the 1930s with its well-remembered Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, or the fascism of Osama bin Laden, Mohammed Bin Salman or Donald Trump, the key that turns on the takeover is a strongman leader who promotes a macho values set and remaking of society in a brutal and predictable way.

When we think of authoritarians, we typically think of men like just mentioned. But the majority of authoritarian-leaning people in society aren’t authoritarian leaders, they’re authoritarian followers. Science says they’re about 20 percent of any population.

While such followers may project their authority and compensatory “strength” by brutalizing their families or, when given legal authority like joining a police force or running a business, brutalizing their community or employees, at their core they’re longing for an authoritarian leader they can follow in the way the knights of legend swore “loyalty to the death” to King Arthur.

The attraction to the strongman comes from his projection of masculinity, which draws authoritarian follower-types like a magnet, usually demonstrated by his willingness to break laws and norms in the service of his power and his claimed (and usually simplistic) “solutions to the problems of society.” Misogyny is also always featured in fascistic authoritarian regimes.

--

--

Thom Hartmann

America’s #1 progressive talk show host & NY Times bestselling author. Thom’s writings also appear at HartmannReport.com.