Trump the authoritarian

In January 2016, political scientist Matthew MacWilliams said:

Trump’s electoral strength — and his staying power — have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations

This assertion was backed up by an online poll of 1,800 Americans, which found that a belief in obedience to authority was the only “statistically significant variable” that helped to predict support for Trump.

On 5 July, voters got a taste of what Trump would be prepared to do as president. Praising former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, he said:

you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorist – it was over.

In other words, the rule of law matters very little for Donald Trump. Whoever is deemed to be a terrorist (or in the case of Hussein, read ‘opponent’) is immediately imprisoned or killed. Many innocent Iraqis bore testament to such hard-line rule.

One example of his lack of respect for due process was in 1989, when he launched an ad campaign urging the rapid execution of five African-Americans who had been falsely accused of a rape in New York.

More recently, Trump has expressed his admiration for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and for the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China.

The billionaire’s policies have also betrayed his authoritarian tendencies. For example, he has:

  • Promised to “open up” libel laws which would make it easier for rich individuals or government officials to protect themselves from media scrutiny.
  • Praised the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War.
  • Called for parts of the internet to be shut down.
  • Promised to deport US citizens whose parents came to the USA illegally.
  • Called repeatedly for the use of more torture by the US government.

With these policies in mind, which have been likened to Hilter’s, it should surprise no one that Trump has been called a “latter-day Mussolini”.

Does America really want that?

About Oso Sabio

Independent author and poet writing about the Rojava Revolution, the autonomous Zapatista communities in Chiapas, and other examples of libertarian socialist and anti-capitalist resistance. Catch me on Twitter at @ososabiouk. Also known as Ed Sykes and Marcos Villa.
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