Fascism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat explained on CNN on Saturday why she thinks President Joe Biden's characterization of today's GOP as "semi-fascist" is the perfect term.
Ben-Ghiat, a NYU professor and author of the 2021 book Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present, was interviewed by CNN's Jim Acosta.
"And President Biden, Ruth, I thought -- I'm sure you saw this and thought it was interesting," Acosta said. "He weighed in on this radical streak at the heart of the Trump movement right now, and he said it's like semi-fascism. Democrats can call this stuff out all they want and I guess try to bring down the temperature, but a whole segment of the population won't hear it."
"What do you think?" Acosta asked. "Do you agree with Biden's assessment that part of the MAGA movement, much of the MAGA movement is semi-fascist?"
"I actually think that's the perfect term, because it takes a lot from the leader cult, even though the leader's no longer in office, to the loyalty quotients to the party line, the GOP has a party line, and that's the big lie, right? It's acting like a fascist party and more broadly an authoritarian party," she replied.
"The semi part is interesting because today you don't shut down elections, you hold elections and then you fix them, right? So that you -- you know, you have the appearance of democracy like [Viktor] Orbán and Hungary calls it illiberal democracy," she explained. "That's the semi-fascist. The tactics they're using are straight out of the playbook that started with [Benito] Mussolini."
Ruth Ben Ghiat www.youtube.com