Trump admires authoritarian dictators a wants to be like them. The process is already underway.
When the Russian government can rightfully criticize the human rights abuses of the U.S., that’s embarrassing.
If I could go to Dayton when Trump visits there, I would carry the biggest version of this sign that I could manage:
How about even more years? So, the would-be dictator for life has again dropped a hint (threat?) about his potential endgame. As reported by multiple news outlets, Trump said this on his Twitter feed: “at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT)”
That was certainly not his first hint at wanting to stay beyond the two terms allowed by the Constitution. In March, 2018 Trump, at a Republican fund-raising lunch, while commenting on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent consolidation of power he said, “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great.” Adding, “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.”
Now famously, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, testified to the House oversight committee earlier this year that he believes “there will never be a peaceful transition of power” if Trump loses in 2020.
If Mike Pence thinks being Vice President will be a stepping stone to his own turn as President, he has another think coming. Trump is likely to only reliquish power to Don Jr. or to his incest-fantasy daughter Ivanka.
On May 1, 2019, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff appeared on the MSNBC program The Last Word discussing Attorney General William Barr and mused, “Why someone at this point in their career would be willing to sacrifice his integrity, his reputation, everything in the service of this unethical president will forever be a mystery to me. But he’s not alone. Obviously, there are many others around Trump who are doing the same thing.”
Hmmm. With all due respect to Congressman Schiff, I don’t find it a mystery. But the subject he brings up is important. Don’t wander off, let me mention something else.
Over the last couple years Bill Maher has entertained and frightened us with his Dictator Checklist and all the boxes Trump checks. Since 2016 Maher has also been talking about what he sees as a slow-moving coup d’état being perpetrated by Trump and his gang of cronies and sycophants. There is a lot to be said for Maher’s theory. Especially in light of the afore-mentioned checklist and the actions and appointments of his administration.
So what if Maher and others are right, that Trump and his enablers are in fact deliberately undermining the U.S. system of government? Let’s be honest here, there is no shortage of people who would welcome, embrace, and help enforce the kind of intolerant, racist, misogynistic, trample-on-the-99% world Trump inhabits in his head. So, if you’re a Giuliani, or a Barr, or a Kushner, or anybody else who seeks to have power over the masses; and if you also are comfortable in the idea of a Trumpist homeland; why wouldn’t you want to be part of the power-grab. Of course you would want to be in on the ground floor. You don’t need to be part of a name-brand alt-right organization to want to be running the show in the kind of future they espouse.
If you are a Trumpist and you believe an authoritarian regime is going to take over, you will want to run the equivalent of the Stasi or the Gestapo or the FSB or the State Security Department rather than be a target of such an organization. You will want to run the War Department or the State Department so you can be an extension of the great leader’s will. It’s either join the regime or be crushed by it. And so, the Trump True Believers™ gather around their shining leader; excusing, defending, enabling, and empowering him; so that they can share in the exercise of that power over those they disdain and despise.
And that, to me, is the essential answer to Schiff’s mystery. Not a mystery at all. Just Trumpist assholes looking out for themselves and their ticket to giving the rest of us our marching orders.
So now Trump says that those who did not applaud him at the State of the Union address are “un-American” and guilty of “treason.” Who knows what crime he will accuse Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of for not even attending. Given that capital punishment still applies to treason, I expect that Sean Hannity will be calling for mass executions. This can all be found on page 37 of The Dictator’s Handbook and is also referenced in chapter 3 of Authoritarianism for Dummies.
It gets worse.