Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump! If you say his name three times in a mirror he’ll call you a loser on Twitter. His ubiquitous presence in the news is hard to escape, but escaping is the last thing we should be doing, both metaphorically and literally. We need to pay attention more than ever before because Trump’s rise to and use of power have always been at least Hitler adjacent while always moving closer to going full Hitler – and you never go full Hitler.
There have been many voices, particularly on the left, calling out now President Garrison Trump and his continued authoritarian rhetoric during the campaign. These voices we’re all assured by his supporters “Oh, he won’t actually do it,” or “He’s just saying things to get elected,” or, my personal favorite “He didn’t mean it, he was just joking.” We’re only on week two and got not just the Muslim ban – proving those comforting voices to be yugely wrong, but we also got the dangerous positioning of Trump loyalists in key positions of power like Steve Super Racist Bannon, a white nationalist propagandist and founder of the “Alt-Right” rag Breitbart “News,” to the National Security Council. And apparently that’s the council that decides important shit like which American citizens need to be killed with drones. These aren’t opinions, they are facts. Though my opinion of the facts is evident, it doesn’t change the dangerous reality.
So here we are, we voted to get into a car that’s driven by an angry chimpanzee under the attempted direction off zoo keepers at the edge of a cliff. Or maybe, the angry chimp is smarter than I give him credit for. Either way, we cannot relegate the people warning us of an impending authoritarian state to suffer Cassandra’s curse any longer. He’s following in the footsteps of dictators before him that rose to power in free and democratic nations. And don’t forget, almost every president has expanded the power of the executive branch to some degree, unfortunately all that cumulative power is now in the hands of an idiot con-man at best.
The entire situation get’s worse when you consider that both houses of Congress are controlled by the Republicans – the same Republicans who hijacked the Supreme Court. Why that hasn’t been a much bigger story I don’t know. One political party went against the explicit instructions of the Constitution and denied to even vote on Obama’s nominee. They were even making plans to refuse a vote on Clinton’s nominee had she won. Basically, Senate Republicans were able to take control of another branch of government while undermining the authority of the President and the Constitution. But hey, both parties have been chipping away at the Constitution for years in their own ways so it was only a matter of time before they start ignoring altogether. It was also just a matter of time before we elected someone who would take full advantage of the preexisting cumulative executive powers while pushing the boundaries even further.
What does this leave us with? We have a tense, divided populous with one party controlling all three branches of government after two hundred plus years of power grabs and Constitutional erosion. Both significant portions of the population and government now openly scapegoat minorities and a known racist is going to be on the National Security Council. Keep these things in mind for this next scenario: Trump does something dickish, dumb, and or dangerous, or police shoot another black man for no reason again. Protests are held, but turn into riots – perhaps spontaneously, or perhaps through police instigation. Trump will then “send in the Feds,” or declare martial law in predominately “urban” areas. Or maybe activists and community leaders start “disappearing” because people like Bannon have labeled them a “threat to national security.”
We’re a very angry, divided nation with the most controversial president we’ve ever had and it’s not the usual course of history for such high tensions to just evaporate. We need to keep watching and resisting Trump’s agenda, but we need to also be prepared just in case he goes full Hitler.