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Dictator-in-Chief: How Absolute Power Corrupted the Presidency

John & Nisha Whitehead

“He says, ‘You’re not going to be a dictator, are you?’ I said: ‘No, no, no, other than day one. We’re closing the border, and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator.’”
Donald Trump to Sean Hannity on being asked if he would abuse power after being re-elected

Once a dictator, always a dictator.

Power-hungry, lawless and steadfast in its pursuit of authoritarian powers, the government does not voluntarily relinquish those powers once it acquires, uses and inevitably abuses them.

Likewise, any presidential candidate who promises to be a dictator on day one, if elected, will be a dictator-in-chief for life.

Then again, the president is already a dictator with permanent powers: imperial, unaccountable and unconstitutional thanks to a relatively obscure directive (National Security Presidential Directive 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20), part of the country’s Continuity of Government (COG) plan, which gives unchecked executive, legislative and judicial power to the president in the event of a “national emergency.”

That national emergency can take any form, can be manipulated for any purpose and can be used to justify any end goal—all on the say so of the president.

It doesn’t even matter what the nature of the crisis might be—civil unrest, the national emergencies, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters”—as long as it allows the government to justify all manner of government tyranny in the name of so-called national security.

The country would then be subjected to martial law by default, and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would be suspended.

For all intents and purposes, the Constitution has long been suspended, and we’ve been operating in a state of martial law for some time now.

The emergency powers that we know about which presidents might claim during such states of emergency are vast, ranging from imposing martial law and suspending habeas corpus to shutting down all forms of communications, including implementing an internet kill switch, and restricting travel.

Yet according to documents obtained by the Brennan Center, there may be many more secret powers that presidents may institute in times of so-called crisis without oversight from Congress, the courts, or the public.

Deploying the same strategy it used with 9/11 to acquire greater powers under the USA Patriot Act, the police state—a.k.a. the shadow government, a.k.a. the Deep State—has been planning and preparing for such crises for years now, quietly assembling a wish list of presidential lockdown powers that could be trotted out and approved at a moment’s notice.

Indeed, President Trump’s administration even asked Congress to allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution whenever it deems it necessary during the COVID-19 crisis and “other” emergencies. The Department of Justice (DOJ) went so far as to quietly trot out and test a long laundry list of terrifying powers that override the Constitution.

We’re talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level): the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease,” reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die.

Bear in mind that the powers the government officially asked Congress to recognize and authorize barely scratch the surface of the far-reaching powers the government has already unilaterally claimed for itself.

Unofficially, the police state with the president at its helm has been riding roughshod over the rule of law for years now without any pretense of being reined in or restricted in its power grabs by Congress, the courts or the citizenry.

Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents have claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill.

The powers amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whoever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability.

As law professor William P. Marshall explains:

every extraordinary use of power by one President expands the availability of executive branch power for use by future Presidents.”

Moreover, it doesn’t even matter whether other presidents have chosen not to take advantage of any particular power, because “it is a President’s action in using power, rather than forsaking its use, that has the precedential significance.”

In other words, each successive president continues to add to his office’s list of extraordinary orders and directives, expanding the reach and power of the presidency and granting him- or herself near dictatorial powers.

All of the imperial powers amassed by past presidents—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to operate a shadow government, and to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—were passed from Clinton to Bush to Obama to Trump to Biden and will be passed along to the next president.

These presidential powers—acquired through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements and which can be activated by any sitting president—enable past, president and future presidents to operate above the law and beyond the reach of the Constitution.

These are the powers that continue to be passed along to each successive heir to the Oval Office, the Constitution be damned.

The war on disinformation, the war on electoral corruption, the war on COVID-19, the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration: all of these countermeasures have become weapons of compliance and control in the police state’s hands.

This is what you might call a stealthy, creeping, silent, slow-motion coup d’état.

We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long—sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs—that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but “we the people” are paying the price for it now.

We are paying the price every day that we allow the government to continue to wage its war on the American People, a war that is being fought on many fronts: with bullets and tasers, with surveillance cameras and license readers, with intimidation and propaganda, with court rulings and legislation, with the collusion of every bureaucrat who dances to the tune of corporate handouts while on the government’s payroll, and most effectively of all, with the complicity of the American people, who continue to allow themselves to be easily manipulated by their politics, distracted by their pastimes, and acclimated to a world in which government corruption is the norm.

If we continue down this road, there can be no surprise about what awaits us at the end.

After all, it is a tale that has been told time and again throughout history about how easy it is for freedom to fall and tyranny to rise.

What we desperately need is a concerted, collective commitment to the Constitution’s principles of limited government, a system of checks and balances, and a recognition that they—the president, Congress, the courts, the military, the police, the technocrats and plutocrats and bureaucrats—answer to and are accountable to “we the people.”

Start locally—in your own communities, in your schools, at your city council meetings, in newspaper editorials, at protests—by pushing back against laws that are unjust, police departments that overreach, politicians that don’t listen to their constituents, and a system of government that grows more tyrannical by the day.

We must recalibrate the balance of power.

Congress must also put an end to the use of presidential executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements as a means of getting around Congress and the courts.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely—no matter which party holds office.

The process of unseating a dictator and limiting the powers of the presidency is far from simple but at a minimum, it must start with “we the people.”

Make the government play by the rules of the Constitution.

Originally published by the Rutherford Institute
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected]. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.

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Raoullo
Raoullo
Dec 22, 2023 5:59 AM

Well, the Whitehead are truly wonderful, patient and civil pundits. They enunciate in no uncertain terms what’s at stake. It is however quite perplexing to hear their solutuon: they demand that folks must start to push back locally, against laws, police, politicians, etc. People must “make the government play by the rules of the Constitution,” etc.

Imagine ordinary middle-class Americans doing just what they propose! They’d have to sit in council meetings, be in the street and on the barricades 24/7! It’s not even clear this would have any disirable effect!

The harsh and sad truth, is that none of what the authors propose would have any significant impact! What then? Well, the fact that the real solutions can’t really be said in polite society tells you how far down the toilet things have descended. The ‘real’ solutions couldn’t even be written on this platform without encountering a barrage of downvotes and potentially being red-flagged by some nebulous ‘authorities.’

Junious Ricardo Stanton
Junious Ricardo Stanton
Dec 20, 2023 3:50 AM

Most Americans are too distracted, too comatose/somnambulant, too divided and polarized and too cowardly to even begin to come together to “fight the powers that be”. So the patterns the writer discusses will continue apace until we wake up and decide to do something about it.

Ron Marr
Ron Marr
Dec 20, 2023 12:09 AM

The pope’s inquisition continues from religion to medical. His Jesuit Biden opening the border, food storage and manufacturing burnt down all over USA and giving the nation over to the WHO is all inline for the medical inquisition. Trump is just another of the pope’s soldiers.BUT, any time we decide to reconnect to our source and reclaim our power they won’t stand a chance, for together we form the human spirit the most powerful force on earth.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 19, 2023 6:41 AM

Well what is the BBC trying to tell us today?

Esther Rantzen backs assisted suicide.

More people advised NOT to drink this Christmas.

NHS dentistry gone for good.

Various disasters and “wars” reported with gleefully detailed carnage.

Yes indeed. “It’s all over now! Goodbye!”

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
Dec 19, 2023 2:11 PM
Reply to  George Mc

You missed fingerprints and facial recognition to visit EU.

niko
niko
Dec 19, 2023 6:17 AM

The Great Dictator:

comment image

NickM
NickM
Dec 19, 2023 7:07 AM
Reply to  niko

Catches his childishness perfectly.

Lizzyh7
Lizzyh7
Dec 19, 2023 8:41 PM
Reply to  NickM

Catches his acting the part too. How else to put the fear of dictatorship into people who already essentially live in one.

May Hem
May Hem
Dec 20, 2023 1:22 AM
Reply to  NickM

I think he’s trying to look like Churchill – another idiot.

NickM
NickM
Dec 20, 2023 6:11 AM
Reply to  May Hem

They certainly share that truculent look.

Ort
Ort
Dec 20, 2023 7:13 PM
Reply to  May Hem

Yes, both men cultivated the “No More Mister Nice Guy” scowling “game face”. 😾

niko
niko
Dec 19, 2023 5:55 AM

Playing by the rules of the Constitution has been a very risky proposition, to put it mildly, for those unable to purchase their rights like the founding fathers, whose golden age that never was still haunts the halls of power for capital accumulation through dispossession. George Washington, wealthiest of the gang, given honor among thieves who stole revolution for the rich with their coup in Philadelphia, served as first chief executive of homeland empire marching in manifest destiny over all those sacrificed for ‘our’ great nation’s progress, to become the exceptional, indispensable Pox Amerikkkana it is, or was. By now, we the people are overdue for real revolution to constitute something better than the lethal legacy of rule we’ve been living under like livestock led to slaughter by noble lies in the land of the free.

Johnny
Johnny
Dec 19, 2023 3:23 AM

Gotta get the definitions right Folks.

They have zero power.
What they have is authority and force. Lots of it.

Power is neutral, non coercive and detached.
The sun has power. The waves have power. The wind has power.
Love IS power.
We, as individuals, have power over ourselves.

They exert force and authority in a vain attempt to feel powerful, but it drains them of any, and often all the Love in their rapidly ageing bodies.

They are husks of humans.

We should pity them, but they’re not worthy of our time.

CK_
CK_
Dec 19, 2023 2:40 AM

Not true at all. The president is and always has been a front-man and has very little power except for pardoning turkeys at Thanksgiving.

Antonym
Antonym
Dec 19, 2023 2:15 AM

Today’s prime example of a Dictator-in-Chief: Xi Jinping. Even prominent officials in his own regime disappear left right and center without plausible explanation. No to mention his total 5G enabled psychological suppression of ‘his’ serfs. The lure of a better material life is losing its shine fast too, due to Xi’s totalitarian capitalism wrecking Chinese economy.
No, there is no one pulling his strings anymore: the WEF has lost its Eastern outpost – Tianjing next to Bejing. The FEW are not happy. Can they still succeed in the US: I doubt it.

rlloyd3030
rlloyd3030
Dec 18, 2023 8:08 PM

dictatorship more likely under Biden (as demonstrated) than trump. Trump will spend his last four years as president (if elected) undoing the stupid things Biden did with the economy, military and border situations, among other bad things that Biden was responsible for.

susan mullen
susan mullen
Dec 19, 2023 4:04 AM
Reply to  rlloyd3030

Trump was powerless in his first 4 years, did the opposite of what he promised 2016 voters, w. exception of moving the embassy to Jerusalem. Why do you think the Establishment wants him to be the nominee? Because they have zero fear of him. The military? Please do some research. Pentagon ignored him for 4 years. In August 2017 congress removed all Russia matters from him, so the whole world knew he was powerless. Medvedev commented at the time that Trump was humiliated. Trump knew if he wanted to stay in politics he’d have to surrender to warmonger Lindsey Graham, which he did. The border? He was powerless there too. His occasional weak executive orders were held up in courts for years and in any case would be cancelled by next pres.

May Hem
May Hem
Dec 20, 2023 1:25 AM
Reply to  susan mullen

I agree. Anyone notice any drained swamps lately? Besides, Trump is a member of the club.

underground poet
underground poet
Dec 18, 2023 5:59 PM

A gvt big enough to give you everything you want,

is strong enough to take everything you have.

snafuman
snafuman
Dec 18, 2023 5:06 PM

Democracy – a tyranny of the majority
Dictatorship – a tyranny of one
Which is worse?
Upvote for Democracy (being worse), downvote for dictatorship

NickM
NickM
Dec 19, 2023 7:10 AM
Reply to  snafuman

“Democracy is the best form of bad government” — Plato, The Republic.

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
Dec 19, 2023 10:51 AM
Reply to  snafuman

A dictator can be toppled.

gordan
gordan
Dec 18, 2023 4:10 PM

we had to kill gaddaffi he was on his way to bengazi to rape and kill the new democracy that had bloomed.
we had to bomb them with depleted uranium pollute thew water aquifers for a million years
we had to destroy the village so the people would be free to move

as they said in the torah talmud new hollywood nazi movie when you save one jewish life you save the world

30 thousand gaza semites not so much

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Dec 18, 2023 7:09 PM
Reply to  gordan

Thats why 60 mio died in WWII because they tried to save 6 mio.

NickM
NickM
Dec 19, 2023 7:14 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Rubbish. Anglo Zio Capitalists started by arming Nazi Germany to invade Communist Russia. WW2 started when Hitler our treacherous attack dog, instead of attacking Russia turned around and used the arms we had given him to attack us instead.

gordan
gordan
Dec 19, 2023 10:37 PM
Reply to  NickM

hitlers brother lived in liverpool funny old shoah they run

NickM
NickM
Dec 18, 2023 4:05 PM

“Then again, the president [POTU$A] is already a dictator”.

I read that in a one-act play at school, and thought Shaw was being absurd. But now I find two real Yanks taking it seriously. As Shaw never tired of saying, Every jest is an earnest in the womb of Time.

Kaiser Wilhelm: “They call me the Allerhocht but what power have I as absolute monarch? If only Germany were a republic like America. Give the people voting papers, good long voting papers American style; and while the people are reading the voting papers the president can do what he likes.” — Bernard Shaw, The Inca of Perusalem.

Bloobock
Bloobock
Dec 18, 2023 3:40 PM

I think it’s a safe assumption that nobody who reads OffGuardian still thinks that western governments are democracies. Maybe they never were, but certainly they aren’t now. At best, they’re democracy pageants, in which the men of the society are required every few years to put on their prettiest dresses and strut along the catwalk as a public recitation of the democratic catechisms of their national cult; and the women are required to wear bald caps and long grey beards as they sit in sober reflection, weighing the relative merits (and the prettiness of the outfits) of candidates H. Hogan and R. R. Piper.

So what are the arguments for continued participation in the pageant? Are there any? I understand that a site like OffGuardian can’t recommend “anti-democratic practices” like election boycotts above-the-line and hope to stay in business, but the discussion can still be had below-the-line, at least for a little while longer. Our openly anti-democratic political structures have not yet disclaimed the antiquated notion that the power of government derives from the consent of the governed. For all our bitter grumblings, we willingly participate in the creation of the illusion of consent by voting, by talking about elections as if they’re real things and about politicians’ campaign season ideologies as if they were anything more than Halloween masks, worn for a day and then discarded because the candy won’t fit through the breathing holes.

What, exactly, would be lost if we sat out the elections entirely? It seems to me that if a fellow citizen believes in his heart that his ballot doesn’t count, he should be publicly shamed if and when he casts the ballot anyway. It is not a neutral act. There is no such thing as a protest vote; every ballot cast in a sham election — even a write-in ballot for a circus clown — is an abdication of that voter’s right to rebel against the sham result; and any willing surrender of a right is an act of cowardice, not of civic pride.

Why not let the Woke Left win every contest from now on? What difference would it make? Cowardice is the lowest vice; dignity the highest virtue. The Woke Left wants to be seen as a class of cowards, that’s their whole thing — to be seen cowering in public, on a catwalk, wearing a dress and a KN-95. And we’re tired of looking at them. So why not look away?

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Dec 18, 2023 3:15 PM

in the event of a “national emergency.”

There was a very genuine and grave national emergency. OffG reported on it (see examples below). It was an attempted colour revolution by the Globalist “invisible enemy” – the “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy”. In response, Trump declared himself to be a “wartime president”. And everything he did was constitutional!

https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/02/are-we-about-to-see-a-colour-revolution-in-the-united-states
Kit Knightly
Jun 2, 2020
Are we about to see a Colour Revolution in the United States?
The familiar tropes are out in force, Trump may not weather this storm.

https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/15/beware-the-hijacking-of-us-protests-into-a-color-revolution
Max Parry
Jun 15, 2020
Beware the hijacking of US protests into a ‘Color Revolution’

BTW: the following requires an understanding of the concept of “metaphor”!

President Trump says he is a ‘wartime president’ battling an ‘invisible enemy’ over coronavirus
The Telegraph
Mar 23, 2020
President Donald Trump has said that he feels like a “wartime President” as he leads the United States through the coronavirus pandemic. 
Speaking during his daily press conference, the US President thanked the American people and assured them that he and his team are doing everything they can to defeat “this horrible, invisible enemy”.

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Dec 18, 2023 7:56 PM

Haven’t heard much of Max Parry for the last few years…

susan mullen
susan mullen
Dec 19, 2023 3:27 AM

Deep State War Machine wants Trump again because they know he’s perfectly happy being a powerless puppet, had no problem selling out his 2016 voters to whom he promised normalization of relations w. Russia. He soon began bragging how scared Putin was of him, how he thinks US should bomb Moscow. Trump was ignored by Pentagon for 4 years, will always be powerless. He knew if he wanted to remain in politics he had to surrender to warmonger Lindsey Graham, which he has. Don’s “national emergency” actions during.2020 were merely his following orders from Davos. As the late Angelo Codevilla observed, the reason totalitarian lockdowns were accepted in the US is because they were ordered by a president elected as a Republican. The only people who would’ve refused lockdowns were Trump voters–and they were silenced. Democrats loved lockdowns. As someone said, if a Pres. Hillary had ordered lockdowns, they wd’ve ended in 2 wks because half the country wd’ve been free to protest. On 3/16/20 Trump publicly recommended that kids “stay home from school.” 100% of elected GOP backed Trump and the $2.2 trillion tax dollars he rushed out the door on 3/27/20 (w exception of Rep. Thomas Massie). The only people who’d object to being arrested for walking in the park were Trump voters–who had elected him in 2016 because they knew something like lockdowns was waiting for them, straining the gates, and they hoped he’d be the one person to protect them. Instead he sold them out.

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Dec 19, 2023 4:06 AM
Reply to  susan mullen

How’s the TDS doing?

https://abcnews.go.com/US/trump-seeks-rewrite-role-bolstering-ukraine-nato/story?id=83159716
February 28, 2022
“I hope everyone is able to remember that it was me, as President of the United States, that got delinquent NATO members to start paying their dues, which amounted to hundreds of billions of dollars,” Trump said in a statement. “Also, it was me that got Ukraine the very effective anti-tank busters (Javelins) when the previous Administration was sending blankets,” he said. “Let History so note!”

comment image

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/29/us-withdrawing-from-who-289799
Trump announces U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization
Alarmed health experts said the move will set back global efforts to fight the pandemic.
May 29, 2020
President Donald Trump on Friday said he would make good on his threat to withdraw from the World Health Organization – an unprecedented move that could undermine the global coronavirus response and make it more difficult to stamp out other disease threats.
Trump has criticized the United Nations health agency for failing to quickly sound the alarm when the novel virus emerged and accused it of helping China cover up the threat it posed. “Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe,” Trump said in a brief statement from the White House.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54797743
Nov 4, 2020
After a three-year delay, the US has become the first nation in the world to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. President Trump announced the move in June 2017, but UN regulations meant that his decision only takes effect today, the day after the US election.

Stitch that, Henry!

comment image

Germany Reacts to Trump’s UNGA Speech
Sep 25, 2018
Bloomberg Quicktake: Now
Watch the German delegation’s response at UNGA when Trump says “Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.”

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Dec 19, 2023 7:06 AM
Reply to  susan mullen

Trump imposed some international travel restrictions and issued national guidelines, but he didn’t order (i.e. compel) any lockdowns. Instead, it was delegated to state governors.

https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-donald-trump-ap-top-news-politics-united-states-c90b24e60a4853cebe96ec995b626f9b
April 2, 2020
Trump resists national shutdown, leaving it up to states
President Donald Trump is resisting calls to issue a national stay-at-home order . . . One by one, though, states are increasingly pushing shutdown orders of their own. Trump said Wednesday he wants to give governors’ “flexibility” on whether a stay-at-home policy is the best option for their constituents but acknowledged that he’s looking at limiting air and rail travel between hot spots within the United States.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2023/apr/03/jared-moskowitz/did-donald-trump-tell-governors-close-states-durin

Jared Moskowitz stated on March 26, 2023 in an interview on CNN: Former President Donald Trump “instructed all the governors to shut down” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asked for comment about Moskowitz’s statement, Trump spokesperson Steve Cheung said, “Trump gave governors the ability to choose the best decision for their states. Some chose to shut down small businesses, beaches and other establishments in Florida, while others chose to keep their state open.”

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Dec 19, 2023 3:47 PM
Reply to  susan mullen

Along with most of the US establishment, Lindsey Graham was offered a deal. That deal was offered by a military intelligence operation which “has it all”. In accepting that deal, Graham plays his scripted role and reads his lines.

Senator Lindsey Graham questions Brett Kavanaugh regarding Military vs Criminal Law (Starts at 24:00)

Wally Jasper
Wally Jasper
Dec 19, 2023 7:05 PM
Reply to  susan mullen

Deep State War Machine wants Trump again because they know he’s perfectly happy being a powerless puppet,”

However, the same is true of Biden, a powerless puppet if I ever saw one. Let’s face it, both Parties are utterly corrupt and held in thrall to the Pentagon/CIA/WEF/WHO Deep State, as are also the EU and UK, basically the whole Western world with their little mascot Israel doing their dirty work; but also the Eastern/Southern Bloc playing the same game. So many millions upon millions of people all over the world have been zombified and taken in by this global authoritarian insanity. So quibbling over Trump or Biden is a total waste of time. Just another distraction which the global cabal is happy to promote.

Freecus
Freecus
Dec 18, 2023 2:38 PM

I appreciate the sentiment of the article but the author needs to zoom-out and include more of the backstory that would describe the formation of the US corporation, the private central bank debt, and the bankruptcy of 1933.

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Dec 18, 2023 2:57 PM
Reply to  Freecus

Yeah – reality check – Trump is not an example of the POTUS run amok. The quote “dictator day 1” was more of an example of Trump’s provocative verbal style rather than any serious danger of dictatorship. (But as to “provocative” just note the question he was responding to.) When Trump was in office, he didn’t have control over the sections of the government he ostensibly was supposed to have control over, like the DHS, the FBI, the CIA and the military who all at times actively worked to undermine his presidency.

This dovetails with my question to Trump supporters: If Trump did not have control over the government when he was last in office, what makes you think he’ll have control should he get back in?

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Dec 18, 2023 3:19 PM
Reply to  Tom Larsen

Yes reality check. Why are the leftists so afraid of Trump getting ultimate power?
Perhaps its because Trump would do something about a rotten to the bottom Democratic Party.

Trump is not perfect but he actually tried to make peace with Russia and North Korea and tried to pull US troops home from Iraq. He refused to deal with a rotten MSM and be his own.

I have not seen anybody in the Congress supporting him in this, so why is Trump then being presented as the new Nero? I smell fish.

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Dec 18, 2023 6:37 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

RE: Why are the leftists so afraid of Trump getting ultimate power?

Since 2016 there has been an ongoing full-court fear campaign perpetrated by the MSM, Liberals and sections of the National Security State (specifically the CIA and DHS). Symptomatically, we know it as “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

susan mullen
susan mullen
Dec 19, 2023 4:19 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

“He actually tried?” “Trying” doesn’t count. He said to vote for him in 2016 because he was the one person strong enough to stop the bureaucracy and had no special interests. It turns out his “special interests” were the two biggest powers in the White House, his unelected daughter and his unelected son in law & Soros business partner whom he made de facto President. Insiders say the two ended the MAGA movement. Don made no attempt to stop the bureaucracy, didn’t lay a glove on it. Let Assange rot. The 2016 election was about his unconditional promise to build a wall on day one. If 2016 candidate Trump had once said, “I promise on day one to ask congress for permission to build a wall,” I’d never have listened to another word he said.

NickM
NickM
Dec 18, 2023 4:08 PM
Reply to  Tom Larsen

No he won’t. The last POTU$A to have any semblance of control over his job was FDR. That is why a cabal of Oligarchs plotted to kill him.

snafuman
snafuman
Dec 18, 2023 5:15 PM
Reply to  Tom Larsen

Hopefully he will have learned a few things. If he hires his son-in-law again, we will know that he didn’t. And I would guess that he will.
Doesn’t matter, because voting is so corrupt all that matters is who cheats better. And there is no question on that score.
“As long as the stock market keeps going up, who gives a shite…”, thats what a “progressive” friend of mine tells me. Works for him.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Dec 18, 2023 5:27 PM
Reply to  snafuman

“The Stock Market going up” is just an indication of inflation. Money’s easy to create and value is not so when you’ve got more and more money chasing roughly the same amount of value the price goes up.

Its the same with housing. Our house is worth four or five times what it cost us when we bought it 30 something years go. Has it actually got more valuable? Of course not, it the same ‘asset’ its always been. What’s happened is that money’s become more plentiful and so relatively less valuable. As a side effect wages haven’t gone up by the same multiple over that period so actually everyone’s worse off. (…and to put the boot in the tax people look at the increase in price as your good fortune and want a piece)

There’s such a thing as “knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing”. We all have to play the money game because we all have to eat but just remember its a game and most people, including your friend, a likely to be overall losers.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Dec 18, 2023 7:14 PM
Reply to  Martin Usher

Buy gold bullion and rest in peace.

Ort
Ort
Dec 18, 2023 9:00 PM
Reply to  Tom Larsen

I never admired or supported Trump, but FWIW in 2016 I nominally rooted for him– partly because I utterly despise Empress-in-Waiting Clinton, but also because I faintly hoped that he would be an iconoclastic “bull in the china shop” who might successfully elude and frustrate, if not drain, the swamp and make some needed improvements in policy and practice.

Back then, Trump seemed relatively free from the professional politician’s compulsion to Keep Up Appearances first and ask questions later. I also thought he might end up therapeutically rocking the boat, aka the “ship of state”, not because he was a skilled sailor or pilot, but because he would egotistically insist on keeping his hammy hand on the tiller.

I still faintly hope that he triumphs in 2024, purely to discomfit the TDS Resistance, perhaps reverse the ascent of vicious institutional lawfare, and at least provide some relief to the victims of the TDS-fueled “January 6th Insurrection” show trials. But I certainly don’t expect him to successfully “drain the swamp” this time around.

Anyway, my impression is that enthusiastic Trump supporters have a tidy (and unfalsifiable) answer to your question: they attribute Trump’s original failure to drain the swamp to virginal political/institutional naïveté. 

Thus, they rationalize that Trump, who knew the business community but not the quotidian workings of government, was tragically persuaded to hire treacherous reprobates and scoundrels in key administration positions. Once he was boxed in by these experienced fixers, he was effectively handcuffed and hamstrung to an extent that blocked, neutralized, and ultimately thwarted his righteous intention to implement massive housecleaning and reforms.

This would-be analysis or assessment naturally leads to the optimistic prediction that, having been thoroughly “schooled” by the adverse consequences of his innocent or ignorant naïveté, the sadder but wiser Trump is now tanned, rested, and ready to achieve the goals or “vision” he sets forth in his campaign rhetoric.

In short, hope springs eternal. 🤔

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Dec 18, 2023 9:52 PM
Reply to  Ort

Be that as it may, Trump’s advisors were not responsible for Hamilton 68, Russiagate, the Disinformation Industrial Complex, state sponsored censorship, etc,etc. I would argue that these “interventions to save democracy” by institutions like the CIA (who have no history beyond euphemism for supporting democracy) played a far more significant role than Trump’s advisors.

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/guide-understanding-hoax-century-thirteen-ways-looking-disinformation#censorship

peter mcloughlin
peter mcloughlin
Dec 18, 2023 1:32 PM

Power corrupts, it is also the motive for war. Yet as each empire comes and goes, the latest never sees the folly of the predecessors. Dictators do not see power for what it is – an illusion – a truth they can never accept. Power implies control of reality: but humans do not fully control reality, something the power-hungry cannot accept. It comes down to a simple syllogism: every empire/civilization eventually faces the war it is trying to avoid; everyone wants to avoid WW III; therefore,  nuclear Armageddon is the fate that awaits. Unless that logic is accepted nothing can change. Most of the world is deluded, thinking that the cataclysm will not come, and this author has been banned from a number of sites for preaching this warning. Off-Guardian readers can access my free ebook on the subject if interested by clicking on the link. Any help in spreading the message would be appreciated – thank you.
https://patternofhistory.wordpress.com/

Rob
Rob
Dec 18, 2023 12:46 PM

Checks and balances were the myth that always covered up for the fact that the wealthy always have ran this nation.
Executive orders are a scam to give more dictator powers to politicians.
https://attorneycox.substack.com/p/quarantine-lawsuit-summary?utm_source=%2Finbox&utm_medium=reader2