For the latest episode of “Change My Mind,” conservative comedian and commentator Steven Crowder took his camera crew to the White House to ask Trump critics to defend their assertions that Trump is a “fascist.” The result was Crowder demonstrating that labeling Trump a fascist requires either twisting the word into something unrecognizable or declaring the presidency itself fascist.
The first Trump critic Crowder convinces to sit down is a woman who has determined that Trump is definitively a “fascist.” But when confronted with the dictionary definition of the word, she admits that he doesn’t fully fit the description. Here’s the definition from Merriam-Webster Crowder presents:
a political philosophy, movement, or regime…that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
Asked to defend her initial labeling of Trump, she continually returns to his rhetoric about the media being “the enemy of the people.” Though Crowder points out that Trump blasts the “fake news media” rather than all of the media, she dismisses the distinction. Crowder then counters by noting that there’s a big difference between rhetoric and action, and Trump’s actions do not indicate any “suppression” of the media — especially in comparison to his predecessor.
“His policies would actually fly in the face of that…If we talk about policy, President Obama actually withheld more information, spent $36-odd-something million under the Freedom of Information Act to withhold information from journalists,” says Crowder. When the woman began to protest him bringing up Obama, Crowder makes his point: “It matters because Donald Trump has not done that.” He then points out that Obama used the Espionage Act to prosecute more leakers and journalists than any president in history.
When he asks her if she thought Obama was a “fascist,” she responds, “I don’t know.” Crowder offers his more assertive answer: Neither Obama nor Trump are fascists.
Another interviewee argues that Trump is a fascist because he promotes a degree of nationalism that is “dangerous,” as embodied in his motto “Make America Great Again.” He then says that Trump is a “racist,” but as evidence he offers the alleged accusation that Trump once used the “n-word,” though he admits that isn’t proven and the source is sketchy, and his businesses allegedly having mistreated people who are Latino. Crowder points out that his examples don’t come close to meeting the burden of proof, a point the Trump critic concedes.