Trump’s Favorite Leaders Are Dictators, And Now He’s Trying To Be One

Whilst Donald Trump spent the weekend needlessly aggravating relationships with the United States’ longtime allies, Senator Bernie Sanders took a moment to make a keen observation:

“I find it very strange that President Trump has such a hard time getting along with the leaders of the world’s major democracies but feels very comfortable with despots and authoritarian leaders like Putin, Xi Jinping, Duterte and Mohammed bin Salman.”

Sanders certainly has a point. It’s preposterous to imagine another U.S president publicly haranguing fellow members of the G7 over primarily imagined grievances while frequently complimenting autocrats. His love for dictators is no exaggeration, either:

  • When China amended its constitution so Xi could remain in power, Trump expressed that he thought the move was “great” and floated the idea that the U.S. make a similar move, met by wild applause from Trump’s supporters.
  • Rodrigo Duterte has been the center of controversy for allowing thousands of suspected drug dealers to be murdered on the spot. Most of the world has condemned these executions without trial as a straight up human rights abuse, but Trump called Duterte to congratulate him on the strategy and invite him to the White House. Later, Trump suggested the U.S. could tackle its own opioid problem by instituting a similar policy.
  • Meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, Trump ignored calls to denounced the country’s obvious human rights problems and instead heap praise. Trump’s own commerce secretary insisted things couldn’t be that bad since he didn’t see any protests, but that’s blatantly ignoring the fact that Saudi Arabians are legally forbidden from protesting.
  • And then, of course, there’s Russia’s Vladimir Putin who Trump has praised for his intelligence, kindness and strength. Years ago, Trump even asked Putin to be his “new best friend.” Trump has defended Putin at nearly every turn, and he refuses to condemn Russia for meddling in the election after every other faction of the U.S. government agrees that it happened and will happen again.

Compare all of that to Trump recently dismissing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “meek and mild.” He used to insult Barack Obama for similar traits. Trump respects leaders with absolute power who can make decisions based on whim without facing accountability or being undermined by other officials. As Trump sees it, a leader who can get away with anything is doing something right.

That’s a problem because the U.S.’s form of government is antithetical to that philosophy. We traditionally engage in diplomacy and negotiate with our allies to work out mutually beneficial deals. It’s remarkable how a man who wrote put his name on the book The Art of the Deal thinks there’s no value in compromise and instead is willing to throw a hissy fit and make existing agreements worse for everyone so he can claim he hasn’t been taken advantage of.

Our system was created to spread power amongst many and with deliberate checks and balances to keep our rulers in line. No doubt Trump would love it if instead of being called out on his lie that he actually would have won the popular vote if not for rampant voter fraud by undocumented aliens that the government would participate in rigging the election as they do for Putin. Remember how Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his sham victory even after his staff specifically instructed him not to?

It’s no wonder that a Fox News reporter just referred to the summit with Kim Jong-un and Trump as a “meeting between the two dictators.” It wasn’t a mistake so much as a Freudian slip!

There’s no question how Trump wants to rule if given the opportunity – what’s yet to be seen is whether Americans lawmakers and judges will use the checks and balances available to them. To this point, many have quietly sat on their hands and pretended it’s business as usual even though the president has refused to adhere to countless basic democratic norms. If the sign says “break glass in case of emergency,” trust that we’re now facing an emergency.

Photo Credit: Matt Johnson

147 comments

Marie W
Marie W6 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Darlene B
Darlene Buckingham6 months ago

Again well put Dot. Many have adopted this aggressive rude use of language that is considered acceptable now because that is what "leaders" do. Politics is ineffective and has acquiesced to corporations that do not have the best interests of life and the Planet in mind. Many people have also adapted the rude aggressive style of discussion and yes this weakens all of us. I don't know how many times I have heard why don't you sing Kumbaya when talking about working together and demanding more of our leaders. People have forgotten the horrors of slavery, especially those that ignore what is going on in the world right now due to the decisions of our leaders and how bad things can get. Mocking suffering and not acknowledging how many people are suffering right due to Trump's decisions and have suffered due to Obama's decisions is inexcusable because of the 2 party system that has to see one as "Good" and one as "Evil" when both are causing harm that has to be stopped. Strength is achieved by working together to create a world that honours ALL life and that would never dream of enslaving others in any way, physically, mentally, psychologically and/or spiritually. There is no place for Dictators in this world and that means the 2 party system has to go as it allows Dictators to govern, not wise leaders that work for the good of all.

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Dot A
Dot A6 months ago

The fish stinks from the head down. That's an old expression that comes to mind these days particularly. When we have leadership that taunts just about everyone he comes into contact with, our own people begin to model the behavior. If the POTUS can be cruel, judgmental, harsh, rude, and use language that isolates others, then, by golly, that must be how we're all suppose to engage, - right? Wrong. This is how we are getting weaker by the word.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E6 months ago

Darlene B
You just have to get in those digs don't you. YOU are the ignorant one. Perhaps that come from not having children of your own and you're "inflexible"
If you think my comment was a low blow then consider our history here.
Suggest I'm ignorant one more time and I will take this further.
You do this every time

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Darlene Buckingham
Darlene Buckingham6 months ago

Well put Dot. I agree that division is the goal and not surprising that on Care2 those that feed the division continue to make comments trying to stop these important conversations, especially when the comment is made that it is essential at this time to build life based on morals, ethics and working for the betterment of all. Hopefully the comments of why don't we all sing Kumbaya will stop, knowing that slavery in all forms is abhorrent always holding the vision for a better world.

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Darlene Buckingham
Darlene Buckingham6 months ago

Rhoberta: That is actually what ignorance is, parroting words, not knowing the history or meaning. At least the Scouts did not use the song to make fun of people that speak for peace. Instead of knowing the history that it was a song sung by slaves is now a stock phrase that is overused and shows the lack of knowledge of the one speaking the words. My suggestion is that people have to stop bashing politicians and start challenging all politicians who are causing harm. Fighting over who is better, Trump or Clinton is a pointless discussion when both are not working towards stopping environmental degradation, for example. A 2 party system is NOT working and has to be changed or nothing will change and the problems humanity face will become worse. I am advocating for changing the political system, especially holding politicians accountable if they don't do what they say they are going to do. If people don't like Trump what is stopping the public from firing him! And the next one, and the next one until leaders actually work for what creates a healthy vibrant world for all people not profits for corporations.

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Dot A
Dot A6 months ago

part2 - I do believe that Trump enjoys the power he sees Putin having, and even the ambitions of Kim, for his personality also admires the ambitious and the rush of adrenalin when money and power are achieved. Many folks are rather trusting, and have little concern if such a personality were to obliterate the attempts of previous leaders to establish a nation of humanities privileges. The US had never fully attained them, but, if we aren't extremely careful in the next days and months, we may close the book on freedoms, fairness, and a chance to build one's life based on morals, ethics, and working for the betterment of all. If the Trump mentality is embraced, then the code of greed will demolish the brilliant efforts of our Fore Fathers vision for a New World for humanity. So, I agree with many who urged us to speak more cooperatively, even though our opinions will be varied. Don't hate each other. Find those common desires and establish our unity. If you Care2,....

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Dot A
Dot A6 months ago

Part of the orchestration to deplete the strength of the citizens of the US is to set us against each other. With Putin's assistance, we are on track to dividing our nation, and therefore having 50% less voice to preserve our democracy. I truly can't say that Trump is the least bit concerned, as his voice now rises higher among those who are angry, feed-up, and have lost hope in our government. Tricky stuff. Because the more we battle one another the faster the new regime can move in and take away the policies that were designed to keep us at liberty. Some seem to be rather ok with that, however, I believe that should we allow such a radical redesigning of our infrastructure, it would be nearly impossible to reestablish our human rights. This country is not perfect, nor are any of its people. Yet, our policies are in place to give us a chance of building a better nation of fairness and compassion for all people. I do not think Trump cares for the little people having the power. I do believe that Trump enjoys the power he sees Putin having, and even the ambitions of Kim, for his personality also admires the ambitious and the rush of adrenalin when money and power are achieved. Many folks are rather trusting, and have little concern if such a personality were to obliterate the attempts of previous leaders to establish a nation of humanities privileges. The US had never fully attained them, but, if we aren't extremely careful in the next

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R6 months ago

Children, behave! This is becoming a hate fest...no bullying, name-calling, or recriminations on Care2. Unless you endorse censorship....

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E6 months ago

Darlene b
Blah, blah blah
Why don't you try and actually speak to the topic ???
Are you saying a happy group of Scouts (my son WAS in the organization from beavers right through to Rangers) KNOW about the origin that YOU are trying to score points with?
MY consistent message when you're not trying one upmanship is that it is pretty simplistic f you to say the trite things you spout about "Planet Earth" and fighting for all people without ONE concrete idea or suggestion . WE ALL KNOW THOSE THINGS DARLENE !!!
Don't push me Darlene or I will start with things YOU have NEVER taken responsibility for on this site
You and brian are SO much alike and that's NOT a compliment.

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