There has been a lot of careless talk from the Left about Trump and fascism. But what strikes me is the failure of Progressives to grasp just how much middle America fears the “soft fascism” of the Left.
It is soft fascism when nuns are forced to offer birth control to their employees under the guise of health care; when a Christian who believes marriage is between a man and a woman must bake a cake for a gay wedding against her conscience or be fined; when opponents of abortion in a privately held retail pharmacy are forced to sell abortifacients; and when parents are shamed as transgender phobic if they object to their daughters being required to use the same bathrooms and shower rooms as biological males.
The list was getting longer day-by-day. It was enough to make me, and a lot of other people like me, vote for Trump.
Soft fascism is related to the perversion of thinking about individual rights over the last century. Permeating our Constitution are negative rights; that is, what our government—and other people—cannot take away from us or make us do. Positive rights, largely introduced by Progressivism, assert that we are entitled to certain services from our government, such as health care; as well as to compliance of our neighbors with our needs and preferences. It is in the mindset of the latter that Progressives demand that we agree with their agenda and act accordingly or be shamed as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. or punished by fines large enough to destroy private businesses. Soft fascism is the tyranny of ideology: you will believe what we believe or be punished by the power of the state which, up until noon on January 20th, Progressives controlled.
When Donald J. Trump was elected, I was quite surprised to experience a huge and involuntary sigh of relief that the Democrats had failed to elect Hillary. This was real despite my misgivings about many of Trumps policies and my distaste for his style. I think a lot of people experienced the same thing, because Trump was right in his inaugural address that the elites were the winners in the Progressive game and the rest of us were the losers. Even the conservative elites don’t seem to get it that Americans are dead serious about wanting control of their government back.
Furthermore, Americans are not convinced by the media—even conservative media—that Trump doesn’t have the right experience for the job. Obama had even less experience, a fact which I futilely hoped would prevent him from carrying out his Progressive agenda. But he got a great deal more done that I could have possibly imagined. I am trying now to give Trump a chance to undo a lot of what Obama did that I dislike. But I admit it is hard to watch. However, not even Trump’s bluster tops the very scary violent reactions and obstructionism of the Left that actually go beyond soft fascism into hard fascism.