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A typical MAGA rally, doing the exact opposite of making America great again.
Suppress the dissenters
Icon fascism.svg
Bundle of rods
The language and symbols of an authentic American fascism would, of course, have little to do with the original European models. They would have to be as familiar and reassuring to loyal Americans as the language and symbols of the original fascisms were familiar and reassuring to many Italians and Germans, as Orwell suggested. Hitler and Mussolini, after all, had not tried to seem exotic to their fellow citizens. No swastikas in an American fascism, but Stars and Stripes (or Stars and Bars) and Christian crosses. No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance. These symbols contain no whiff of fascism in themselves, of course, but an American fascism would transform them into obligatory litmus tests for detecting the internal enemy.
—Robert Paxton[1]
You know, Trump and his MAGA supporters not only embrace political violence, but they laugh about it… He calls those who oppose him vermin. He talks about the blood of Americans being poisoned, echoing the same exact language used in Nazi Germany.
Joe Biden[2]

Trumpism (or MAGA, Make America Great Again) is an authoritarian and nationalist ideology based on Donald Trump's personality cult, policies, and political activities. Trumpism has been categorized by political analysts as a fascist ideology and cult due to its far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist, and anti-intellectual elements as well as its hostility to outsiders (such as people who don’t share their ideology and foreigners), promotion of and penchant for violence, vicious scapegoating of marginalized communities, dehumanization of people whom they deem undesirable or irredeemable, and its extreme gatekeeping which demonizes all dissent — even from like-minded ideologues.[3]

Trumpism has emerged as a significant force and movement in American politics, essentially taking over the Republican Party.[4] This rise in power of the movement can be attributed to a range of factors, but the most significant are xenophobia, economic dissatisfaction brought about by neoliberalism,[5] Fundamentalist Christian fanaticism,[6] and misinformation regarding political and scientific news.[7][note 1]


A September 2022 poll showed that 42 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (clumped together as a single category) identified with the term "MAGA Republican", and 58 percent rejected the term.[8] This could indicate an outsized effect on the Republican Party compared to how large the core pro-Trump movement actually is versus the wider base of Republican voters.

Trumpism spread since 2016 because of Trump’s appeal as a strongman and a demagogue, amplified by various media outlets who parroted his narratives.[9] Trump's ideology is the direction that most of the Republican Party is heading in, and is purging any and all non-Trump republicans (referred to as RINOs), who are portrayed by Trump and his cronies as enemies of their movement.[10] A great example of this was Trump's takeover of the RNC, when dozens of people were fired from their positions and replaced with Trump loyalists (including his family).[11]


Trump in the Oval Office with a portrait of Andrew Jackson.

Trumpism first emerged as a fluid ideology in 2016, when Trump was running as a presidential candidate.[12] During this time, Trump cultivated an enormous fanbase by tapping into their dissatisfaction and appeals using a mixture of populism, xenophobia, and appealing to a mythical past.[13]

Trumpism quickly spread among American citizens, largely amongst Christian, lower-class to middle-class white families. Many Trump supporters viewed America as under siege from immigrants, rather than correctly attributing their suffering to tax cuts for the rich and general austerity measures. Trumpism has a strong element of racism within its ideology, mostly viewing the 1950s and early 1960s as the good old days for the United States.[14]

Trumpism has deep roots in American political history, dating all the way back to the white supremacist and nativist politics of Andrew Jackson and his ilk.[15] Like Trumpism, Jacksonism saw a deep anti-intellectualism and populist rejection of traditional democratic institutions that led to the rejection of the orders of the United States Supreme Court and the tragic case of ethnic cleansing and genocide we today know as the Trail of Tears. This was where almost the entirety of the CherokeeWikipedia people were forced to march in freezing conditions out of their ancestral homeland to virtual wasteland in what is now Oklahoma.[16][note 2]

Walter Russel Mead explained the parallels thusly:

For Washington’s political class, Mead provided an answer to explain the otherwise perplexing populist appeal of the brash billionaire. Jacksonianism, as Mead viewed it, was exactly the historical precedent to explain Trump, marrying grass-roots disdain for elites, deep suspicion of overseas entanglements — and obsession with America power and sovereignty. “He is not the second coming of Andrew Jackson,” Mead said when we talked on the eve of Trump’s first anniversary in office this weekend. “But there was such a hunger in America for a Jacksonian figure that people were willing to project a lot of qualities onto this sort of very unlikely Queens real estate developer who becomes the folk hero of Americans who hate New York and are suspicious of Big Business.”[16]

Trumpism is ideologically the synthesis of three separate but related reactionary trends in American political history: ethnonationalism as exhibited by the Jacksonians and the Know Nothing Party, politicized religion as exhibited by the Religious Right, and racism as exhibited by the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Confederates.[17]

Besides Jacksonianism, another root of the Trumpist movement is the right-wing populism of Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot. In 1992 Perot railed against the neoliberal NAFTA trade deal as "sucking" American jobs to Mexico and Canada and made it the signature issue of his presidential campaign.[17] Buchanan likewise ran for POTUS three times in the 1990s, and regularly espoused a protectionistWikipedia and nationalist agenda.[17]

The Civil Rights MovementWikipedia and the end of Jim Crow led Southern racists (previously strong supporters of the Democratic Party) into the arms of the Republican Party.[17][note 3] In the modern day, illegal immigration and supposed voter fraud were two of the hot-button racialized issues that the GOP used to court the racist vote. GOP voter suppression measures have also helped to maintain a white supremacist agenda.[17] American politics itself has a heavily racialized component to it. To quote the Berlin Social Sciences Center:

Appeals to the issue of race are a staple of contemporary American politics as all politicians seek to mobilize voters who do not consider themselves to be racist.[17]

Trumpists in particular have been very openly racist. Questioning the native-born citizenship of Barack Obama, the only African-American president of the United States to date, labelling Hispanic-Americans (mostly Mexicans) as "rapists", "murderers", and drug dealers, and equating Islam to DAESH have all been the bread and butter of Trumpist rhetoric.[17]

Effects on politics[edit]

Trumpism has poisoned American political discourse and the minds of its own supporters. Trumpism relies on anti-intellectualism and misinformation to maintain its grip and strength in the public sphere. Social media allows fake news to be spread far and wide, with something simple being spread to millions in a short amount of time (and usually having some degree of separation from anything that refutes it[note 4]).

Trumpism also embraces a blaming the victim narrative, from the BLM protestors to fabricated claims of rape against women committed by immigrants to The Great Replacement. Trumpism has a heavy emphasis on paramilitarism, which is what was seen in the 2021 U.S. coup attempt.

Trump himself is not a very Christian man,[note 5] but right-wing Christians can and will excuse or ignore this as Trump is willing to push the agenda of the Religious Right as a matter of policy.[note 6] During the 2016 Republican primaries, the Religious Right opposed Trump as a matter of course, but after Trump won the 2016 presidential nomination, they quickly, and eagerly, switched course, with up to 80% of the Evangelical vote supporting Trump in the general election.[17] Trump has honored the devil's deal that the Religious Right made in supporting him, appointing key members of the Religious Right to prominent positions of government, including Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.Wikipedia[17]

Probably one of the longest-lasting, and most devastating, effects of the ideological devil's deal between the Religious Right and the alt-right is the packing of the judiciary with right-wing activist judges.[19] Indeed, it was the activist judges of the Supreme Court of the United States that voted to overturn Roe v. Wade despite precedent.[20]


See the main article on this topic: Rhetoric of Donald Trump

Prior to going full and openly fascist, Trump used coded language regarding migrants (mostly Mexicans and Muslims) by referring to their entry into the country as “invasions” and many cities being “overrun by hordes”.[21] His specific rhetoric has been appealing to fascists and Nazis, and his base’s acceptance and amplification of this language eventually led to them becoming fascists (by proxy) as well.[22]

The rhetoric echoed by Trump and his base have been noted by analysts and historians as being dangerously similar to dictatorships and authoritarians, especially to fascists.[23] On a Veterans Day speech, Trump used the phrases “vermin” to describe his enemies and immigrants “poisoning the blood” of Americans. His racist statements drew rebuke from many on both the left and the right. The Trump team denied this, arguing that they would pwn their opponents rather than giving any intellectual argument against Trump’s rhetoric being labeled authoritarian and fascist.[24]

Trumpism outside out America[edit]

In China, he is also known as "Donald the Strong", "Grand Commander", and "Uncle Trump". Many Chinese people despise the "political correctness" in Western societies and see themselves in Trump, whom they consider genuine, which is unusual for a politician. Another reason for their fondness of the head-of-state of a geopolitical rival is that Trump, unlike his predecessors, had no appetite for discussing human rights and democracy with China and prefers to discuss trade. Moreover, Trump seems to recognize China, as well as its president Xi Jinping, as an equal.[25]

Trump also has a significant following in Iran amongst Restart and its supporters. In fact, their leader and founder, Mohammad Hosseini, modelled his movement on the MAGA movement in the United States and supports Trump and his policies against the Iranian regime. And like Trump, Hosseini has explicitly encouraged and supported violence amongst his supporters.[26]

Similar movements[edit]

Trumpism has had a significantly negative and strong impact on politics, both in America and abroad. Trumpism has inspired or at least dovetailed with somewhat similar movements outside of the United States.[27] The individuals and countries include:

See also[edit]

  • Trump — the central figure of this fascist ideology.
  • QAnon — another fascist movement, which is closely related to (and wouldn't exist without) Trumpism.
  • Putinism — the functional Russian equivalent.
  • Italian Fascism — an older form of fascism to which it shares many parallels and similarities.
  • Nazism — another older form of fascism which also has quite a few similarities.
  • Restart - an Iranian far-right movement heavily inspired by Trumpism and QAnon.
  • Falun Gong - a Chinese far-right movement that supports Trump and his administration.

External links[edit]


  1. Though, given the aforementioned anti-intellectualism, it can be assumed that the typical Trumpist has no respect for science, truth, facts, data, and reality…
  2. This wasn't an isolated incident either. See our article on the Native American genocides for further details.
  3. See our article on the Southern Strategy for more information.
  4. It's hard to enlighten barbarians Trumpists (or, hell, anyone in a woo community of any kind) about the harm their ignorance does to themselves and others when they just kick you out of their echo chambers for saying things they don't like.
  5. What with him being a thrice-divorced adulterer, blasphemer, and self-admitted "pussy grabber", and adjudicated rapist.[18]
  6. Christianity does strongly endorse showing compassion, mercy, and forgiveness to transgressors (indeed, it could be said that the idea that a person can fuck up from time to time without becoming a worthless pariah and/or losing life privileges for it is one of Christianity's most attractive aspects), but this does seem rather absurd even in light of that code, especially when the Religious Right rarely (if ever) extends such compassion to, say, homosexuals. Both the Old and New Testaments have warnings about false prophets, but that doesn't seem to register with Trumpists.
  7. When Wikipedia labels you as these, you know you fucked up. Neutral point of view be damned!


  1. Newstead, David Michael (August 11, 2016). "The Anatomy of Fascism". The Philosophy of Shaving. 
  2. Biden, Joe (January 05, 2024). "Remarks by President Biden on the Third Anniversary of the January 6th Attack and Defending the Sacred Cause of American Democracy". The White House. 
  3. Micek, John (June 22, 2022). "Trumpism is fascism, American-style". Pennsylvania Capital-Star. 
  4. How did the Republican Party become the party of Trump? New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters says the religious right and social conservatives "got basically everything that they wanted" from Trump's presidency. Peters' new book is Insurgency. by Terry Gross (February 8, 20221:30 PM ET) NPR.
  5. Murphy, Chris (October 25, 2022). "The Wreckage of Neoliberalism". The Atlantic. 
  6. Burnett, John (January 23, 2022). "Christian nationalism is still thriving — and is a force for returning Trump to power". NPR. 
  7. West, Darrel (January 11, 2021). "The role of misinformation in Trump's insurrection". Brookings Institute. 
  8. Sahil Kapur (September 28, 2022). "Poll: Most U.S. Republicans reject 'MAGA' label". Meet The Press Blog, NBC News. Quote: "A total of 42% of Republicans in the U.S. identify as 'MAGA' Republicans, while 58% disavow the term, according to a new national poll by J. Ann Selzer and Grinnell College."
  9. Thomas, Leon (August 25, 2020). "MAGA and Fascism". Youtube. 
  10. "Trump Fully Devours the Republican Establishment" - The New York Times. Bender, Michael C. (Feb. 16, 2024). Archived.
  11. "Trump takes control of the RNC with mass layoffs, restructuring" - Washington Post. By Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey and Marianne LeVine (March 12, 2024). Archived.
  12. Tierney, Dominic (July 19, 2016). "The Global Spread of Trumpism". The Atlantic. 
  13. Reich, Robert (June 17, 2023). "Trump and the Republican party exemplify these five elements of fascism". The Guardian. 
  14. Milligan, Susan (October 19, 2020). "Republicans Long for the 1950s, Democrats Crave Change". US News. 
  15. Lyall, Sarah (January 23, 2021). "The Trump Presidency Is Now History. So How Will It Rank?". The New York Times. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "The Man Who Put Andrew Jackson in Trump’s Oval Office" - Politico. By Susan B. Glasser on January 22, 2018. Archived.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 "Trumpism is US" - Berlin Social Science Center. Archived.
  18. Judge clarifies: Yes, Trump was found to have raped E. Jean Carroll by Aaron Blake (July 19, 2023) The Washington Post.
  19. "How the Federalist Society Won" - The New Yorker. By Emma Green. Published July 24, 2022.
  20. "Analysis: Trump's justices decisive in long campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade" - Reuters. Published June 24, 2022. Written by Lawrence Hurley.
  21. Zimmer, Ben (August 6, 2019). "Where Does Trump’s ‘Invasion’ Rhetoric Come From?". The Atlantic. 
  22. Newton, Creede (August 25, 2020). "Trump’s far-right legacy will remain regardless of the election". Al Jazeera. 
  23. Bender (November 20, 2021). "Trump’s Dire Words Raise New Fears About His Authoritarian Bent". The New York Times. 
  24. Gold, Michael (November 13, 2023). "After Calling Foes ‘Vermin,’ Trump Campaign Warns Its Critics Will Be ‘Crushed’". The New York Times. 
  25. 'Uncle Trump' Finds Fans in China. The New York Times. November 9, 2017. Accessed May 13, 2019.
  26. Seyed Mohammad Hosseini ( #RestartLeader ) admires President #Trump and has defended him at all the costs. We as Restartees, love President Trump and support the pressure he puts on Islamic Republic of Iran. Twitter
  27. "'No longer' a foreign threat: New bipartisan group calls out MAGA movement as 'fascist'". Youtube. September 20, 2023.