, March 3, 2016

Donald Trump this week retweeted, and then defended, an Italian popular saying made famous by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

Questioned about retweeting the quote, he told NBC, “What difference does it make if it was Mussolini or somebody else — it’s a very good quote.”

This is hardly surprising. Since last fall, Trump has used Twitter and speeches to circulate Nazi and other racist images. His repeated insults of blacks, Hispanics and Muslims suggest that whites of Christian European heritage are the main focus of his project to “Make America Great Again.”

In this, he certainly follows Mussolini. While Italian fascism is often dismissed as an offshoot of Nazism, it was the first Fascist government in Europe, and Mussolini was the first sitting leader to have a comprehensive racial project. In 1927, six years before Hitler came to power, Mussolini warned that decreases in European fertility meant that “the entire white race, the Western race, could be submerged by races of color that multiply with a rhythm unknown to our own.”

Read the entire essay at CNN