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Trump the Tyrant?

Posted by / May 9, 2019

From nearly the beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump has been accused of autocracy. Now that 2020 is in spitting distance, his critics are growing worried that he is not going to give up his office should he lose the vote.

The New York Times recently published an opinion piece implicitly comparing Trump to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who abuses populism in order to stay in power. They do so through some clever rearranging of reality. Essentially, a populist like Trump convinces his followers that he truly represents the people. If he loses the election, then the election was rigged against him. If people believe that, then the election’s results don’t matter. He wins either way.

Several other recent events have lent credence to fears of tyranny. President Donald Trump has invoked his executive privilege in an effort to block the full and unredacted Mueller report from Congress. Additionally, Trump said that he and Putin talked about moving forward into a new era of cooperation. When reporters asked if Trump told Putin not to meddle in the 2020 election, he said they did not discuss that. Finally, Trump retweeted Jerry Falwell’s tweet, which read (in part): “Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”

Last week, Nancy Pelosi warned that Trump might not want to give up power in 2020; this tweet has fueled that fire.

What’s scarier, the White House revoked the Washington Post’s White House correspondent’s press pass, has ceased regularly press briefings, and is curtailing journalist access.

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