We hear a lot of people tossing around the word “fascist” today, particularly in regard to the new Trump administration. For most people—like this girl—this is probably an unthinking pejorative. Others may be better educated, but less serious. Still others maybe be both knowledgeable and deadly serious. Whatever is behind it, “fascism” sounds like a very serious charge, so I’d like to consider it seriously. Is Trump really a fascist?
Before we can answer such a question, we need to define our terms. If we don’t we could suffer the “If by whisky” fallacy. You know that one right? It’s a fallacy of equivocation, once made famous in a speech by a Mississippi politician during a time when the state still prohibited alcohol:
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