An image from the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., warning about the early signs of fascism went viral recently after Trump's opponents linked the bullet points detailed in the exhibit to his administration. The warning signs included “disdain for human rights” and “powerful and continuing nationalism.”
Fascism has also become a trending search in recent months for the Merriam Webster Dictionary website, which defines the term as a “political philosophy, movement, or regime… that exalts nation and often race above the individual.” It states that fascism silences opposition and involves “severe economic and social regimentation."
The Washington Post took a look at Trump's campaign pledges in October and compared them to fascist traits such as hyper-nationalism, militarism, glorification of violence, a desire to purge the disloyal and theatricality, among other things. It concluded that Trump was an “amateurish imitation of the real thing.”
Since taking office in January, Trump has vowed to put "America first" and banned refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. He has told his opponents at the State Department and Department of Justice to get with his program or move out. And he has promised to overhaul the nation's trade deals and economy.
Below are 10 quotes from Trump that critics claim show that his administration might be embracing the nationalistic, militaristic and violent rhetoric of extreme right-wing fascist regimes built around a leadership cult.
1. "From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs."
2. “Our forces are depleted — they're depleted. We have the greatest people on Earth, but they're depleted. We have an Army that hasn't been in this position since World War II, in terms of levels and in terms of readiness and in terms of everything else. We are not capable like we have to be."
3. "I would bomb the SHIT out of 'em!"
4. “Well it’s not the American way to have heads chopped off and have people drowning in steel cages. And so we can have our disagreements, but we’re going to have to get much tougher as a country. We’re going to have to be a lot sharper and we’re going to have to do things that are unthinkable almost. Unthinkable, when you look at what’s happening to us, when you look at what’s going on in this country and throughout the world and we don’t want, you know they’re allowed to cut off heads and they’re allowed to chop off heads, and we can’t waterboard. So people can have disagreements, but I feel we have to get much, much, stronger, tougher and smarter.”
5. “I’m proud of my net worth. I’ve done an amazing job."
6. "I would say that during the administration of Ronald Reagan, you felt proud to be an American. You felt really proud. I don’t think since then to any great extent, people were proud."
7. “I want you to imagine how much better our future can be if we declare independence from the elites who've led us to one financial and foreign policy disaster after another.”
8. "I always used to say, keep the oil. I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you, when we were in, we got out wrong. And I always said, in addition to that, keep the oil... If we kept the oil you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil. But okay. Maybe you’ll have another chance. But the fact is, should have kept the oil."
9. "I know how to win and I like to win.”
10. “In the good old days this doesn’t happen because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily."