Klint Finley, Mutate:
There are several other definitions of fascism, many of which are listed on the Wikipedia entry Definitions of Fascism. I’ve decided to go through the definitions that include specific lists of criteria and see which of them the United States fits.
I’ve made the case before that when Ronald Reagan signed the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Officials Act, he was quietly declaring martial law and creating a police state (and that the US has never really lived up to its liberal democratic ideals). I’m sure those with more knowledge of the right-wing populist movement of the 70s that culminated in Reagan’s election and with the Reagan administration itself could make the case that fascism, under many standard definitions, actually started then. I have more knowledge of the conteporary politics, so I’m focused mostly on the actions of the Bush administration, and to a lesser extent, the Obama administration.
I should also note that by the definition many of the pro-capitalist right wing definitions of fascism, which essentially equate fascism with the left, the entire world is fascist and the US was has been fascist at least since the New Deal. Still, I focus here on elements from contemporary America. For the most part, I’m considering business interests (especially Wall Street), right wing media (especially Fox News and talk radio pundits), the “Tea Party” Movement, the Republican Party, and to a lesser extent the Democratic Party to be one loosely connected coalition (even though some of them often fight amongst themselves).