Members of the angry, frightened mass that become supporters of facist leaders love a totally “in control” guy who shows complete contempt for all of his detractors, and deadly scorn for his enemies. They love that he never backs down, takes no shit and gets terrible, public revenge against anyone who crosses him. They relate to being able to rip off a hated enemy’s head and shit down his neck.
The crowd that becomes followers of a fascist have always been with us, throughout history. They worship what they think of as strength and they admire a person who can take what they want, who is subject to no law but his will. They are, by personality and breeding, defiant authoritarians, filled with contempt for “weakness” and “perversion,” obedient only to the leader’s will. The most violent among them are members of the lynch mob, murderously enraged haters.
A charismatic fascist leader convinces the desperate crowd that he’s one of them. He may be very wealthy, obscenely privileged, enormously powerful, but in his heart, they know in their hearts, he’s one of them. He’s the man! He’s completely relatable, he’s just like us! As F POTUS, channeling Everyman, told the lackey he was about to send an angry mob to lynch “but wouldn’t it be cool to actually have that power?“
The tragedy, of course, is that each of these people who passionately believe in their violent leader, who faithfully hate whoever the leader hates, also loves their family and friends, and many would run into traffic, or dive into a river, to save a toddler, any toddler of any kind, who found herself in deadly peril.