I’m perfectly fine, both politically and intellectually, with using “fascism” to describe what’s happening in America.
I’m sympathetic to the argument that using the term “fascism”—or making comparisons to the Nazis—otherizes a deeply American tradition of political violence. And that’s certainly a potential consequence of using “fascism” as a framework.
But, I would argue, we need to understand American politics and political violence as embedded in global political and historical context.

There’s a reason why newspapers in the 1920s openly wondered whether the Klan was an American “fascisti.”
I’m also sympathetic to the argument that—like with the term “populist”—“fascism” is a particular term for a particular social and political movement at a particular moment in time in a particular country.

And yet...
Political terms can be simultaneously specific and generalist, and have multiple meanings that change over time.

Just look at res publica.
“Fascism” is simultaneously both a specific term for Italian fascism and a term used to describe a broader form of related far-right politics.
So that’s the intellectual side. Politically—especially on the left—there’s an argument that “fascism” as a political term is easily coopted —for example, the “red fascism” discourse in the late 1940s and 1950s.
But “red fascism” was never as successful of a political term as “totalitarianism.”

In other words, if you’re afraid “fascism” is going to be redeployed to purge the left from public life a la the 1950s... the word itself is more or less incidental.
Tl;dr: “Fascism” is potentially otherizing, but also situations American politics and political violence in an international framework. Political concerns over use of the term overly ascribe agency to the word itself.
PS One of the things that tripped up reporters in the ‘20s was that while the Klan seemed broadly similar to the Fascists, the Klan really, *really* hated Italian Catholic immigrants and loudly proclaimed their love for the American political system.
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