One hallmark of progressive political parties is that they impose on others the standards to which they do not hold themselves.
“Two of the hallmarks of a fascist political party are one, they don’t accept the results of elections that don’t go their way and two, they embrace political violence,” Rep. Jamie Raskin told CBS’ Face the Nation this holiday weekend. “And I think that’s why President [Joe] Biden was right to sound the alarm this week about these continuing attacks on our constitutional order from the outside by [former President] Donald Trump and his movement.”
The depiction of the threat to their political power as really a threat to the greater political system itself strikes as if not specifically fascistic then at least demagogic. In this specific instance, it shows Raskin to be a hypocrite. He denied the presidential election results the last time they did not go his way and championed the most violent political “protests” of this century as “magnificent” and “nonviolent,” presumably because the arsonists, murderers, looters, and vandals that constituted no tiny slither of the demonstrators fell on his side of the political spectrum.
Raskin’s broad point stands: A country cannot survive, at least in a healthy way, when huge swaths of the public reflexively reject the legitimacy of the vote whenever it goes against them and when huge swaths of the public embrace the legitimacy of destruction as political expression. The problem with Raskin’s narrow point involves depicting this as a province inhabited solely by people who disagree with him politically.
He need only look in the mirror to find someone who thinks like him trying to overturn an election and cheering on political violence.
While acknowledging the difficulty of challenging the 2016 election results, Raskin told the Baltimore Sun in January 2017, “I would love to challenge the Electoral College vote because our election was badly tainted by everything from cyber-sabotage by Vladimir Putin, to deliberate voter suppression by Republicans in numerous swing states.”
Raskin, the same man now claiming that challenging the results of an election serves as a marker for fascism, challenged the results of the 2016 presidential election.
“I have an objection because 10 of the 29 electoral votes cast by Florida were cast by electors not lawfully certified because they violated Florida’s prohibition against dual office holding,” Raskin said from the floor of the House of Representatives in his first week as a congressman. Biden, then vice president, quickly rejected his concern as “out of order.”
The second fascist “hallmark” cited by Raskin involves the embrace of political violence. The congressman from Maryland embodies it, too.
In August 2020, Raskin characterized the summer of riots that killed many and destroyed more than a billion dollars in property as “magnificent, nonviolent protests.” He decried the federal law-enforcement officers deployed to Portland as guilty of “gross and intolerable abuses of protesters’ civil liberties and bodily security” and a “blatant disregard for the Constitution and legal constraints.”
Raskin’s strange remarks came earlier in the month that Antifa activist Michael F. Reinoehl murdered Patriot Prayer supporter Aaron Danielson on the streets of Portland and after a Texas man bludgeoned a Portland police officer repeatedly with a hammer, an Antifa activist stabbed a black Trump supporter there, the mob toppled local statues of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and arsonists set fires to the Portland Police Association, Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, Portland’s Justice Center, and other locations throughout the city.
The question arises: Does this make the third-term Maryland congressman a fascist? Here at The American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord already came to a conclusion on the Raskin-fascist question. “What we have here is Raskin, a U.S. representative, admitting with 100 percent accuracy that he belongs to America’s fascist party — the Democrats,” Lord writes. And certainly Raskin fails his own test — election denying and cheering violent political actors — for identifying fascists. But one senses, given the word’s evoking the most extreme ethnocentrism, government control, and militarism, that Raskin’s test fails a test, too. (READ MORE: Jamie Raskin Admits: Democrats Are Fascists)
Fascism in a literal sense means to bundle or bind together. In a historical sense, a fascist was a socialist mugged by the reality of World War I. In a practical sense, socialism plus nationalism equaled Nazism in World War II Germany — the image most see when confronted with the word. In a political sense, in 2022 at least, fascist serves as a label one uses to describe a political enemy.
The Left once threw the term at President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Soviet Union politician Leon Trotsky. Now the Left uses it to describe supporters of Donald Trump.
A word that means anything means nothing.