A dire prediction of the Trump presidency, one that hopefully will not come true. But if he does as he promised, as history suggests, then he may repeat history.
They came to tentative power via a national election - and the people never got to vote again. They gained the support of honest, hard working people who were disgusted with the elite and crooked politicians – people who later watched helplessly as their countries were ruined in a totalitarian nightmare. Those good, hard working folks were ruined. All they hoped for was lost. Their children were conscripted and sent to wars.
Yes, Mussolini in Italy in 1924, and Hitler in Germany in 1933, both won elections in their nations on the promise that they would restore the good old days and get rid of the so-called corrupt elite.
In each case these new leaders did exactly what they said they would do before being elected. Hitler did what he promised and the process led his country into annihilation. If Donald Trump does what he promises, we can expect a police state that will export millions of Latinos and Muslims. We can expect laws restricting news reporting and free speech. We can expect opposition groups to be blamed for problems and face repercussions.
Donald Trump is not a Nazi, but he is a very real fascist. He believes in the strong man taking charge, making the correct changes and using any means needed to bring those changes to reality. He does not advocate genocide, but has no qualms about others using violence to punish deviants. Once in power, and his big programs fail to bring promised improvements, he will find new groups to blame for sabotaging them. And those groups will then be targeted: vigilante violence, police harassment, job loss, property vandalism, and eventual ruin. Yes, I think this is our America going forward.
Why? Because humans do not learn from the past. Establishment politicians from the left and right, once in power, become disconnected from the people and ignore the pain their policies cause. The people, in their disgust, throw out the established government and try to take their country back. The real cause of this backlash – and the source to be blamed - is our liberal and conservative elites who botch things so badly that the majority of people are willing to take a chance on anyone who promises a return to the good old days. It never works.
How could this have been avoided? What we needed were obvious improvements to democracy. I think it safe to say most Americans did not want Trump or Clinton. The Clinton machine denied us Bernie Sanders through a rotten Democratic Party. The Republican Party set itself up to allow a coup by Trump. They stopped the government, blocked judges, and did their best to cripple Bill Clinton, then Obama, and slowly became a party of nihilists. Trump made mincemeat of their lineup of Republican presidential candidates. Trump is no Republican. He is Trump. He used the party and now no longer needs it.
We may not ever have the chance to implement rank-choice-voting, which would allow voters to rank candidates by first, second or third choice. For years, establishment politicians have denied this fine tool for enabling democracy because Democrats and Republicans would have lost their power. Instead, in their efforts to hold tight to the reins, both parties have lost control and Trump, the outsider, is now in charge.
I am not optimistic about the future. Trump will want to be more than president. He will want to be the greatest president and his efforts to do so will remake our country into a police state. A military dictatorship. The FBI has won and will become the secret police invading all our lives in ways that would make Himmler envious.
Let us not blame Trump. He is just a rich loudmouth who gamed the corrupt American political system and won the big prize. Hitler and Mussolini were just crackpots who snookered the elites in their countries and gained power. Once in power, they moved fast to secure their power - and we can expect Trump to do the same - before all those who voted for him wake up to the horrible consequences of their angry choice.
Oh, and one more thing. Obama should never have so insulted and mocked Trump at that White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011. That started it all. Now Trump has his revenge.