Prepare to be concern-trolled by Clive Crook:

Donald Trump’s critics are making two kinds of mistake when they call him a fascist, or a proto-fascist, or a kind of fascist, or complain that his rallies evoke images of Nazi Germany and so forth. The first mistake is that he isn’t any kind of fascist. The second is that this line of attack at best serves no purpose, and at worst makes him stronger.

The rest of his column is one of the most wrongheaded and myopic things I’ve read in recent months.

Mr. Crook assures us that Trump is a dealmaker, and he’s not really so bad:

Trump isn’t opposing democracy or promising to scrap the Constitution. He isn’t calling for an expansion of state power. He isn’t summoning the nation’s collective will to purge imaginary enemies at home or abroad. (He’s opposed to illegal immigration, not to immigrants as such. His demand to block Muslim immigrants “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” was a dumb and damaging response to a deadly mass shooting, not a declaration of war on Islam.) He doesn’t idolize the military (ask John McCain). He isn’t demanding noble sacrifice to right historic wrongs. Could anything be less Trumpist than sacrifice?

If Trump believes in anything, it’s deals. Adolf Hitler never promised to make great deals.

I don’t think readers will find it too difficult to find examples of Trump promising to railroad the legislature (e.g., threatening Speaker of the House Paul Ryan) or to order the military to violate the Constitution (e.g., by killing women and children who happen to be related to suspected terrorists), nor do most people agree that Trump hasn’t essentially declared war on Islam (e.g., “Islam hates us”). You won’t have any trouble finding Trump quotes about how he idolizes the military (or the police or firefighters).

Never mind. This piece is too stupid to rebut in full.

It’s an embarrassing apology for what people are increasingly unembarrassed to say is straight-up fascism.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at