Markos Moulitsas: Fascist danger in the GOP

Markos Moulitsas: Fascist danger in the GOP
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The GOP presidential field has demonstrated quite the authoritarian streak these past few weeks, from the use of fascist language to inspiring domestic terrorism. I only wish I were exaggerating. 

Let’s start with Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE, whose racist, xenophobic message continues to pay dividends with conservative voters. Eager to capitalize politically on the Paris terrorist attacks, Trump unapologetically advocated for the forceful roundup of Muslims in America and the closure of mosques. When asked by reporters what the difference is between his plan and that of the forced registration of Jews in Nazi Germany, the celebrity businessman mockingly parried, “You tell me!” 

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OK, Mr. Trump, I’ll tell you: There is no difference. 

Trump eagerly embraces torture, enthusiastically endorses waterboarding and speaks menacingly of doing “certain things ... that we never thought would happen in this country.” And when his supporters beat up a lone protester at one of his rallies, he exulted, “maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” 

What was he doing? He was exercising his First Amendment rights. Escort the protester out of the rally? Sure. Endorse violence against a detractor? Not in a democratic nation. 

And then there’s Trump taking a page out of the Stasi/KGB handbook and asking Americans to spy on one another: “You have all those eyes and you see what’s happening. People move into a house a block down the road, you know who’s going in. You can see and you report them to the local police. You’re pretty smart, right? We know if there’s something going on, report them. Most likely you’ll be wrong, but that’s OK.” 

No, not OK. There’s a reason even fellow Republicans are using the “F” word to describe him. 

Arch-conservative Iowa radio shock-jock Steve Deace called it “creeping fascism.” The Weekly Standard’s Max Boot tweeted, “Trump is a fascist. And that’s not a term I use loosely or often.” Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum said, “Donald Trump has wandered into territory where democratic politicians do not go.” Alleged presidential candidate Jim Gilmore said, “It’s fascist talk.” 

Unfortunately, Trump isn’t alone in his fascist tendencies. 

Current polling runner-up Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump launches effort to boost support among black voters Zoning is not the answer to all our housing problems Freer housing is 'fairer housing' — HUD should tie funding to looser zoning MORE shares that authoritarian streak. He’s outlined a plan to have university students report “propaganda” incidences to the Department of Education to battle “indoctrination.” The federal government would then “investigate” the professor in question. He’d also apply a religious test to American presidents. 

And you don’t have to be a fascist to have an impact in the GOP race. The Republican field, and Carly Fiorina in particular, spent weeks churning up hate using a mocked-up work-of-fiction video supposedly showing Planned Parenthood selling the “body parts” of aborted fetuses. Is it any wonder those words would lead to a terrorist attack against a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic? 

For all the hysteria of Islamic terrorism, the nation has suffered far worse attacks from white, Christian, conservative terrorists, and Colorado Springs was no different. Turning himself in after murdering a police officer, a mother of two, and a father of two and Iraq War veteran, Robert Lewis Dear Jr. ranted to police about “baby parts,” expressing anti-abortion and anti-government views. “Baby parts” were Fiorina’s words, verbatim. 

Words matter, whether they encourage violence against political detractors, promote a fascist America, or paint lies about a supposed American dystopia. Unfortunately, those words — infused with violence and fascism — are also apparently the only way to win a modern Republican presidential primary. 

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.