Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Which modern tyrant is most like Trump?

      What makes Donald Trump so terrifying? At least to those of us not lost in adoration and obeisance. It is that he represents a complete break from the past, from American history. Trump isn’t like any previous president. No sitting president has ever tried to subvert the electoral system and undermine the process of casting votes and then counting them, merely because he lost. This is a first. What on Sunday seemed like just another day of the president’s perpetual crybaby act, by midweek feels more like an attempted coup. Crude, flailing, obvious, yes. But a coup nonetheless. 
     So we wait to see if our country indeed becomes a failed state. Wait to see if our president will be a despot whose power is not based on the will of the people but on legal maneuvering, lies and sham, assisted by corrupt cronies, handpicked judges and the eager serfs who rejoice in it. Meanwhile, we in the press struggle to find a language to describe what is happening before our eyes.   
     A Washington Post article, “Strongman leaders take defeat poorly — just like Trump,” looks at dictators from Chile’s Augusto Pinchoet to Ugandan madman Idi Amin to Congo’s Mobutu Sese Seko, for clues to how Trump might finally leave the public stage.
     It’s practically giddy compared to The Atlantic. “Trump is just one more example of the many populists on the right who have risen to power around the world: Narendra Modi in India, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Oban in Hungary, Vladimir Putin in Russia,” demagogues who “subvert democratic norms: by criminalizing dissent, suppressing or demonizing the media, harassing the opposition and deploying extra-legal mechanisms whenever possible.”
     Check, check and check.

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13 comments:

  1. Someone needs to remind Trump Il Duce's end.

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    1. As I do toward the end of this column? Yes, good idea, thanks.

      Delete
    2. I'd be happy to see Il Douche "hanging around" at a gas station in Queens.

      My all-time favorite Bizarro cartoon was this courtroom dialogue:

      Judge: I sentence you to die in the gas station.
      Defendant: Did you mean the gas chamber?
      Judge: No, I mean you'll have to work in a gas station for the rest of your life."

      I knew a gas station owner who had that cartoon on his office wall.

      That would be a wonderful fate for Sniffy...cleaning the pumps, shoveling the snow, and selling smokes, beer, snacks, and lottery tickets.

      Delete
  2. drumpf struts around on a stage like Mussolini, with his chin pushed up & constantly applauds himself, which is just weird.
    But then there was first ex-wife's Ivana's claim that he keeps a copy of Hitler's speeches on his bedside table.
    His speeches at his Nuremberg rallies are similar to Hitler's, in that they are insane stream of conscious & unconscious word salad, going from public policy, to windmills causing cancer, to having to flush a toilet 15 times & then to dishwashers don't work anymore, as if he's ever used a dishwasher.
    I have no doubt that if he were to get a psych evaluation, he would be determined to be insane!

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  3. Goebells, I mean Stephen Miller, has been orchestrating such a move since the beginning. Having read Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair articles about Mr. Miller's ideology and methodology since college, was frightening and definitely a sign of his intentions of cementing Trump as a Ruler. This country was founded to elect leaders, not rulers. But now our elections mean nothing because the right has appointed our Ruler like Germany in the 30's - out of fear.

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  4. His post Covid balcony strut was not the first time I saw Mussolini in Herr Drumpf's movements. I assumed it was coincidence rather than imitation, but then I am a generous soul. I do not advocate public murder for the Cowardly Liar, a public trial and incarceration will suffice.

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  5. You are spot on again, NS and this situation is getting more frightening.

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  6. Despite all the inanity from the right, the fact remains that we in the middle and the left have got to make peace with the assholes.. or rather our deluded countrymen.. or maybe the mistaken many. In any event, their concerns are going to remain issues for all of us and compromises are called for, not we'll give you Roe v. Wade in exchange for Obamacare, but somehow bring the right back to rationality, while perhaps softening the admittedly righteous demands from the left. Biden has a treacherous high wire act to perform and I don't envy him one bit the glory and acclaim that come with the job.

    john

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  7. Things to put on his tombstone: "Liar. Bully. Friend of despots. Sore loser. The first president who didn't own a dog."

    Quote a legacy.

    Tom

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    1. You mean in addition to the bodily fluids, I assume.

      john

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  8. I don't know how competent the members of the rogue's gallery referred to in this column were or are, but Il Douché has made his *incompetence* clear. Since long before he became president. His primary skill is as an extremely accomplished charlatan, knowing how to play effectively to his marks. The problem with America is that we have devolved to a society filled with so many easily duped marks.

    He could do nothing, on his own. In an even moderately more distinguished country, he would have been ridiculed derisively by *all* and scrambled straight back up the escalator after his first speech as a candidate to return to grifting in the private sector.

    But, he has an established cult now. And, because of the power he's been awarded due to the cult, others have joined in, somehow giving him 47.5% of the vote. That's simply incomprehensible, given what he's said and done.

    That 47.5% continues to motivate his enablers -- McConnell, Graham and the rest of the Senatorial toadies who have benefited from the charlatan's bamboozling of the masses. I had assumed, incorrectly, that upon his defeat in this election, those Senators would finally abandon him. They've gotten what they used him for -- the tax cuts, the Supreme Court justices, etc. -- and, surely in their hearts they know what a cynical game they've been playing and what a pathetic stooge their standard-bearer is. They could just point to the vote and let democracy take its course -- no need to attack him, thus alienating his supporters, who they will still need in the future.

    Alas, the future is too near. These runoffs in Georgia mean they can't abandon him just yet, and must pay lip service to his transparently anti-democratic, un-American enterprise of claiming fraud in the election. They need to keep the cult riled up. Shameful, of course, but the Grand Turtle of Kentucky has become comfortable with shameful politicking at least since the day he vowed that his most important priority was to make Obama a one-term president.

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    1. As James Thurber put it: "You can fool too many of the people too much of the time."

      By attacking the integrity of the election, Trump is utterly trashing democratic norms in a way that will poison politics for a generation at least. McConnell is abetting him because McConnell doesn't care about any of that stuff as long as he can cling to his one-seat Senate majority. What an utterly worthless excuse for a human being.

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  9. Meanwhile, Fox and the like continue to spew false voter fraud activity to those who will only watch Fox and the like.
    Trump is cornered and like an animal, he will fight until the end, not realizing that it was he who put himself there.

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