In the modern West in this day & age, most people have no concept of ‘dictatorship’ and probably have some difficulty in answering the question “What is a Dictator?”, don’t you think? The answer is of course that a dictator is a political leader who wields absolute personal power, often used for oppression, and even abusive rule.
Well, the people over the pond in the US will soon be able, not only to be capable of fully telling you that, but to recount, ‘through recent experience’, just what it is like to live under a dictatorship, it would appear?
Now, you will no doubt have heard and know the names of some of the famous dictators from the past, like Adolf Hitler (Germany), Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Benito Mussolini (Italy), Chiang Kai-shek (China & later Taiwan), Fidel Castro (Cuba), Francisco Franco (Spain), Juan Peron (Argentina), Eva Peron (Argentina), or know even perhaps that ancient Rome had the first real dictator, Julius Caesar declared “Dictator in perpetuity” back in 44 BC (but he only then lasted a month – before he was assassinated, eh?)
However, in the current era there are still a surprising number of dictatorships around on the world stage [49 of them no less (Africa 21, Asia 18, the Middle East 7, in Europe 1, Americas 2). These are defined as countries ruled by a dictator in a land internationally rated as ‘not free’ and they would include some names you might know like Cuba (Raul Castro), China (Xi Jinping), Egypt (Abdel Fattah al-Sisi), North Korea (Kim Jong-un), Saudi Arabia (Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud), Iran (Hassan Rouhani), Sudan (Omar al-Bashir), Syria (Bashar al-Assad), Zimbabwe (Robert Mugabe).
You see, dictators are the modern form of the tyrants of old, and the label aptly describes the type of leader who not only holds that extraordinary amount of power, but uses it to make laws without the ‘effective’ restraint by some legislative assembly.
Some dictators, first establish their own personality cult and then they rule by decree, take-over the media to control news, repress political opponents (without abiding by the rule of law) and often show the traits of ‘suspension of elections’, ‘restriction of civil liberties’, or even a proclamation that ‘the state faces an emergency’ so special measures are required.
Now, do you see any resemblance in any of that, in the actions & behaviour of one Donald Trump so far, perhaps? Well, without doubt he has gone to great lengths to establish his unique personality trait with his craze for using (virtually solely) tweets on the social media platform Twitter, to communicate with the American people, EVEN after unexpectedly (?) being elevated to the dizzy heights of President of the whole bloody country, no less?
Of course we see also that right from the start Trump has issued his own Executive orders (i.e. Presidential decrees) to introduce his own laws rather than use, as normally expected in that democracy, the American legislature of Congress, hasn’t he? Well, Trump is trying to dictatorially govern America by ‘executive order’ to evade the normal checks and balances upon which the whole political system is based, and that is an insult to democracy, isn’t it?
[‘Executive orders’ are ‘orders’ issued by ‘United States’ Presidents and directed towards officers and agencies of the ‘U.S.’ federal government. ‘Executive orders’ have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself].
Then of course is his belligerent campaign to silence the media whenever it has some form of criticism of his political, or indeed many dubious private dealings – so we see from him a torrent of ridiculous accusations of “false news” against him & completely untrue claims of being subjected to the biggest witch-hunt in history, haven’t we?
He clearly attempts to stifle even those in his own Republican party who try to rein him in, as well as denigrate and destroy the credibility of his political opponents, the Democrats, in the vain (?) hope that he can destroy all other opposing political forces.
While at this stage he certainly cannot halt the election processes (though without doubt he would love to be able to do so, eh?), he will definitely attempt to thwart the will of Congress wherever possible.
In terms of civil liberties, Trump (not least with his wall-building plans and support of torture) is a massive danger as far as many Americans are concerned and their liberties’ organisations are recruiting large numbers of members, as well as getting substantial & record financial donations (surging within 2 days of Trump issuing executive orders banning Muslims) – he even blocks some users on his Twitter account, while also a multitude of constituents are being blocked by other Republican elected officials at all levels of government [including for example a central Texas congressman] for voicing their dissent on social media.
However, while Trump hasn’t YET called a State of Emergency, so that he can suspend Congress, he is probably working on it, eh?
Even those Americans, who voted for Trump and then supported his wall-building, and worrying torture-promoting policies, should be alarmed by his methods, as his seemingly intent to ruling by decree, could later return to haunt them equally, perhaps?
Now, as said in a previously post here, those of us who have worked in industry and have encountered the egomaniacal cretins who have bullied their way to the top, know what to expect and that is someone who won’t listen to anyone, lacks ethics, or honesty and is determined to have their own way, right or wrong, tramples over any opposition, won’t accept that any rules apply to them, and gets shot of anything or anybody that gets in their way.
Many of us feared that Trump would attempt to run the USA as his personal fiefdom and in exactly the same self-centred and bullying way that he has done in running his own empire, The Trump Organization (a privately owned international conglomerate), which includes flattening all obstacles in his path and has railroaded things and people wherever beneficial to his own interests. And so it has proved, don’t you think?
Trump is a bombastic hire and fire of people individual, but lags the spunk to do the dirty face to face himself, so passes that task he personally finds distasteful to his underlings. He, as a weakling, is willing to publically discredit, destroy, and humiliate, using social media, those he no longer has use of, but he doesn’t even have the decency to knife them himself, does he?
It is difficult to understand where Trump is coming from regarding he accusations that the Russians had their finger in the pie of the presidential election process and tried to get him elected instead of Hillary Clinton. HE doesn’t want it investigated – why not? If he, his family and his close team have nothing to hide then you would think he would want it cleared-up forthwith and not only ‘parked’, surely?
Conversely, currently there can be no question in anybody’s mind, can there, that the one man, above all others, that Trump wants gone from the political scene is Robert Mueller, a formidable former FBI director, and now appointed as a special counsel in charge of the criminal investigation on Russia’s interference in the Presidential election together with possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Trump was incensed that the investigation wasn’t halted when he had sacked the Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, because she was one of the few officials who had stood-up to him to uphold the rule of law, and against his ‘illegal’ order to introduce discrimination against Muslims. He had replaced her with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, because Sessions was one of his most important earliest supporters, who was the campaign’s first and loudest supporter in the Senate, and indeed shared the platform with Trump during the campaign – so Trump soundly believed he could be relied-on, to squash the enquiry.
However, things didn’t turn out that way, as Sessions’ Achilles heel was that HE HIMSELF had been involved with the Russians (and moreover had hidden that fact during his confirmation), plus that problem was compounded further by assurances he had given senators, during the appointment process, to ‘excuse himself’ wherever impartiality questions arose, plus duty of office and justice department precedent to do just that.
So to Trump’s dire frustration and anger, Sessions then DID ‘stand aside’ on the Russia matter, whence deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein – overseeing that Russia saga in lieu of Sessions – went ahead and appointed Mueller to carry the investigation forward, which certainly increased the sense of gravity of that matter which Trump had timelessly portrayed simply as a ‘witch-hunt’ by Democrats as sore-losers.
All that of course though, utterly removed immediate control of that enquiry from the hands of the President’s own inner circle, and worse was to come for him, which raised his anger to boiling point, wasn’t it? Yep, not only has the insinuation of treason, blighted the first 6 months of Trump’s Presidency, but Mueller has seen fit to expand matters being looked into to include Trump’s controversial business dealings and years of personal tax returns. [Despite the precedent set by past US presidential candidates for donkey years, Trump unwaveringly had refused to release any such personal details to the public during the campaign (or even since getting the actual job!)].
Rightly or wrongly, Trump has felt personally betrayed by former Alabama senator Sessions’ “step-aside” on Russia, and has reacted with incendiary rage at the latest developments, so has vented his anger at Sessions with disgraceful abusive public tweets, attacking his integrity and competence as Attorney General, in a vain (?) attempt to force his resignation, no less?
Trump and his whole administration is threatened by Mueller and when Trump sees someone or something as a threat, he has demonstrated that he doesn’t hold to the normal standards of decency, honesty, due process, or even adherence to the Constitution, does he?
Well, Trump would like to put morality aside to directly fire Mueller himself, but IF he dares to DO SO, it is likely to ignite a self-consuming constitutional blaze of the like that took down President Nixon (another Republican President), for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress, as his resignation was forced when he faced formal impeachment – oh yes, and that transpired after Nixon HAD fired the Watergate Special Prosecutor (in an attempt to thwart the investigation!), a sacking which immediately led to the departures of both the Attorney General and his Deputy (the so-called ‘Saturday Night Massacre’)
Who has bitten the dust so far in this saga, by crossing Trump then? Well, that would include then: Election Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski [for not bringing in enough donations and suggesting Trump needed to change his campaign behaviour?]; Trump Campaign Leading surrogate & New Jersey Governor no less Chris Christie suddenly dropped by Trump on Election Day despite winning [rumoured that President Obama had called Trump to congratulate him but called him on ‘Christie’s phone’ which greatly angered Trump?] (furthermore, Christie did not receive a formal role in the administration, despite having been even considered as running mate); National Security Adviser Michael Flynn [appointed by Trump but had to go when his involvement with Russia was also exposed); FBI by Director James Comey [refusal to pledge (inappropriate) loyalty to HIM rather than his oath to Congress to uphold the law (without fear or favour), plus refusal to halt the FBI investigation into Flynn?); acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe [for not terminating the Russia meddling enquiry?]; and just last week, the administration’s chief spokesman for the past six-months, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer bit the dust [because he had objected to the appointment of a New York financier and former Trump campaign fundraiser as the new communications director?],
Quite a few in a matter of months, so as you can see that Trump demands absolute loyalty, subservience, and obedience, from all involved, OR ELSE!
The Trump American Presidency has had an extremely troubled kick-off to its four year term, and it is still in constant turmoil, with little to give anyone any confidence that things are going to turn out well, wouldn’t you say? The basic difficulty is that Trump remains ignorant of, and unconcerned about, any constitutional constraints on his governance, and seems intent on bucking the traces of Congress, that are intended to keep him on the straight and legal road and avoid a disastrous crash into the bush, wouldn’t you say?
[So, where do does it all go from here, you might well ask yourself? Perhaps, looming on the skyline is ‘impeachment’ for President Donald Trump, don’t you think?
A FOLLOW-ON POST “President Donald Trump WILL likely face future ‘Impeachment’ – but will he last that long though? WILL BE PUBLISHED HERE SOON