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 This mafia style of government makes Trump a role model for all autocrats

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Join date : 2013-12-25

PostSubject: This mafia style of government makes Trump a role model for all autocrats   Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:37 am

The picture of Trump as president is now crystal clear. His instincts and methods are those of the autocrat. He respects no separation of powers, no zones of authority from which the constitution very deliberately excludes him and his office. He may be called Donald, but he wants to rule like a don.

The danger of all this to Americans is obvious. The US system of government, cherished and nurtured over two centuries, is being eroded by a president who tramples over every convention and custom that ensures its survival – and, crucially, by his Republican enablers in Congress who could stop him but won’t. (In a chorus, they supported his act of revenge against Brennan.)

Americans need to guard against an authoritarian impulse whose existence in their body politic is now demonstrably real. A survey this month found that 43% of Republicans were willing to give Trump the power to close down media organisations, while a separate poll a year ago found 52% would support “postponing” the 2020 election if Trump proposed it. Among all Americans, support for rule by the army – as opposed to elected politicians – is unusually high, with nearly one in five in favour.

But there is a threat here to the rest of us too. For Trump is forging a template for the 21st-century autocrat. Of course, there are already plenty of models to work from – Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Xi Jinping, Rodrigo Duterte – all of whom have received lavish, fawning praise from Trump. But an American president stands on a uniquely influential platform, observed the world over. Where once the US presidency offered an example of executive power restrained by the “co-equal” judicial and legislative branches, today Trump stands as an inspiration to every would-be strongman and abuser of authority, ready to bellow the line from his 2016 convention speech that could serve as a governing credo for tyrants everywhere: “I alone can fix this”.
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