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Thread: President Trump as a would-be dictator

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    President Trump as a would-be dictator

    Donald Trump wants to be a dictator. It’s not enough just to laugh at him | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian

    He certainly deserved to be laughed at about Revolutionary-War airports.
    But all those giggles served to obscure the more pressing fact: that in a departure from all precedent, Trump had used Independence Day to stage a military display, in which M1A2 tanks and Bradley armoured vehicles rolled into Washington, while fighter jets and helicopters filled the sky. The generals, mindful of the need to separate military and political power, had long opposed this extravaganza and, tellingly, most of the joint chiefs contrived to stay away. They understood that such a pageant is the stuff of despots, not democrats.
    His concentration camps are another dictator-like activity -- demonizing some group as hostile invaders so that any nastiness whatsoever toward that group can be justified.

    #uninvitedIvanka is also very laughworthy, but Donald Trump may be sending Ivanka to such high-level gatherings to give her credentials as his successor in a hereditary dynasty.

    Trump likes to meet other leaders in his hotels, something that the article called klepocratic. His taste in friends among world leaders is most suspicious: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Mohammed bin Salman, ...
    Draw up a checklist of the semiotics of dictatorship and Trump ticks every one. He muses out loud about being president for life, saying it would be “great”. He’s indicated often that he would not accept the outcome of an election he lost. He’s threatened to jail his political opponents. He has the despot’s attitude to the truth – lying routinely, even about trivial matters, partly to demonstrate power. So great is his sway over his devotees, he can make them believe even what is provably false.

    And he has the despot’s contempt for a free press, forever railing against the “fake news” media and all but abolishing the White House daily briefing, which at least aimed to hold successive administrations to account.

    ...
    His disregard for the rule of law is also that of the autocrat. His aides simply ignore subpoenas to appear before Congress, while in the name of his invented migrant “crisis” at the southern border, he became the first US president ever to declare a national emergency solely to circumvent the authority granted to Congress by the constitution.
    Trump doesn't fit our stereotype of foreign dictators — because he's an American authoritarian | TheHill -- he's worked within the system, and that keeps him from going as far as he might be going.

    Donald Trump 'Has in Many Respects Become a Dictator' By Attempting to 'Block Congress,' Democratic Lawmaker Says
    Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier (Calif.) on Wednesday said President Donald Trump "has in many respects become a dictator" by attempting to block Congress from "doing its oversight action."

    ...
    The Democratic congresswoman then accused the president of becoming increasingly authoritarian over his administration's attempts to block Democratic investigations. The Trump administration "are throwing every obstacle in our way because the president has in many respects become a dictator," she said. "He is trying to prevent Congress from doing it's oversight function, and we won't accept that."

    ...
    Speier addressed another avenue of recourse for the party if Barr continued to dismiss Democratic requests for documents, information and interviews. "If necessary, we can do what's called inherent contempt, which means we can call on the sergeant of arms to bring in Mr. Barr and have him appear before the full house and either he testifies or he is fined upwards of…" she said.

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    The Doctor's Wife RavenSky's Avatar
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    He is a dictator, and always has been. He's just not a very effective one, and has only lasted as long as he has in DC because of Mitch McConnell

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    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
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    Current hyper-partisan rhetoric has rendered once commonly understood terms meaningless.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Current hyper-partisan rhetoric has rendered once commonly understood terms meaningless.
    What do you have in mind?

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    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Current hyper-partisan rhetoric has rendered once commonly understood terms meaningless.
    What do you have in mind?
    Right, so someone who lived under Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jung Un, or Ceausescu would find Trump's America to be indistinguishable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post
    Current hyper-partisan rhetoric has rendered once commonly understood terms meaningless.
    What do you have in mind?
    Right, so someone who lived under Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jung Un, or Ceausescu would find Trump's America to be indistinguishable.
    So far, our system has prevented him from having that amount of power, but he and his enablers have facilitated him to head in that direction. Not all dictators are as harmful as the ones you mentioned, but we don't know how far Trump would try to go if he is given a second term.

    Just look at how he criticized Obama for using executive orders, but now that he is president, he used executive orders for things that are far outside the norm. So far, some of his orders have been over turned by the courts. He is the first president that I know of how is trying to over rule a decision by SCOTUS. Don't you think that resembles something a dictator would do? SCOTUS, despite its flaws, is supposed to be one of the three equal branches of government, but Trump only respects their power, when they rule in his favor. The sam goes for the way he treats the Congress. He may not be a full fledged dictator, but he's certainly a dictator wanna be.

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    What was it he said when a reporter asked him about the staffing shortages and morale problems at the State Dept.: "None of that matters. I'm the only one that matters." What was it he crowed all through 2016: "I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN FIX IT." What is the current line of argument from Justice: Congress has NO AUTHORITY to investigate a President for corruption. How many dictators with blood on their hands has Trump disparaged? What is his constant description of the press -- who but a fucking wanna-be dictator describes the press as the enemy of the people???? Could there be a more clueless misunderstanding of how a free society operates? No, in most respects functionally he's not a dictator -- although he's got the detention camps in full swing, he's created a never-ending string of lies, he's now defying the courts and Congress, he has referred to investigations of his corruption as 'attempted coups' -- but that's because some of the Constitutional fabric seems to be holding. And because he's stupid and juvenile. A really effective wanna-be dictator wouldn't waste time assailing Bette Midler. Trump is such a third grader that he can't stop himself.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    ... Trump is such a third grader that he can't stop himself.
    That's really unfair to third graders. But the naivety of his supporters does resemble kindergarteners.

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    You have a point, but I give DJT the third grader edge -- he has a full arsenal of dumb put-downs, whereas most kindergarteners are stuck at doody-head' or the equivalent. When Trump brings his A game, he can run the full (Presidential!) gamut from 'sleepy-eyed son of a bitch' to 'washed up psycho'. To me, that's extra-verbal, smart-ass third grader, not yapping kindergartener.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    You have a point, but I give DJT the third grader edge -- he has a full arsenal of dumb put-downs,
    But he doesn't. He has no bench. Once he's gotten _A_ nickname for an opponent, that's THE nickname. It's always Crooked Hillary, for example.

    Makes me think that he's got to put some effort into these things, because he isn't quick on his feet.

    A third grader can jump from one word to another if the first is no longer getting attention. They just haven't got many words in their vocabulary. Also, throwing out a term like twat-waffle or sock-fucker on the playground gets the WRONG sort of attention, so it doesn't get reinforced.

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