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RICK SALUTIN – Revisiting 1930s authoritarianism through Donald Trump

Give this to Donald Trump: he helps us picture how the anti-democratic, right-wing, personality-driven movements of the 1930s came to power. Those movements are usually characterized as fascist though they were diverse, and the term itself is hellishly hard to define. As time passed, they faded into an inexplicably “evil” moment in history which thankfully couldn’t happen here or now.

In fact a satirical 1935 novel set in the U.S. was titled, It Can’t Happen Here. When it was adapted for the 1980s TV series, V, homegrown authoritarians seemed so unlikely to network execs, they were turned into alien invaders. But, though Trump’s certainly no fascist, he helps us revisit the spirit of that distant era.

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