Dave Neiwert, researcher and author of books about the far right, in Crooks and Liars
Are we looking at an outbreak of fascist behavior on a large scale?
My own take: Real fascism is always violent. We’re getting some light violence around the edges here, but fascism always openly embraces the ethos of violence, and that’s not present here … yet. But we’re getting closer all the time, and the town-hall-forum hooliganism — particularly the growing presence of right-wing extremists in their ranks — is definitely a significant step down that road. We may not be there, but we are cruising the parking lot.
Much as I respect Neiwert’s tireless efforts in researching and exposing the far right, isn’t this a bit over the top? The US just elected its first black president and the Congress is now Democratic, hardly signs of a growing fascist movement with any real strength. If anything, the country is going in the opposite direction.
Like the left has learned to its chagrin, without the support of the middle class, your movement will go nowhere except on the fringes. The far right doesn’t have the middle class and never will. Could things get weird and do we need to confront these bozos? Absolutely. But the US is nowhere near fascism.
Besides, as in the 60’s when left radicalism pushed the middle class to the right, the same process could happen here, with the middle, appalled by the right, moving to the left.