January 17, 2021

Are You a Fascist? Take the Quiz and Find Out!

Guest Opinion
By Amy Kerr Hardin | Nov. 21, 2020


Fascists rarely know they are fascists. My dog doesn’t know he’s a dog, but he’s still a dog. Few German Nazis recognized that they were fascists, and now millions of Americans are struggling to accept their true political identity.

Not all fascists are alike. There are multiple motivating factors to consider, though one trait they all share is a lack of intellectual curiosity.

Some are flagrantly fascist. They drive around in pickup trucks that are comically festooned with giant flags paying homage to their dear leader. They proudly wear their fascist uniforms: generally, red ballcaps and camo. They take pleasure in intimidating people with their firearms.

There’s also a very sizable contingent, apparently around 70 million Americans, who take a more nuanced approach to their fascism. They quietly do it at the voting booth, demonstrating that they are willing to turn a blind eye to the obvious, in service of their latent fascism. This group allows the pickup truck crowd to do all the heavy lifting for them. They’re lazy fascists, if you will.

There are also plenty of corporate fascists, who stand to gain power and wealth on the backs of the two former groups. But for now we are just exploring the fascist breeds of the common voter.

A few simple questions will guide you to understanding if you are indeed a fascist, and what kind, at that.

Let’s get started!

Q: Are you OK with the president of the United States expressing full-throated racism, xenophobia, sexism, misogyny, science-denial, and toxic masculinity, along with his incessant hurling of childish insults on Twitter? Are you all right with the 22,000 falsehoods and misleading statements he’s made during his tenure? A “no” answer doesn’t get you off the fascism hook if you still voted for him in 2020; it just means you might be a lazy fascist.

Q: Do you think putting kids in cages is a keen idea? Do you support Trump’s family separation polices directed at legally permitted asylum seekers? Are you unbothered by the over 600 detained children whose parents can’t be found? Do you applaud the travel ban on predominately Muslim countries, even though it is actually homegrown white supremacists that are the real threat to our security? Did you recently vote for the man who did this? You might be a fascist.

Q: Speaking of white supremacists, do you like it that Trump praises and encourages armed thugs in illegal “militia” groups. Do you call these people “heroes” and “patriots?” That’s trademark fascism. 

Q: Are you attracted to baseless conspiracy theories found in online propaganda platforms like Parler — an online venue where fellow fascists trade in utterly looney claims and ideas? Is Fox News the only media outlet you watch? That’s how the intellectually uncurious become fascists. 

Q: Do you hate immigrants and migrant workers because you were told they are coming to take your jobs? Perhaps you have a side hustle picking lettuce or swabbing potties at Motel 6. Or, you’re a fascist.

Q: Do you prefer your tax dollars to go to corporations so those corporations can engage in stock buybacks and stash obscene wealth in offshore shelters? Are you cool with Trump’s corporate-tax giveaways blowing up the deficit? Do you refer to taxpayer-funded programs that benefit average Americans as “free stuff?” Are you prepared to forfeit the money you’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare in lieu of welfare for billionaires? Do you feel that your tax dollars are better spent on fat cats than on education and infrastructure?  If so, you’re certainly a fool parted from his money, and probably a fascist. 

Q: Have you decided that Trump’s blatant disregard for the institutions and principles of our democratic republic are not a deal-breaker? Do you pretend to support the Constitution while your president brazenly disregards our nation’s founding document? Are you OK with his unwillingness to graciously accept defeat and help with a smooth transition? Definitely fascist. 

Q: Do you view science and intellectualism with suspicion and derision, i.e., the denial of indisputable facts, especially surrounding the pandemic and climate change? Do you believe Trump when he claims anything he doesn’t like is a “hoax?” There are about a quarter-million dead Americans that, if they were still alive, would label you a fascist.

Q: Are you OK with the revolving door of clowns he surrounds himself with instead of qualified experts? That’s not fascism; it’s just stupidity. 

FINAL QUESTION: Did you cast a 2020 vote for Trump knowing all of the above? Like it or not, you are a de facto fascist.

For the sake of journalistic integrity, I will close with a recap of Naomi Wolf’s iconic definition of fascism found in her 2007 seminal work, “Ten Steps to Fascism.”

1. Invoke terrifying internal and external enemies. Trump actively vilifies people of color, here and abroad.

2. Create a gulag that operates outside the law. Trump’s forced immigrant and asylum seekers into camps.

3. Develop a thug class. Proud Boys, among others.

4. Set up surveillance. Attorney General William Barr, among others.

5. Harass citizens groups. Black Lives Matter. 

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release. Black Lives Matter.

7. Target key individuals. Trump, on Twitter.

8. Control the press. He tried, but ultimately failed.

9. Dissent equals treason. In Trump’s America, he’s the only authority.

10. Suspend the rule of law. Classic Trump maneuver.

Trump is a failed fascist dictator. But not for lack of trying.

Amy Kerr Hardin is a retired banker, regionally known artist, and public-policy wonk. You can hear and learn more about the state of Michigan politics on her podcast, www.MichiganPolicast.com 


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