Yes, You Can Call Them Fascist: The GOP and its allies have a lot in common with fascist movements of the past, so why can't we just say that?

AuthorMasciotra, David

Former President Donald Trump is no longer in power, but as he gears up for 2024, allied members of Congress and popular propagandists continue to advance his dangerous program.

Republican representatives such as Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, and Paul Gosar of Arizona argue for the validity of the "great replacement theory," a conspiracy theory that elites are seeking to dilute white power and wealth through multiculturalism and mass immigration. Tucker Carlson, without explicitly using the phrase, articulates the same message on his Fox News television program. Another popular absurdity in rightwing circles is the QAnon conspiracy theory that the Democratic Party, along with allies in finance and the media, is secretly running a child sex trafficking operation. Given that many of QAnon's villains are Jewish, and that one of its most popular influencers is a neo-Nazi, it is hardly surprising that Gregory Stanton, the founder of Genocide Watch, warned that "QAnon's conspiracy theory is a rebranded version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" According to a Public Religion Research Institute analysis based on 2021 surveys, 25 percent of Republicans believe the central claims of the QAnon theory.

The Proud Boys were instrumental in the planning and execution of the January 6 insurrection, and they too have gone mainstream. At least six self-identified Proud Boys are now members of the Republican executive committee in Miami-Dade, the most populous county in Florida. Meanwhile, right-wing "Stop the Steal" activists are attempting to fill a variety of election positions, including secretaries of state, in battleground states, and threatening to demolish electoral integrity (see also "Comment," p. 6, and "Smoking Gun," p. 27, in this issue).

Republican governors and state legislators are also cracking down on LGBTQ+ rights, banning books about Black history and the gay rights movement, and eliminating academic freedom in elementary and secondary schools. Trump's plan for a second term, should he win the presidential race in 2024, according to a report by Axios, is to fire civil service workers throughout the government, including in the Departments of Defense and Justice, and replace them with loyalists.

Evidence of the rightwing threat to national security and democracy accumulates on a daily basis, but the mainstream media, and even left-of-center critics, continue to tread lightly...

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