A.M. Joy had two guests on among others, Kendzior and Mehdi Hasan, both who laid out off the top of their heads the deep dangers facing the Republic.
Kendzior is an expert on autocracies. She reminded us Trump’s threat to use the military on American soil and possibly against American citizens – against the law. His fake national emergency is the door through which an autocrat typically stages a slow-moving coup and destroys legitimate opposition to his power grab.
She goes on to point out how Trump has purged agencies and packed them and the courts with loyal followers. He routinely makes statements declaring the government to be above the law and has consolidated a dynastic kleptocracy, placing family members in high office. He has abused his executive powers. All typical of autocrats around the world.
Yet who stands against him? The Democrats fear riling up his base, as if any of them would ever vote for a Democrat.
Mehdi Hasan details Trump’s abuses like his abuse of pardons, echoing his offers to pay the legal fees of rally members who assaulted people. He sword danced with the Saudis, praised Ji of China for abolishing term limits on his presidency, and expressed the wish that “his people” would sit up and pay attention to him the way Kim Jung-Un’s people do for him, and he has done all of this in the open. He attacks the judiciary, the media, the intelligence agencies, the DOJ and FBI, all because they do not kowtow to him. Democrats who do not applaud his every word at State of the Union addresses are suspected by Trump of being traitors. He delegitimizes everybody, even his supporters, even his enablers, nobody is safe.
These are all characteristics of Joseph Stalin and all other dictators and autocrats. Trump has no difficulty or self-awareness because he is non-reflective. His personality disorder is so severe that his most trusted aides can warn him against an action and he will go ahead and commit to it anyway, no doubt because by the time he gets to the microphone, his brain is telling him what it told him before. Many have said he believes what the last person to speak to him told him; he can’t maintain.
So why did so many Russians support Stalin even as they saw what he was doing, the same things Trump is doing? Because they hoped to get something out of him.They possibly saw him as the only man strong enough to rule Russia or they were so committed to the Communist cause and the Soviet Man and thought he could carry out the reinforcement of those ideals, or they had a personal stake in his rule. Now what causes our American people to support Trump in the same way?
Tim Wise, an anti-racism educator and another member of this panel, suggested people want this because rich White men tell not-rich White men that the reason for their problems is people of color. He points out that that has worked for several hundred years in this country. It is our contribution to the arsenal of autocrats.