The WØRD – “Dictatorship”

From the Chair

Donald Trump said it out loud: yes, he wants to be a dictator. (But he “promises” it would only be for a day.)

Michigan Democratic Party chair Lavora Barnes

This comes in the same week that one of the nation’s most conservative politicians, former Congresswoman Liz Cheney (Dick Cheney’s daughter!), said she had no doubt that if Trump is returned to the Oval Office he will not leave, and that he’s unfit to serve. She sees Trump moving in the direction of the dictators he calls “friend.” In their world, elections are meaningless: the results are pre-determined. It’s worked that way in Putin’s Russia, Xi’s China, Khomeini’s Iran and Erdogan’s Turkey.

Also in the last week: “The Atlantic” magazine has taken the unprecedented step of devoting its entire January/February issue to 24 essays on how a Trump-run anti-democracy government would change all of our lives. 

Trump has already told us a lot about his plans:

  • He would abolish freedom of the press, putting NBC and MSNBC on trial for treason; 
  • Demolish civil service and load up the federal government with pre-screened Trump worshipers;
  • Give lifetime federal court appointments to right-wing extremists pre-screened by the secretive Federalist Socity;
  • Repeal Obamacare, something we discussed in last week’s podcast;
  • Use the Justice Department and FBI against his political enemies; 
  • Use the military to shut down peaceful protests, just as he did in his first term when soldiers were brought in to end a peaceful D.C. demonstration;
  • And he would pardon many, if not all of the hundreds convicted for the January 6 insurrection including the leaders who were convicted of insurrection.

Imagine having someone like Rudy Guiliani as Attorney General and Sheriff David Clarke of Wisconsin running the FBI, both charged with investigating and jailing Trump’s political opponents beginning with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Adam Schiff. Imagine having General Michael Flynn, a convicted felon, as Secretary of Defense or head of Homeland Security.

The Trump agenda is being written by right-wing extremists now. The New York Times reported in July that “Trump and his allies are planning a sweeping expansion of presidential power over the machinery of government if voters return him to the White House in 2025, reshaping the structure of the executive branch to concentrate far greater authority directly in his hands.”

Trump’s blueprint for amassing power has been developed by a constellation of conservative organizations that surround him, led by the Heritage Foundation and its Project 2025. This plan would elevate personal fealty to Mr. Trump as the central value in government employment, processes and institutions. 

The dangers of Trump have motivated a core group of traditional Republicans to actively work against Trump and his band of MAGA candidates. We’re joined by one of those former Republicans who is now devoted to saving our democracy by reelecting Joe Biden and a Democratic congress: Jeff Timmer, onetime Executive Director of the Michigan Republican Party who is now a senior adviser to The Lincoln Project.

The Lincoln Project’s latest: “Feeble.”

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