WaPo Op-Ed: Trump Will Rule As A Fascist Dictator If He Is Re-Elected
President Donald Trump likely would try to run a fascist dictatorship if granted a second term, investigative and legal journalist Jonathan Greenberg wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed, citing Trump’s lies about voter fraud, admiration of authoritarians, attempts to suppress free speech and use of the law against anyone who tries to hold him accountable.
Greenberg outlined 12 signs indicating that Trump would go down the road of fascism if he is reelected, either legitimately or otherwise.
“Trump uses military power and federal law enforcement to suppress peaceful political protest.” — The journalist notes that Trump “deployed the National Guard and federal officers to violently evict protesters in Washington, terrorizing them with two military helicopters flying low near the crowd” and had “1,600 members of the 82nd Airborne on standby outside the capital and readied tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.”
“Trump persistently lies about voter fraud, setting the stage for him to use emergency powers to seize control of the election or challenge the results if he loses.” — Trump has repeatedly tweeted that increased mail-in voting will lead to rampant fraud, and even after winning in 2016, he insisted that Hillary Clinton only won the popular vote thanks to millions of illegal voters.
“Trump has repeatedly suggested that he might remain in office after a second term and has offered reason to doubt he’d leave peacefully after this first term.” — Joking or not, Trump has repeatedly hinted that he would serve more than the two terms allowed, saying last year during a rally: “Under the normal rules, I’ll be out in 2024, so we may have to go for an extra term.”
“Trump appears to believe he has the power to outlaw speech critical of him, and he calls the free press “the enemy of the people.” — The president has time and again denounced the press, and according to former national security adviser John Bolton’s latest book, Trump once said of journalists: “These people should be executed. They are scumbags.”
“With Fox News promoting Trump’s lies as truth, the president controls one of the most powerful propaganda machines ever created.”
“Trump believes that he has the power to do what he wants, regardless of Congress or the courts.” — Trump has said, “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” and “has also claimed to have the “absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”
“Trump acts as if he owns our government and can fire any official who defends the law.” — Greenberg noted that Trump “has dismissed an FBI director and a deputy FBI director, as well as five inspectors general and U.S. attorneys, all of whom were investigating or considering either his abuse of power or the alleged crimes of his cronies.”
“Trump uses federal prosecutorial powers to investigate his opponents and anyone who dares scrutinize him or his allies for the many crimes they may have committed.” — The president said last year: “I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
“Trump viciously attacks his critics and has publicly implied that the Ukraine whistleblower should be hanged for treason.”
The oppressive leaders he has praised include North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (“He gets it. He totally gets it”); the Philippines’s Rodrigo Duterte (“What a great job you are doing”); Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman (“You have done a spectacular job”); and, of course, Russia’s Vladimir Putin (“You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine”). Meanwhile, he has attacked traditional U.S. alliances and allies, like NATO and Germany’s Angela Merkel (“Stupid”).