Defining Fascism Down

When the left refers to their political opponents as fascists, it’s nothing new. Even in the placid 1990s, I recall, a friend of mine referred to Republicans—milquetoasts by contemporary standards—as fascists and storm-troopers. But, at least in his case, one understood it as a bit of a put-on; a deliberate rhetorical excess. Few seriously imagined that George Herbert Walker Bush or Bob Dole were advance men for Mussolinis and Hitlers. Today, not so much.