The Left Warns of a Dictator Trump. Where’s Its Outrage Over Obama’s Many Abuses of Power?
Or the Clintons', for that matter?
Apparently, Donald Trump is itching to be a dictator. Or at least that’s the word from celebrities, pundits, politicos and, of course, my many liberal — and some conservative — friends on Facebook. The Daily Show even employs the hashtag #CinnamonHitler for the GOP candidate.
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 29, 2016
President Obama from his pulpit at the Democratic Convention also joined the chorus declaring the businessman a budding Mussolini, insisting that with Trump on the ballot nothing short of democracy itself is at stake this election. “We won’t be ruled,” he declared.
Wonderful. Down with tyranny! But he’s got me wondering, “How exactly would this dictatorship thing work?” It’s not like there’s a Rules for Strongmen like there is a Rules for Radicals. Fidel Castro isn’t putting “How to” videos up on YouTube. Jeff Foxworthy isn’t out there saying “If you did this or that, you might be a despot.”
So I’d ask the President, since he’s had the job for a while, “If Donald Trump were sitting behind your desk in the Oval Office, what precise actions would he take that would threaten democracy and run roughshod over the Constitution?”
I’m wondering …
Would he kill American citizens without due process?
(Yep. The headlines are links to real stories, mostly from liberal or non-conservative sites.)
Would he attack foreign nations without Congressional approval when our national security isn’t imminently threatened?
Would he toss military commanders who don’t sing his tune?
Would he disregard laws he doesn’t like?
Would he blow off rulings by federal courts, including the Supreme Court?
Would he issue executive orders directly opposed to expressed will of Congress and the American people?
Will he spend taxpayer money without approval from Congress?
Would he issue rules and regulations with the effect of law, bypassing Congress?
Would he change definitions within existing laws to radically expand those laws … and punish those who protest?
Would he use the instruments of the state against his political enemies?
Would he consider reporting on his activities a crime?
Would he further attempt to shut down or hinder opposition media?
Would he hinder and block investigations into corruption or wrong-doing?
Would he punish those who pose a risk to his friends?
Would he punish states or cities that pose a risk to his decrees?
Would he threaten the Bill of Rights?
Would he rip away religious rights?
Would he unilaterally change such things as accepted bankruptcy law to benefit his friends?
Would he funnel government money to friends and political allies?
Would he circumvent the Senate’s Constitutional obligation and enact foreign treaties without approval, by simply insisting they’re not treaties?
Would he enter into secret side agreements on the treaty that weaken its terms?
Would he lie to the American people about the whole thing?
Obama is right. We need to stay on our guard against a dictatorial head of state. A president acting in this manner could fundamentally transform America.
As for Trump, maybe the worries about him are legitimate. He doesn’t help matters when he shows respect for bad apple strongmen like Vladimir Putin or Saddam Hussein, or expresses support for policies that would sound at home in a police state. Take the time that Trump suggested getting rid of the malice requirement needed to convict newspapers of libel. If Trump had his way, a damaging error alone would be enough to nail a newspaper for libel: no need to show it intended harm. The chilling effect on free speech would be enough to freeze the waters around Mar-a-Largo.
Concerning, yes, but Trump would have a tough time getting any such change enacted. Obama’s many abuses of presidential power are real and present. Where’s the fear and outrage on the left about this? Where, for that matter, is the outrage and concern over the Clintons 30+ years of abusing power, first in Arkansas, then in the White House, then at the State Department and at the Clinton Foundation, and now through the DNC (so sad for Bernie)?
The left in America is selectively terrified of the fascist impulse, just as they are selective in their historical memory. Both Hitler and Mussolini, after all, were socialists.