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A choice between Trump or democracy

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A choice between Trump or democracy

Dec 10, 2023 | 6:37 am ET
By James C. Nelson
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A choice between Trump or democracy
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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump stands on stage before delivering remarks during a campaign event on Nov. 11, 2023 in Claremont, New Hampshire. The defense is scheduled to start presenting its case on Monday in Trump's fraud case. (Photo by Scott Eisen | Getty Images)

Have you ever thanked God that you never lived Nazi Germany?  Well, don’t get off your knees just yet; you might still find out what that was like.

Donald J. Trump is straight out of fascism’s central casting: think Hitler (who Trump seeks to emulate and whose speeches he quotes), Jair Bolsonaro (whose legacy and tactics he endorses), Viktor Orbán (who he endorses and who is the darling of the reactionary GOP and Fox News) and Vladimir Putin (with whom Trump is bonded).

If elected, Trump intends to be America’s first dictator in the mold of the foregoing authoritarians or “strongmen.”

Trump (along with Steven Miller, and other lickspittles and sycophants) has openly proclaimed his plans for America if he’s elected President in 2024.  Indeed, his formal plans have names–Project 2025 and Agenda47—and come complete with a 920-page policy book from 400+ contributors, orchestrated by the right-wing Heritage Foundation.

Specifically, here’s a summary of what Trump has in store for us:

  • Hiring and training an army of 54,000 loyalists ready to hit the ground on Inauguration Day, to be appointed to government jobs and positions vacated when the civil service, administrative agencies, FBI, DOJ and intelligence agencies are purged of Trump’s enemies; 
  • Establishing concentration camps to hold aggressively rounded-up, unauthorized immigrants, pending their deportation by the “millions each year;”
  • Placing loyal military officers over social engineering and non-defense matters including climate change, critical race theory, and manufactured extremism;
  • Invoking the Insurrection Act, on Trump’s first day in office, and declaring martial law so as to use the military against political opponents and unrest and protests on election day;
  • Criminally prosecuting those designated by Trump for “retribution,” and “revenge” including President Biden and his family, Democrats, and former cabinet, staff, military officers, and public officials deemed “disloyal” when he was President;
  • Politicizing the federal civil service and undermining laws aimed at preventing corruption and cronyism;
  • Totally controlling federal agencies that presently operate with a great deal of independence, with all reporting directly to Trump;
  • Ending separation between the White House and the DOJ that prevents presidents from using prosecutions for political purposes;
  • Dehumanizing political opponents, by, for example, referring to them as thugs and “vermin;”
  • Gutting the justice system and firing career prosecutors;
  • Gutting the National Security and Intelligence apparatus;
  • Requiring local law enforcement agencies to use controversial stop-and-frisk practices;
  • Banning travel to and from Muslim countries; 

These plans have been openly and defiantly proclaimed by Trump.  Indeed, his vitriol and promises, coming from a candidate for the highest and most powerful office in the free world, are without precedent.

Trump, who gives all the appearances of being mentally deranged and paranoid, functions on the basis of only three premises: (1) Will it make me look good?; (2) Will I make money doing it?; and (3) Will it allow me to seek revenge and retribution on my enemies?

He has no concern for political norms or customs; he has no concern for the rule of law; and he has no concern for our country, its citizens, its institutions, its government or its constitution. He is a pathological liar. He promises be judge, jury and executioner; a law unto himself alone.  He promises to be America’s dictator-in-chief.

In the 2024 presidential election we will have two choices: Vote for democracy or vote for Trump.

If you vote for the latter, stay on your knees and practice your one-arm salute.

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