Fascism and 4 more political terms to know


This political season, maybe more so than any other in modern history, was a nasty one.

Comments from both Donald Trump (Mexican immigrants as rapists), and Hillary Clinton (“baskets of deplorables”) were emotionally charged. Comments about the candidates by those who opposed them, in many cases via social media or media outlets, were often less than restrained.

>>Xenophobia named 2016 Word of the Year 

Slate.com wondered aloud if Trump is a fascist. One of his top aides, Steve Bannon, was labeled a “white nationalist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Both Trump and Clinton were called oligarchs by different publications. (Liberty Maniacs said Clinton tried to get a T-shirt that read “I’m ready for the oligarchy. The choice is clear. This is none” banned when it looked like the two candidates for president would be Clinton and Jeb Bush.)

A  Washington Post opinion piece claimed that Trump will be nothing short of a despot when he takes the reins of government  in January.

The words are charged. But what do they mean?

Here’s a quick look at some of the  terms that have been, and still are being, bandied about on the political scene.

Authoritarian – An authoritarian government is one that favors a concentration of power in a leader or in someone who is not constitutionally responsible to the citizens, yet wields political power.   

Despot – A ruler who has absolute power over every aspect of the lives of his or her subjects.

Fascism – Fascism calls for the needs of the nation be placed above the needs of the individual. A fascist government is centralized and headed by a dictator. Economic and social interactions are regimented and opposition is met with strong reaction from the government’s forces.  

Nationalism – Nationalism refers to loyalty to the nation. Nationalism is often reflected in an emphasis on the nation’s culture or other social factors. Some during this election have used the term “white nationalists” to ascribe racist motives to others.

Oligarchy – An oligarchy refers to the rule of a nation by a small group, especially for corrupt and selfish purposes, according to Webster’s Dictionary. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Propane torch used to kill spiders may have sparked mobile home fire
Propane torch used to kill spiders may have sparked mobile home fire

A mobile home fire in Arizona may have started when a man tried to kill spiders with a propane torch, officials said. According to KVOA, the blaze broke out Sunday night at the home on East Blacklidge Drive in Tucson, fire officials said. An elderly woman received minor injuries when she was carried from the home, which was seriously damaged in...
2 children killed, 1 man hurt in Colorado stabbing
2 children killed, 1 man hurt in Colorado stabbing

Two children were killed and one man injured in a stabbing early Tuesday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. >> Read more trending news 
SEE IT: Roofers stand for national anthem in viral photo
SEE IT: Roofers stand for national anthem in viral photo

A photo of three Maine roofers standing for the national anthem is going viral. According to WKRG, Michelle Lyons Cossar posted the photo to Facebook on Saturday after she spotted the roofers, who were standing on top of a house, acknowledging the anthem before a football game between Old Town and Waterville high schools. "Standing for...
Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests
Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests

A man from Green Cove Springs, Florida, took his issues with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL to the sky Sunday. At 1,000 feet, you could read the statement on the plane-towed banner saying, “Be American. Boycott the Jags and the NFL.” Terry Smiley had the message printed on a banner that was flown above EverBank Field before the...
Taliban hostage rescued after 5 years in captivity didn't believe Trump was president
Taliban hostage rescued after 5 years in captivity didn't believe Trump was president

A Canadian man who had been held in Afghanistan for five years by Taliban-tied kidnappers revealed that he thought his kidnapper was joking when he said Donald Trump was president of the United States. Joshua Boyle said one of his captors told him Trump was president just before he was forced to film a “proof-of-life” video, according...
More Stories