Pro-Trump fascists are "winning" — taking over the Republican Party and passing state election laws that will allow them to seize and maintain power — despite dismal turnout at this weekend's "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, according to one leading expert.
Jason Stanley, a philosophy professor at Yale University and the author of How Fascism Works, told Slate for an interview published Tuesday that more Trump supporters didn't attend Saturday's rally in support of jailed Capitol insurrectionists, simply because the movement didn't need them to.
"The question is: Why is it not helpful to have mass violent rallies right now? It's not helpful because the movement, the fascist social and politic movement, is winning," Stanley said. "They're changing the election laws in state after state. You want rallies, look at the anti–critical race theory and anti-mask rallies at school boards all over the country. That's what we should be looking at."
Stanley said people should also be more focused on "major Republican politicians" who are leading the GOP's growing "authoritarian movement" — from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — rather than the "followers" who attend rallies.
He pointed to Trump's decision not to endorse the "Justice for J6" rally as evidence that the former president is playing the "long game."
"The long game is the 2022 elections and the 2024 election," Stanley said. "That's what all these election laws are about. When you win the mainstream, you don't need the rebel. They're conquering the Republican Party and they're slowly taking over the election system."
Stanley also explained why Trump supporters — many of whom were part of the "Back the Blue" movement — have seemingly turned on law enforcement, including the police officers who defended the Capitol.
"Fascist law and order has nothing to do with laws and justice, it has to do with follow the leader," he said. "So the leader is, by definition, law and order, and so anything that goes against the leader is a violation of law and order. That's fascist law and order. So if the police go against the leader, they're not law and order."