As Ilhan Omar Said, Trump Is a Fascist — and His Rallies Prove It
It is both strange and disconcerting that almost none of the mainstream reporting on Trump’s rally examined its clear similarities with staged rallies in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Much like Nazi rallies, Trump’s rallies seek to turn politics into a grandiose theater of nativism, while presenting the head of state as a kind of demigod. In addition, there is the preaching of hate, which functions as a kind of quasi-religious experience used to trade off and amplify mass anger largely directed at those considered the enemies of the state — in this case women of color who are criminalized by virtue of their political beliefs, race and ethnicity. Seizing upon the potentially violent energy of his followers, Trump transforms their heightened anxieties and collective fears into a mass disdain for Muslims, immigrants, Black people and others.
Trump’s manipulation of the crowds at his rallies brings to mind French reactionary theorist Gustave Le Bon’s depiction of crowds as governed by “impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence of judgment and of the critical spirit [and] the exaggeration of the sentiments” — a depiction that Hitler read and was inspired by.