It appears that Trump's job approval hovers around 44% ...consistently. In 1958 and 1959 I trekked to war-damaged Berlin for a junior year abroad from Northwestern University. As a political science major I was curious how could such a civilized and advanced society support the rise of fascism. Germans did; they were willing. Now seeing the kind of hold Trump has on his followers and his adoring rally attenders, I have come to the conclusion there was nothing unique about Germans though their dire post World War I and Depression economic conditions were much more extreme than in 2016 in America. The forces at work in 2020 are different after four years of Donald Trump. The economy was good for the very rich, but patchy for others and racism reared its ugly head as Trump began his campaign riding down the escalator with show biz racist history and hatred of everything Obama, who he saw as illegitimate and foreign-born. The demographic shifts of the rise of the power of women and minorities as political leaders drove much of this and fed his tweets, rants, and rallies during his entire presidency. His inability to deal with COVID laid bare disparities, incompetence, and fears of loss of power of the white male majority. My final realization in October 2020 is that I did not need to go to Germany to understand how Hitler rose. The answer lay within my own country and in the soul of a significant number of our population. It is that dark soul that Joe Biden is battling.
Fascism is not in the future: it is here now. If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck..Trump is looking like a fascist, acting like one, and speaking like one. In an epic quack,, Trump recently threatened to sen 75,000 federal agents into cities to "bring law and order" and says many times he wants the feds to "dominate the streets". Action speaks louder than words. . Trump is now the provocateur in chief, creating violence so he can tell in followers he can cure violence. It provides great photo ops and stories on FOX as he tries to scare those wavering support of him that he is the law and order president to save them from the violence he has provoked. Law and order .means to him he creates the disorder and violates the law to save people from the disorder he provoked. He deserves that designation because he s mimicking strategies fascists of the 1930s used to gain and keep power. Masha Gessen, author of "Surviving Autocracy" concluded that Trump is acting fascism. In 2018, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright sounded the alarm on fascism, not that she was ready to call Trump a fascist, there were some warning signs, especially his belief he was above the law. https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-04-25/madeleine-albright-thinks-its-time-set-alarm-fascism. She wrote that before Trump sent his federal secret forces into Lafayette Square and Portland, Oregon.
Anne Applebaum writing in the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/trump-putting-show-portland/614521/ "The president is deploying the kind of performative authoritarianism that Vladimir Putin pioneered."