"Donald Trump is a fascist" sounds more like a campaign slogan than an analysis of his political program. But it's true that the GOP nominee doesn't fit into America's conventional party categories, and thoughtful people - Robert Kagan and Jeffrey Tucker, among others - have hurled the f-word at him.
Fascism was born in Italy during World War I and came to power with the ex-journalist and war veteran Benito Mussolini in 1922. Since the 1950s, dozens of top historians and political scientists have put fascism, especially the Italian and German versions, under the microscope. They've come up with a pretty solid agreement on what it is, both as a political ideology and as a political movement, factoring in all the (sometimes contradictory) things its progenitors said as they ascended to power. As a political ideology, fascism has eight main traits. As a political movement, it has three more. So: Just how fascist is Trump? On the fascist meter, we can award him from zero to four "Benitos."
First, the ideological features: