Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on March 31st, 2019, 1:34 pm 

The Vat -- There may be no tech solution, really.


There can't be a tech solution. Every solution becomes somebody else's problem and they invariably solve it; then their solution becomes somebody else's problem and they solve it.

Funny about the full circle of television. In England, and I think other European countries, subscription was the way it began. At that time, everyone had the same programming; very little choice. Now, there is a huge range of product - both in entertainment and educational material. But subscription programming is limited to the content your provider chooses, and you choose the provider who offers the content you prefer. You no longer know what your compatriots are seeing and hearing, which is an impediment to communication, especially among voters. At this moment, what we least need are more divisions among interest blocs or demographics.

Also - speaking as a not particularly manipulable old person - I choose to keep the commercials unmuted. While their repetitiveness is annoying, I have always found them a revealing and interesting window into mainstream attitudes, mores, orientation, concerns and values. They are encapsulated messages: when you intercept one, it tells you a good deal about the sender and the intended recipient. They also, over time, are a good way to track social trends.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on April 28th, 2019, 4:53 am 

In fighting all oversight, Trump has made his most dictatorial move
The Guardian, 28 Apr 2019
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” says the person who is supposed to be chief executive of the United States government.

In other words, there is to be no congressional oversight of this administration: no questioning officials who played a role in putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census. No questioning a former White House counsel about the Mueller report.

No questioning a Trump adviser about immigration policy. No questioning a former White House security director about issuances of security clearances.

No presidential tax returns to the ways and means committee, even though a 1920s law specifically authorizes the committee to get them.

Such a blanket edict fits a dictator of a banana republic, not the president of a constitutional republic founded on separation of powers.

If Congress cannot question the people who are making policy, or obtain critical documents, Congress cannot function as a coequal branch of government.

If Congress cannot get information about the executive branch, there is no longer any separation of powers, as sanctified in the US constitution.

There is only one power – the power of the president to rule as he wishes.

Which is what Donald Trump has sought all along.

The only relevant question is how stop this dictatorial move. And let’s be clear: this is a dictatorial move.

The man whose aides cooperated, shall we say, with Russia – the man who still refuses to do anything at all about Russia’s continued interference in the American political system – refuses to cooperate with a branch of the United States government that the Constitution requires him to cooperate with in order that the government function.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on May 4th, 2019, 3:31 am 

William Barr: is his defence of Trump paving the road to tyranny?
The Guardian, 4 May 2019
Barr’s robust defense of a president’s executive authority to end an investigation into himself if he believed the inquiry was “based on false allegations”, alarmed critics of both parties.

“The president does not have to sit there constitutionally and allow it to run its course,” Barr told senators. “The president could terminate that proceeding and it would not be corrupt intent because he was being falsely accused.”

Hillary Clinton warned that Barr’s theory puts the country on a “road to tyranny”.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on May 6th, 2019, 3:39 pm 

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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2019, 4:57 pm 

So, like, the president can stop an investigation if the allegation on which it is based is false. So, if that investigation is about him, he's in a position - is the only one in a position to know that it's false. So, the president has a right to shut it down. That makes sense. And, of course, the AG is the only one in a position to know the legality of this. Makes perfect sense.


[Moderator note: The above post is intended as humorous irony, and is not meant to register approval of the president or AG]
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on May 6th, 2019, 11:18 pm 

Serpent » May 7th, 2019, 5:57 am wrote:So, like, the president can stop an investigation if the allegation on which it is based is false. So, if that investigation is about him, he's in a position - is the only one in a position to know that it's false. So, the president has a right to shut it down. That makes sense. And, of course, the AG is the only one in a position to know the legality of this. Makes perfect sense.

How is Trump "the only one" to know that the assertion that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election is false? That is what the Mueller investigation was looking into - in order to protect US democracy, and its scope included allegations that there were links or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government.

Trump tried to shut it down, however, as BIV's link above relates:

Attempts to fire Mueller and then create false evidence

Despite being advised by then-White House Counsel Don McGahn that he could face legal jeopardy for doing so, Trump directed McGahn on multiple occasions to fire Mueller or to gin up false conflicts of interest as a pretext for getting rid of the Special Counsel. When these acts began to come into public view, Trump made “repeated efforts to have McGahn deny the story” — going so far as to tell McGahn to write a letter “for our files” falsely denying that Trump had directed Mueller’s termination.


So, no it doesn't make sense - Trump was not the only one to know whether the allegations were false or not. And once it became clear that Trump was trying to shut it all down, then it also went on to include a criminal investigation which looked into potential obstruction of justice charges against Trump and others within the campaign and administration - and THAT is not something Trump has the position to say is false or not.

Everyone has seen the video evidence of him stating, for example, that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation that was seeking to protect American democracy - afterwards telling Russian officials: "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off", further adding "I’m not under investigation."

So at that point it wasn't him that was under investigation, but as it became more and more obvious that he was trying to shut it all down, then it did become about him, and not in any way that only he could somehow know if the allegations were false or not.

It's like he used/abused democracy to get into the Whitehouse but then seemed to have no interest in protecting the integrity of that democratic process - and especially having no interest in protecting it from manipulation by traditional foreign adversaries to the United States. Lol, no wonder he was under investigation!

Here's the evidence, if you've forgotten:



“I was going to fire Comey knowing, there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,” Trump told Holt.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on May 6th, 2019, 11:47 pm 

Not big on irony, huh?
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on May 6th, 2019, 11:51 pm 

What irony?

And here is just one thing that came out of the investigation that Trump is pretty clearly GUILTY of trying to shut down, via FOX news:



Russian nationals, companies indicted for election meddling - commiting federal crimes whilst seeking to interfere in the American political system.

Lol, so whose interests does Trump really have close to his heart in all this, Serpent? And whose interests are you acting in when you try to spin such topics? You sound very much like an enabler when you do.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on May 7th, 2019, 8:11 am 

What irony?

My feeble attempt at humour above. I honestly don't believe that my little jibe retroactively enables anybody to have done anything. And you don't yet know the half of what they're guilty. of.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on May 7th, 2019, 10:24 pm 

Serpent » May 7th, 2019, 9:11 pm wrote:
What irony?

My feeble attempt at humour above. I honestly don't believe that my little jibe retroactively enables anybody to have done anything. And you don't yet know the half of what they're guilty. of.

I see - you were joking. I guess you have changed somewhat since our previous interactions on this topic then ;P .
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on May 7th, 2019, 11:10 pm 

Mossling » May 7th, 2019, 9:24 pm wrote:I see - you were joking. I guess you have changed somewhat since our previous interactions on this topic then ;P .

What? I have never, not for one minute since I first clapped eyes on the ------ in a 197(2?) interview with Dick Cavett, doubted that DJ Trump was a habitual and probably pathological liar. (I made some other, less flattering observations, as well, and they have multiplied over time.) In the 2016 campaign alone, I counted 367 provable lies. Since that time, the number has exceeded my counting capability, but I'm sure Watson knows. Just get Watson back on Jeopardy and disable two annoyances with one big blue machine.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on August 20th, 2019, 9:44 am 

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... on/596335/

This sort of reaction is somewhat encouraging, if it translates into action. And visits to a polling station.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on February 18th, 2020, 9:59 pm 

Trump falsely declares himself 'the chief law enforcement officer' of the US
The Guardian, 19 Feb 2020
"I'm actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country"

He did say "I guess", but still... wow.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on February 18th, 2020, 10:31 pm 

They might as well move the seat of government to Lincoln, Nebraska. Even if they can ever dislodge him, that house is so permeated with corruption, they'll never get it out of the rafters.

[It's a joke. I sincerely hope it's a joke. If I believed in a listener, I would pray that it's a joke.]
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on February 19th, 2020, 10:45 am 

Serpent » February 18th, 2020, 7:31 pm wrote:They might as well move the seat of government to Lincoln, Nebraska.


I lived there for 20 years. A well-educated populace in a city with four college campuses and distinctly to the left of the rest of the state. But I get your point. As Moss said, in re the twit tweet: wow.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on February 19th, 2020, 1:15 pm 

Not only the right size, already a capital - so has administrative infrastructure - has lots of potential camping for the protesters, who have less distance to travel to the geographic center of the contiguous states. Plus, it won't be washed away by a tsunami... though it might be swept away by a tornado.
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Federal officers using unmarked vehicles to detain protester

Postby Sisyphus on July 17th, 2020, 6:17 pm 

Federal officers, clad in unmarked military fatigues and driving unmarked vans, have reportedly been abruptly grabbing and detaining protesters in Portland, Ore., as the tension between the forces sent to protect federal property and demonstrators continues.

Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watc ... testers-in
govbrowntweet.JPG
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on July 19th, 2020, 12:32 pm 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is refusing to publicly commit to accepting the results of the upcoming White House election, recalling a similar threat he made weeks before the 2016 vote, as he scoffs at polls showing him lagging behind Democrat Joe Biden. Trump says it’s too early to make such an ironclad guarantee.

“I have to see. Look ... I have to see,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace during a wide-ranging interview on ”Fox News Sunday.” “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.” The Biden campaign responded: “The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”


https://apnews.com/aa07c0a980b3353b15f94442eb8191a5

Nice smackdown from Biden - I hope that's still true.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on July 19th, 2020, 1:41 pm 

My fervent hope is for a personal meltdown before the public showdown. That way, his own people can remove him and save some tiny fragments of... something. Too late for their faces and decades late for anything like dignity - still, they might salvage a tattered political identity. If they keep backing up, they'll be reduced to a choice between flight - individually, in all direction - and supporting him in a bid for dictatorship.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on July 21st, 2020, 9:19 am 

re: Trump's secret police force.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/20/opin ... e=Homepage

“It doesn’t surprise me that Donald Trump picked C.B.P. to be the ones to go over to Portland and do this,” Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas, told me. “It has been a very problematic agency in terms of respecting human rights and in terms of respecting the law.”

It is true that C.B.P. is not an extragovernmental militia, and so might not fit precisely into Snyder’s “On Tyranny” schema. But when I spoke to Snyder on Monday, he suggested the distinction isn’t that significant. “The state is allowed to use force, but the state is allowed to use force according to rules,” he said. These agents, operating outside their normal roles, are by all appearances behaving lawlessly.

Snyder pointed out that the history of autocracy offers several examples of border agents being used against regime enemies.

“This is a classic way that violence happens in authoritarian regimes, whether it’s Franco’s Spain or whether it’s the Russian Empire,” said Snyder. “The people who are getting used to committing violence on the border are then brought in to commit violence against people in the interior.”

Castro worries that since the agents are unidentified, far-right groups could easily masquerade as them to go after their enemies on the left. “It becomes more likely the more that this tactic is used,” he said. “I think it’s unconstitutional and dangerous and heading towards fascism.”
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby toucana on July 21st, 2020, 10:03 am 

President Trump is now apparently threatening to send federal 'troops' into other Democrat run cities including Chicago and New York.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/21/first-thing-trump-plans-to-send-federal-troops-into-democratic-cities

President Trump might be well advised to bear in mind some words of wisdom on this subject uttered by Humphrey Bogart in the film classic Casablanca (1942).



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq0Nbr_WY1s
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Sisyphus on July 21st, 2020, 10:53 am 

Senate Republicans are preparing to offer a five-year shield from coronavirus lawsuits as part of a forthcoming relief proposal.

The proposal would be retroactive from December 2019 through 2024, or the end of an emergency declaration issued by the Department of Health and Human Services if that is later, according to a draft summary obtained by The Hill.

Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/507 ... s-lawsuits
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on July 21st, 2020, 11:07 am 

It was 'emerging' even before he got elected.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby hyksos on July 24th, 2020, 2:23 pm 

The president of the United States is calling federal military troops to remove protestors from certain areas of the country. (Lets cut to the chase) the president is sicking the federal military on the citizenry of the United States. I turn on NPR radio, and they are interviewing academics who are speaking extensively about how authoritarian dictatorships can emerge out of a democracy, with all the requisite "warnings from history".

I would love to tell you that I'm posting the above words out of a sense of facetious partisanship... or that I'm using hyperbole for emotional impact on the reader. Unfortunately, no. I'm not.

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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on July 24th, 2020, 4:16 pm 

His precious 'numbers' are down and he's growing desperate. He's tried to make a military confrontation out of protests at the beginning, but the armed forces wouldn't play. He found a force that will. (Every dictator, even the most inept, always does find his willing executioners.) If these thugs can intensify and expand confrontations with the citizenry, the local law enforcement will have to take sides - with lots and lots of guns on both sides. At some point of escalation (if running true to form, prematurely), he'll declare martial law as an excuse to cancel the election. He's already telegraphed that intention.
At some point, US troops, from the top brass to the greenest recruit, will have to choose between serving the government against the people and defending the people from the government.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby curiosity on July 24th, 2020, 7:09 pm 

I find it difficult to believe that Trump is allowed to selectively deploy his Sturmabteilung against the citizens of states that don't support him. Is there nothing in the US constitution that forbids this?
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on July 24th, 2020, 11:29 pm 

curiosity » July 24th, 2020, 6:09 pm wrote:I find it difficult to believe that Trump is allowed to selectively deploy his Sturmabteilung against the citizens of states that don't support him. Is there nothing in the US constitution that forbids this?

There probably is plenty - I haven't read the entire thing. Unfortunately, that fatally flawed, but fundamentally noble document is imprisoned under glass in the National Archives museum, in no position to enforce its amendments; it depends on the legal apparatus to do that. This is when it will find out who its friends are.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on August 9th, 2020, 5:23 pm 

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/09/white- ... b_partner/


The newspaper quoted a "senior administration official involved in the pandemic response."

"Everyone is busy trying to create a Potemkin village for him every day. You're not supposed to see this behavior in liberal democracies that are founded on principles of rule of law. Everyone bends over backwards to create this Potemkin village for him and for his inner circle," the official explained.

The newspaper flushed out who makes up that inner circle....


(discusses an in-depth report in the Washington Post which details how WH staff shield Trump from negative press and any statistics that will reveal less than successful outcomes)
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 9th, 2020, 5:42 pm 

Apparently it's Trump's dream to have his face on Mount Rushmore...
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 9th, 2020, 11:20 pm 

Of course it is. Also, a pyramid might be nice. But first, an inauguration day parade, with bands, tanks, missiles and biddable majorettes....
Most dictators and would-be dictators are dangerous. Megalomaniacs and narcissists are alarming. A narcissistic megalomaniac with the emotional maturity of a two-year-old and the intellect of a barracuda is right off any previous threat-level index. He has - literally - no boundaries.
I assume the current plan is to block and delay mail-in voting where- and when- and how-ever possible; count in-person votes immediately, declare victory before the mail-in ones are counted... which will never get finished.
Maybe there is a counter-plan to deal with that predictable ploy - though I'm not betting heavily on the electoral system to work in those conditions.
Alternatively, the October surprise may be something inspired by House of Cards - the Netflix version.
I'm seriously worried about that scenario.
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