I’m seeing more and more extremists, mostly on the progressive left of US politics, trying to frame issues on the basis of “either-or” messaging. If you’re not one thing, you’re the other. If you don’t support this cause, it means you obviously support that other cause. There’s no middle ground, no gray areas, no equivocation. Here’s an example posted on Twitter a few days ago.
It’s a lie, of course. Anyone offering such an equivalence is defining the two terms, or the two sides, to suit themselves. I’d be interested to hear what the writer of that tweet defines as a “fascist”. It’d probably sound much like a Republican or average conservative – but that would be false. The term “fascist” has a well-defined meaning (look it up if you wish). There are probably very few real fascists in the USA. To scream accusations of “fascism” at people with whom you disagree doesn’t make them fascists, because you don’t get to define the term (although many have tried in the past).
Be aware that this is a standard technique on the progressive left. They try to skewer their opponents with false accusations, making up new definitions for terms and then using them as a weapon. When challenged, they either call you a liar for not agreeing with their definitions, or they abruptly change the definitions and then accuse you of being that redefined evil.
There are, of course, many shades of gray in the world. Things are very seldom black or white. To some, “fascism” means “Well, Mussolini made the trains run on time”, or “The Fascist Party drained the Pontine marshes“. That doesn’t mean the speaker approves of Mussolini’s National Fascist Party and its brutality in other areas. (It’s supremely ironic that fascism originated on the left of European politics, although today many on the progressive left use the term as an accusation against those on the right, conservative wing.) To speak of the fasces of ancient Rome (from which the fascist symbol was derived) doesn’t mean that one approves of how that symbol was misappropriated by later generations; and to speak of the swastika (a very ancient religious symbol) does not imply approval of Germany’s Nazi Party (which appropriated it) and the evils perpetrated in its name.
Almost every such “either-or” accusation is a lie, from start to finish. Don’t emulate them, and if you’re targeted, refuse to play that game.