Having spent part of my childhood living under a dictator, having listened to my parents discussing dictators, having read about dictators, having discussed dictators with my friends, and having lived on this Earth for 71 years as a sentient being, think I know a little about how dictators come to be.
It is simply my opinion, that of an observer, not an expert in political science, but I have come to believe President Donald Trump is a dictator in the making.
Some dictators take over in a coup or a revolution, but many others (notably Hitler) are elected. They generally don’t run as dictators. They may present themselves as populists, or in other ways appeal to a group that feels disenfranchised. Juan Perón of Argentina appealed to the “descamisados” (the shirtless ones), working men who felt disenfranchised and disrespected.
So it is with Trump. He came to power by appealing to white working class voters, mostly older and less educated than the average, who felt time had passed them by and who yearned for some period when they had been top dog (in this case, pre-1964).
They attack the press. An independent press is probably the single greatest danger to a dictator. Hitler and Mussolini railed against the press and eventually destroyed it.
So it is with Trump. He has attacked the press with a fury unlike any expressed by any past president, including those who had much greater reason to think the press was out to get them (like Nixon).
Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky! https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/950023175907266560
In addition, he rewards a sycophantic press:
Thank you Adam Levine, The Federalist, in interview on @foxandfriends “Donald Trump is the greatest President our Country has ever seen.” https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/951645893513613312
They emasculate the legislature. Some have gone so far as to dismiss legislative bodies. Others have been content with turning them into lapdogs.
So it is with Trump. One need look no further than the Shithole Debacle, where he convinced at least two congressmen to forget they ever heard him speak the word.
He demeans and insults the opposing party.
I don’t believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA. They are all talk and no action. This is the time but, day by day, they are blowing the one great opportunity they have. Too bad! https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/952183458922672130
They denigrate the judiciary. Once the judiciary is denigrated, they fill its ranks with unqualified toadies and sycophants who rush to fill the void left by worthy candidates.
So it is with Trump. He has re-submitted the names of candidates found to be unqualified, and blasted judges who ruled against him in racist and insulting terms unlike any stated in public by a sitting president.
It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/951094078661414912
They insult and denigrate the professional civil service, and fill the ranks with those who would ordinarily not even be considered by honorable presidents. Caligula famously appointed his horse to the Senate.
So it is with Trump. He has appointed wildly unqualified candidates, like Betsy DeVos, and fired dedicated public servants like James Comey and Sally Yates.
I long resisted believing that Trump was trying to become a dictator, but after seeing the parallels I can no longer deny the evidence of my eyes.