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Former Bush speechwriter: Trump has legitimized ‘fascist modes of thought in the Republican Party’

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Former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson doesn’t believe President Donald Trump is a literal fascist — but that doesn’t mean he sees no link between Trump’s style of governance and that of autocratic dictators such as Benito Mussolini or Francisco Franco.

In his latest Washington Post column, Gerson thinks that it’s hyperbolic to label the president a fascist, especially since the Constitution’s system of checks and balances has prevented him from seizing dictatorial powers.

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That said, he can’t completely dismiss concerns about Trump’s authoritarian manner of governance and its potential to erode America’s long-standing Constitutional order.

“Fascism may not describe what Trump has done, as opposed to what he says,” he writes. “But what he says matters and can create its own dangerous dynamic.”

Gerson goes on to explain that Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric and attacks on democratic institutions condition his followers to be more accepting of fascist ideas.

“It is possible for a foolish leader to leave the imprint of fascism on a portion of his followers,” he writes. “And the language used by Trump — particularly a certain racially tinged nostalgia and a tribal resentment for the other — strikes me as at a higher level of prominence and acceptance than at any time I can remember. So maybe, rather than fearing a fascist dictator, we should fear the legitimacy of fascist modes of thought in the Republican Party.”

Gerson then argues that democracy in the United States would be in grave danger were the GOP to defy the odds and maintain control of Congress in next month’s midterm elections, as Trump will feel emboldened to go even farther in shredding democratic norms and embracing dictatorial power.

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“The boor, the bluffer, the bully would be a political colossus,” Gerson writes. “Then the language of fascism might become less theoretical. Then alarmism would be realism.”


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‘Hit her! Hit her!’ Indianapolis cops batter black protester with batons and pepper bullets

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Indianapolis police officers are under investigation for beating a black woman with batons and shooting her at close range with pepper balls during protests against police brutality.

In a widely circulated video clip, officers can be seen repeatedly battering the woman with batons and firing less-lethal weapons as she stands still Sunday afternoon at the corner of North Pennsylvania and East Washington streets, reported the Indianapolis Star.

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Cheerleader barred from the University of Tennessee after racist Snapchat post surfaces

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A prospective incoming freshman to the University of Tennessee and member of the cheer-leading team has been informed that she will no longer be allowed to attend the university, thank to racist comments she made on social media, WVLT reports.

"On Wednesday, following a racist video and photo surfacing on social media, Athletics made the decision not to allow a prospective student to join the Spirit Program. She will not be attending the university this fall," a tweet from the University read.

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Bill Barr has an army of over 132,000 federal law officers at his fingertips to snuff out protests: report

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In a deep dive into how Attorney General Bill Barr took control of policing earlier in the week at Lafayette Park so that Donald Trump could have a photo-op in front of historic St. John’s Church, Politico reports that the Justice Department has a veritable army of civilian law officers at the AG's disposal should he wish to quell any more protests.

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