67 Comments
RemovedMar 7
Comment removed
Expand full comment
RemovedMar 7
Comment removed
Expand full comment
deletedMar 7
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Excellent piece Ruth! Interesting that Trump trotted out his usual arguments, but this time with a record; where in 2016 he had none. Further, his references to Biden are arguably projection. Thank you for making us think!

Expand full comment
Mar 7Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Of all of the nasty rhetoric that has been spewed by the Orange Menace to Society, I think this speech was by far the most terrifying. He has absolutely laid out what his return to power will mean. It will be ugly, violent, vengeful. No one will be safe. He will start by having his mob and his minions take out the most vulnerable - LGBTQ+ people. And then move on to anyone who has wronged him - all Democrats, most of the press, more than a few Republicans not deemed to be sufficiently loyal. He cannot be allowed back into power.

As Keith Olberman says as he closes his daily podcast "Arrest Trump now while we still can!"

Expand full comment

Absolutely frightening , thank you Ruth for your historical clarity !

Expand full comment

These parallels between Mussolini and Trump are deeply disturbing. It seems that Trump has exceeded Mussolini in his bombastic claims of victim/savior. It’s absolutely stunning that his followers and supporters have granted him a pass on a huge array of crimes and wrong doing. What’s unbelievable, to me, is the apparent worship of a person, that in almost all other circumstances would have been incarcerated because of their extreme danger to society/humanity. As Professor Eddie Glaude stated in a recent MSNBC Interview, commenting on the apparent acceptance of Trump’s conduct, “when lipstick is placed on a pig, the pig is still a pig.”

Expand full comment

Great piece, again, professor! I mainly listen during the Lucid Q&A but I would be interested in your thoughts on the GOPs use of the term Democrat instead of the grammatically correct Democrats, I first recall Bush Jr using it and thought it was fishy then. I have also often wondered why many of us feel so much better hearing the hard truths from you (and others) despite it being so deeply troubling Good luck with everything you are working on, it is very much appreciated =]

Expand full comment

Fantastic piece Ruth!

I recently stumbled on a really helpful psychological concept in a Bill Browder interview that helps describe some particularly difficult leadership styles and really jibes well with everything here. The more I digest it, the more it seems to me to be at the very heart of fascist psychology.

The hubris-nemesis complex was developed as a leadership model in the late 90s to help make sense of problematic leaders like Castro and Milošević. But it definitely describes Putin and Trump very well also. It states that leaders that act with BOTH great hubris and as nemesis, an opposing force to counter others perceived hubris, this complex becomes very problematic, escalatory, dangerous and difficult to counter.

It seems to me like Trump attempts to push this same complex on his followers - pushing grievances that would make opponents seem hubristic so to justify Trump taking on the role of nemesis on their behalf. However, from where I am sitting, him pushing such grievances in post-truth fashion and disconnected from reality is itself an extreme act of hubris, creating a cult that would befit a God, outside the bounds of acceptable behavior for humans.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/2005/MR461.pdf

Expand full comment
Mar 7Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Thanks for keeping history alive for those who are not remembering the evil before Trump.

Expand full comment

These indictments cannot come fast enough! On MSNBC last night, *BREAKING NEWS* came out of GA where there, the GA Legislature (1st the House, then the Senate yesterday) voted on & passed a bill allowing the Legislature to vote out any DA that "they don't like" that is seeking to investigate & indict someone! Not only did this bill pass but Brian Kemp supportive of it & is expected to sign it in a few weeks. Apparently some things with it still need ironing out & could go into affect later this year. Of course, my first thought is, "this is how they go after Fani Willis & prevent her from indicting Trump!". Well, Fani Willis still has a bit of time before this bill affects her, but...NOT MUCH time at all.

If more states follow suit, this further nails the coffin shut on democracy. I could easily see this taking place in FL, TX and other southern states. It's no accident that it's starting with GA.

Expand full comment
founding

This is an absolutely excellent essay, Ruth, but the justice for this country is not coming fast enough. And as one commentor just said the "parallels between Mussolini and Trump are deeply disturbing."

We must keep fighting and fighting in new ways!

Expand full comment
Mar 7Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Thank you so much for your excellent and lucid piece on this fascist moment.

The fascists will not stand!

Expand full comment

Exceptional service to the denizens of this country Ruth! The neofascist radicalization being unleashed by Putin and a plethora of bots, should be front page news around this country! Your summary of what appears to be a fading CPAC event, should be shared amongst the public as historical evidence of what a second opportunity holds with fascist.

Thanks for all you do Ruth!!

Expand full comment

I am 100% convinced that Trump will become the Republican nominee in 24, despite two impeachments, a traitorous attempt to overthrow the government in a failed auto coup and despite likely indictments.

 People have argued with me about this but the reason I give is this; No one else will be able to massage the erogenous zone of the MAGA base better than the charismatic demagogue Trump, who is a genius at propaganda. Nothing compares to his "Fascist cocktail of negative emotions". Except Mussolini. (thanks for that one Ruth) Over the last five years Trump has created a fascist leader cult that is bonded to him like welded steel.

 An authoritarian leader cult is unprecedented in American history and is no doubt a grave threat to its 240 year old experiment in democracy! So in my view, DeSantis will not be able to beat Trump at gaining a simple majority of rabid MAGA primary voters in separate primaries. Its the power of the cult.

Can Biden beat a fascist demagogue again, one who is bent on vengeance? I believe he can because large majorities realize the peril and will come out in droves like they did in 20 and 22 to save it from this existential evil.

Expand full comment
Mar 7Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

An exceptionally clear and and frightening piece. I wish it could appear in all of the “mainstream” media. Thank you!!

Expand full comment