Steve Schmidt, a life-long Republican and Senior Campaign Strategist for John McCain’s presidential campaign, can no longer abide Trump’s daily lies and non-stop attacks on our most venerated institutions. So he did what many other high-profile Republicans have done – he firmly renounced his affiliation with the Republican party.
Then he went further. A few days ago on MSNBC he delineated five specific ways Trump is destroying our democracy. Here’s my annotated version of his passionate warning…
One, he incites fervor in a base through constant lying.
Two, he scapegoats minority populations and he affixes blame for complex problems to them and them alone.
Among his favorite targets are Muslims, Mexicans, Democrat politicians, educated people (the “elites”) and journalists (‘the worst people in the word,” “your enemies”). Every problem is their fault, nothing is his fault.
Three, he alleges conspiracies that are hidden and nefarious and linked to those scapegoated populations.
Paranoia infests his world view. The FBI, Robert Mueller, the Obama/Hillary team, the Intelligence community, the (imaginary) Deep State are all, according to his warped mind, out to get him. He’s made outrageous allegations against Obama, with zero evidence. There seems to be no conspiracy theory that he finds outlandish.
Four, he spreads a sense of victimization among those fervent supporters.
“They’re taking your jobs … they’re murderers, they’re rapists.” You might recognize this tactic – it’s straight out of the playbook of the worst dictators in history. He’s saying, in effect, “get them before they get you.”
And five, he asserts the need to exert heretofore unprecedented power to protect his victim class from the conspiracies and the scapegoated populations.
As Trump proclaimed at the Republican Convention in 2016, “I alone can fix” America’s problems. In his view Congress, the judiciary, the free press and even the Constitution are nothing more than impediments to his consolidation of power. And it’s going to get worse as he feels ever more threatened.
Through all of history, (if) you understand totalitarianism, you understand how democracies fall. You will find those five behaviors (in Trump).
For sure, that’s no bull, Schmidt. It’s just scary.
Thanks for caring about the truth.
Please pass this message on.