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So much for a Trump dictatorship

Liberals denouncing Trump's first year in office as fascist fail to understand their own actions fit that description more than Trump's

· Nov 8, 2017 Tweet

Daniel Chinitz/The Badger Herald

About the same time last year, liberals across America were frightened at the surprising results of the 2016 presidential election. There were protests and riots in the streets of major American cities. Universities were providing safe spaces for fragile students who couldn’t cope with the fact their side could lose an election. For them, the election of Donald Trump meant the end of freedom for women and minorities. The 2016 election was a perfect example of Godwin’s Law, with leftists saying fascism and Nazism were going to take over America.

When I wrote a column last year about these reactions to Trump’s victory, I noted at the end that I planned to revisit the topic in 2017 to see if anything the left said would come to fruition. Needless to say, it didn’t.

To give an idea of how insane their response was, remember that Democrats were worried about the same man who has an African-American leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Many women have prominent roles in his administration, including Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education and Elaine Chao at the Department of Transportation.

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On immigration, Trump said he cares about maintaining a legal system of admitting foreigners into the United States that emphasizes merit. He opposes illegal immigration because that’s breaking the law. Cracking down on sanctuary cities and building a border wall will uphold the American rule of law. Doing nothing about illegal immigration is unfair to those using the legal process.

The best argument Democrats can come up with is criticizing Trump for assaulting the rights of women by defunding Planned Parenthood. It’s a weak argument since the organization existed before it was given any funds from the federal government. Planned Parenthood only serves under 3 million people, a tiny portion of the population. Finally, the calls by Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood only exist because of abortion, which kills unborn women. So much for a collapse in women’s rights.

We are eleven months into Trump’s administration and it looks nothing like a fascist regime. He still needs Congress to approve his policies. He hasn’t asked the military to launch a coup. When Obamacare repeal and replace failed, Trump didn’t sign an executive order to change the law himself.

If there is an outbreak of fascism in America, it’s coming from the left. Those who destroy freedom aren’t going to do so by claiming they want to limit it. Instead, they declare that they are fighting for the greater good and for social justice. Rhetoric along these lines is typical of dictators.

This has become a horrible trend among a large number of millennials, who prefer the insidious ideologies of socialism and communism over the prosperity and opportunity offered by capitalism (millennials also happen to be the generation that is least knowledgeable on the definitions of these ideologies). November 7 marks the centennial anniversary of the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism, yet the 100 million deaths that it brought doesn’t seem to have an impact on young progressives.

Assaults on free speech across college campuses are now occurring on a regular basis. These attacks on the First Amendment aren’t just on “provocateurs” like Milo Yiannopoulos. Liberals at universities are also shutting down experts on major political issues like Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute and politicians like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Nor is the right the only group subjected to censorship by thousands of left-wing fascists. Bret Weinstein, a professor at Evergreen College who criticized the school’s annual Day of Absence because it asked white students to leave the campus for a day, was forced to resign after a group students confronted him for being “racist.”

There’s been a widening schism on the left over the last few years when it comes to freedom of speech. Views that don’t fit the social justice narrative are to be extinguished. Socialist intellectual Michael Walzer wrote that he regularly comes “across leftists who are more concerned with avoiding accusations of Islamophobia than they are with condemning Islamist zealotry.”

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who is no conservative, had an event in Berkeley, California cancelled after people demanded it because of his “Islamophobia” and “anti-Islam rhetoric” in the past. It didn’t matter to them if he brings up legitimate concerns over Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, he’s a threat to social justice and a religious minority, therefore his opinion shouldn’t be heard at all. Dawkins calls his critics the “regressive left.”

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With their own promotion of fascism, the regressive left damages their own cause. By resorting to censorship and violence, they’ve exposed their own arguments as weak and unconvincing. It’s a farcical movement that is being rejected by most voters across the country, who prefer to watch debates and learn about the issues.

By promoting safe spaces and blocking conservative speakers, liberals aren’t supporting the diversity they claim to be protecting. They are expanding exclusion and discrimination with tactics of fear and intimidation. When it comes to fascism, Trump isn’t someone to worry about. It’s the army of left-wing students at our country’s academic institutions that need be watched out for.

John Graber ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in history and political science.