4 Ways the Trump Administration Is Flirting With Dictatorship

Donald Trump has not been in office for a full month yet, and there is already a lot of concern over the direction his administration is headed in. Putting the specific policy choices aside, his general leadership style is a cause for concern, as he seems to be approaching the role of president in the way that a dictator would.

At the moment, there are checks and balances in place to prevent a dictator from hijacking the U.S. government. However, with a Republican majority in Congress, these available checks and balances might be ignored in the name of partisanship. It’s important to call attention to the examples of President Trump flirting with dictatorship so that Congress is compelled to act when he steps over the line:

1. There Will Be No Questioning of Authority

Over the weekend, Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s advisers, appeared on Face the Nation to defend the president’s executive order. Rather than justifying it as good policy, though, his defense was essentially that the president cannot be stopped and no one should be questioning his decisions.

“Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned,” said Miller.

It’s that “will not be questioned” part that’s most alarming. That’s not how our government works. The commander-in-chief is not considered infallible or untouchable – people have the right to challenge his decisions.

2. Accusing People Who Protect the Constitution of Betraying the Government

When Sally Yates, acting U.S. attorney general, instructed her department not to exert energy trying to defend Donald Trump’s executive order because she believed it to be unconstitutional, Trump’s team promptly fired her, simultaneously releasing a press release that read: “The acting Attorney General Sally Yates has betrayed the Department of Justice.”

Betrayal is a remarkably harsh accusation, and completely unwarranted in this scenario. Yates was merely upholding the oath she took to protect the constitution – she has a clear responsibility to that document ahead of the president. If anything, Trump is betraying his own government by continuing to push for his unconstitutional order.

3. Insisting That The People “Love” Donald Trump

Dictators in other countries frequently declare themselves to have won the public vote by over 90 percent, despite the political climate making it abundantly clear that the population does not support its leader by anywhere close to that rate.

Trump might not have rigged the election, yet he’s already gone above and beyond to tell the world that the American people adore him. In addition to insisting that massive voter fraud was the reason he lost the popular vote (without providing any evidence, mind you), he and his staff blatantly lied about something as petty as the size of his inauguration crowd to make it seem as though he has more support.

As for his record-low approval numbers, Trump has another response: “Any negative polls are fake news.” You got that? Literally any report that indicates anything but complete admiration for the president is obviously fabricated.

4. Attacks on the Press

Speaking of “fake news,” that’s a repeated refrain for the Trump camp at this point. Trump has made it a point starting during his campaign to convince people that the media cannot be trusted, and to trust him instead. U.S. Representative Lamar Smith backed this nonsense up by saying, “Better to get your news directly from the president.”

While not all news media outlets are created equally, most hold themselves to high journalistic standards and do not make it a practice of publishing lies. Trump and his Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s antagonistic attitudes toward the media are wholly inappropriate and irresponsible. As is Steve Bannon’s request for the media to “keep its mouth shut” and his insistence that the media is “the opposition party” to the administration.

A robust and free press is critical to a functional democracy. We need journalists to keep politicians accountable. In dictatorships, leaders effectively silence the press, or in some cases take it over to report news the way they want it reported. Allowing Trump to make similar moves leaves us in jeopardy.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

123 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thank you for posting.

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Karen H
Karen H4 months ago

Took a little time off due to health issues, but I'm back to emailing my legislators. Looks like I'll hit the 60 email mark tonight. I've also signed a bunch of petitions, and tomorrow we're gathering at Congressman Brian Mast's office to let him know where we stand.

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Glennis W
Glennis W4 months ago

RESIST Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W4 months ago

Imbecile Thank you for caring and sharing

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Renata B
Renata B4 months ago

Flirting only? I said this even before he was elected. You don't need a psychic to see where the man is aiming. The man and his acolytes. And maybe he is just a puppet used by the cunning acolytes.

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Karen H
Karen H4 months ago

When my members of Congress & the Senate follow Trump's line like good little puppets, I remind them that Trump will not vote for them when they run for office again. WE THE PEOPLE will, and we'll remember every time they turned their backs on us. So far since Inauguration Day, over 50 emails to those who are supposed to represent me.

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David C
David C4 months ago

stand strong, stand together, resist.....not working to bring the country together or admitting he is not the majority candidate can also be added to this list.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara4 months ago

Read the New York Times and Washington Post. These are the papers that got to the heart of Nixon's cash for dirty tricks to get re-elected. Whatever party you happen to like, trust good journalism.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara4 months ago

1984

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Brian F
Brian F4 months ago

Past Member First of all, you are a coward. You hide behind several different icons, so no one can attack you. Hillary is mentioned because she is the reason, Trump got elected. Had ignorant corporate democrats like you supported a true progressive like Bernie Sanders, instead of your Wall Street crook, Hillary, Bernie Sanders would be our president. Why don't you get a name, so people can respond to your ignorant comments, instead of hiding behind a phony "Past Member" icon, that many are already using.

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