In “Ur-Facism”, Umberto Eco described the most common features of facism. In my opinion, many aspects of facism described by Eco existed during the reign of Donald J. Trump. The first aspect of Ur-Facism is the “cult of tradition.” This entailed a time when only men worked, women were only mothers or teachers, black people did not have equal rights, immigrants did not receive the same opportunities, etc. Trump’s campaign was centered around his slogan “Make America Great Again.” Additionally, Trump was part of the republican party which fought for conservation of old America. This slogan implies that the goal was to return America back to this Golden Age.
Another feature of facism in Trump’s reign was machismo. Machismo is a term that connotes a dislike for women as well as intolerance and rejection of non-traditional sexual practices. Trump embodied the ideal Alpha man, surrounded by gorgeous, subservient women. There was also numerous allegations against Trump regarding many forms of sexual harrasement. The republican party is also known to be against gay rights. The Trump administration adopted inhumane regulation that eliminated nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals in health care and insurance.
Ur-Fascism aims for unity by exploiting and increasing the “natural fear of difference.” A fascist or pre-fascist movement’s initial appeal is an appeal against intruders. As a result, Ur-Fascism is by definition racist. Trump continuously expressed his dislike of the Mexican community and illegal immigrants. He yearned to prevent diversity so he decided to build a wall to prevent immigration to solve his problem. Trump has also ignorantly blamed the Chinese population for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lastly, Eco mentioned the “cult of action for action’s sake.” This aspect of fascism means that action is admired, particularly physical action with a proclivity towards violence.Trump’s speech is replete with violent words and imagery. His demeanor and actions express nothing but belligerence. The sparse message is conveyed using short declarative statements. For example, his tweets consist of “I will bomb the hell out of the Islamic state!”