It must feel good for American social observers and critics to call the rioters and anti-Trump crowd “fascists,” but I am warning you that this is dangerous, both politically and personally.
Articles such as “Who are the real fascists?” and “Why Leftists are the real fascists” are precisely the conversation you thought you weren’t having.
Everyone who went through schooling in the West knows fascists are “literally Hitler,” as in, they’re the worst thing ever. Fascism is terrible and no one who calls themselves a fascist should get any airtime. Ok, got it. I’m less comfortable with this from a free speech perspective (I’d rather get as many of the bastards into the open as possible), but I understand the sentiment.
Fascism in the US isn’t the answer to a broken system, regardless of how you think. It would still mean the default assumption is democracy and if you thought last century was fun, imagine what another 100 years of that populist tonic will do.
The deep problem with this argument, however, is the rhetorical victory achieved by progressives when their opponents call them “the real fascists.” In a very real way, the rioters and anti-Trump agitators have set the form of the argument as fascism=bad. But their trick is to cede the idea that this rioting and violence is itself fascism. As in, anyone who commits violence is a fascist. And their opponents make this argument for them!
Why is the argument structured in this way? Because when you blame all the violence on fascism, then there’s no room for blaming progressivism. Therefore, progressivism gets away cleanly and the fascists take all the hate. Even though the progressives are both clearly not fascists and are committing all the violence.
The entirety of the 20th century proves leftism/progressivism is just as capable of violence, if not more so, as the other versions of democracy. But since fascism is the worst of all possible worlds, and progressivism is in control of the modern world, it is heads I win, tails you lose every time.