As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: “A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”
In Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel “It Can’t Happen Here,” a conservative southern politician is helped to the presidency by a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. The politician – Buzz Windrip – runs his campaign on family values, the flag, and patriotism. Windrip and the talk show host portray advocates of traditional American democracy as anti-American.
When Windrip becomes President, he opens a Guantanamo-style detention center, and the viewpoint character of the book, Vermont newspaper editor Doremus Jessup, flees to Canada to avoid prosecution under new “patriotic” laws that make it illegal to criticize the President.