The F-word is one we are rightly wary of using, but how else to describe the disgraced president?

Assurances that “fascism couldn’t happen here” are always appealing in Anglo-Saxon countries that think themselves immune because “it” never did. The US and UK did not experience rule by Nazism or communism in the 20th century and the ignorance our lucky histories fostered has weakened our defences in the 21st.

Even after all that has happened in Washington, apparently serious voices insist we cannot compare Donald Trump to any variety of fascist. Conservatives habitually say that liberals call everything they don’t like fascist, forgetting that the moral of Aesop’s fable was that the boy who cried wolf was right in the end. They used to chortle about “Trump derangement syndrome” that spreads in stages like cancer until sufferers “cannot distinguish fantasy from reality”. They have bitten their tongues now that the reality of Trumpism is deranged mobs trying to overthrow democracy.

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