Five Ways to Destroy Democracy

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.

There are now thousands of documented lies. It’s to the point that just about every sentence he utters or tweets is laced with half-truths, distortions, and full-blown lies. TRUST NOTHING TRUMP SAYS.

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.

Ken

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The Real Tragedy Behind Comey’s Firing.

Most press coverage of Trump’s sacking of the FBI director has focused on the timing and strange circumstances of the action. And certainly that all needs to be looked at. There is, however, something more far reaching than the immediate issue.  As a result of Trump’s actions, the post of FBI director has become politicized, and the regrettable repercussions of that fact will last for decades.

The 10-year term of the Director was specifically chosen to overlap presidential administrations. Remember, prior to this week only one other FBI Director had ever been fired. Back in 1993, President Bill Clinton, six months into his first term, fired then-FBI Director William Sessions. But here’s the difference: back then, a Justice Department investigation found that Sessions had engaged in a pattern of unethical behavior and expense-account padding.  In other words, there was a clear legal rationale for the sacking, aside from any political consideration.

Why, on the other hand, was Comey fired? Trump said he was a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”  Which, of course, coming from the King of Bluster, is laughable.  And he said the FBI was “in turmoil.” No, it wasn’t.

But wait, you might say. Didn’t the Democrats want Comey fired for what he did to Hillary?

As I posted on Facebook:

No, the Dems are NOT two-faced.

They wanted Comey’s hide when, DURING THE CAMPAIGN, he broke all precedent by talking about the ongoing email probe.

But then IN THE MONTHS AFTER THE ELECTION he made it clear that there was an FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Dems and all patriotic Americans surely want that probe to continue — without political interference.

The firing absolutely looks like there is an attempt to quash that investigation. And THAT’s why Dems are screaming.

Here’s the other overlooked fact. President Obama surely was furious at Comey for what he did during the campaign. He could have canned Comey.  But he didn’t.  He knew better than to let his personal animosity supersede the historic independence of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency!

Now Trumpty Dumpty has permanently laid waste to the long-held separateness between the Executive branch and the FBI. And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to fix it.

The bottom line is that in the future, whenever a president is unhappy with the FBI director, he or she will feel much less hesitation about swinging the ax. The dangerous precedent has been set.

It’s a damn shame.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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