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Is this Presidential? Trump Dictator, Autocrat, Fascist?




This is the fourth in a series, Is this Presidential? focusing on Trump's fascination with Dictators and fascist rhetoric.


Compare and contrast, Vote4Change has found no autocratic, dictatorial or fascist citations or references made by the Biden Administration, or by Joe Biden prior to becoming the 46th President.


Vote4Change is dedicated to providing relevant and accurate information to help Americans to cast informed votes that make a difference. Information provided in this blog contains hyperlinks to all media sources quoted.


Trump's vision of governance boils down to his core belief that “I have the right to do whatever I want as president” — the precise mindset of a dictator. [Steve Almond; WBUR]


Trump is a revenge candidate; like all demagogues, he tells his supporters whom to hate rather than what he’s going to do to improve their lives. He’s clearly trying to intimidate his enemies. But he’s mostly trying to rile up his conservative base, many of whom have been using this kind of fascistic language for years.


"I am your warrior, I am your justice,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Waco, TX, most of it focussed on attacking his critics. “For those who have been wronged and betrayed … I am your retribution."I will prevent World War III, which we’re heading into,” Trump said while painting a grim picture of America if he is not re-elected. [ROBERT DOWNEN AND WILLIAM MELHADO MARCH 25, 2023; The Texas Tribune]


2024 Campaign Trail Dictator Rhetoric


Dec 17, 2023 In Reno Nevada

 At another rally a day later, he said, “This is an invasion. This is like a military invasion. Drugs, criminals, gang members, and terrorists are pouring into our country at record levels. We’ve never seen anything like it. They’re taking over our cities.

It’s crazy, what’s going on. They’re ruining our country. And it’s true: They’re destroying the blood of our country. That’s what they’re doing. They’re destroying our country. They don’t like it when I said that. And I never read Mein Kampf. They said, “Oh, Hitler said that,” in a much different way.


In 2021 WSJ Michael Bender said Trump told John Kelly, his second of four White House chiefs of staff: “Hitler did a lot of good things.”


Independent: Ivana claims Trump kept Hitler quotes by bed in resurfaced interview

 

Elsewhere in the piece, Ms Brenner quoted Ivana as saying that a friend of Mr Trump’s “clicks his heels and says, ‘Heil Hitler,’ possibly as a family joke” whenever he visits him in his office.


Dec. 16, 2023, Trump speaks at a campaign rally Saturday in Durham, N.H.


Trump channeled several dictator's during this campaign stop....


Putin

“It shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy,” Trump quoted Putin saying in the speech. Trump added:“They’re all laughing at us.”


Previously in 2017 when facing his first impeachment Putin claimed the criminal cases against Trump were part of the persecution of a political rival for political reasons."


“As for the prosecution of Trump, for us what is happening in today’s conditions, in my opinion, is good because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others democracy,” Putin said at an economic forum in eastern Russia."


Viktor Orban

Trump compared himself to Orban calling him "highly respected", welcoming Orban's praise of Trump as "the man who can save the western world." Orban is known for gaining power by autocratically controlling the media, opposing immigration that was leading to mixed-race europeans, and changing their constitution.


Hitler

Trump repeated his own inflammatory language against undocumented immigrants, by accusing them of “poisoning the blood of our country” a phrase reminiscent of Hitler in his book “Mein Kampf,” telling the Germans to “care for the purity of their own blood” by eliminating Jews.

1990 Vanity Fair

When pressed on awkward topics—such as whether or not he regularly read Adolf Hitler’s speeches—he turns skittish and, perhaps, inventive.

 

Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist


Veteran's Day November 2023


Calling those on the other side of the aisle “vermin” and suggesting that they pose a greater threat to the United States than countries such as Russia, China or North Korea.


“We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections,”


 “They’ll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American Dream.


“The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within. Our threat is from within. Because if you have a capable, competent, smart, tough leader, Russia, China, North Korea, they’re not going to want to play with us.”



Oct 2023 Planning to use the Department of Justice to target his enemies


Washington Post reporters Isaac Arnsdorf, Josh Dawsey, and Devlin Barrett uncover potential 2nd term plans seeking retribution from former trump allies...


Donald Trump and his allies have begun mapping out specific plans for using the federal government to punish critics and opponents should he win a second term, with the former president naming individuals he wants to investigate or prosecute and his associates drafting plans to potentially invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office to allow him to deploy the military against civil demonstrations.


Former allies mentioned; former chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and former attorney general William P. Barr, as well as his ex-attorney Ty Cobb and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley


Oct 7, 2023

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the former president said: “These people are very aggressive: They drink, they have drugs, a lot of things happening.”


Oct 6, 2023

New Hampshire on Monday, Trump baselessly accused immigrants crossing the Mexican border of being involved in the recent attacks on Israel. “People [are] pouring into our country, and we have no idea from where they come,” he said.



"We will immediately stop all of the pillaging and theft. Very simply: If you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store," he said Friday during a speech to California Republicans.


"The word that they shoot you will get out within minutes and our nation, in one day, will be an entirely different place," Trump said Friday of shooting shoplifters. "There must be retribution for theft and destruction and the ruination of our country."


Trump called for the shooting of migrants to deter them from crossing the border.


September 22, 2023 Trump suggests execution Former Gen. Miley for treason

Mark Milley’s phone call to reassure China in the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021


Trump's statement on Truth Social came after an Atlantic piece profiling General Miley, Trump posted on Truth Social the Miley's call to China after the capitol insurrection on Jan 6th “an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH.” . This phone call was in fact authorized by the Trump .


Sept 2023

In Dubuque, Iowa, last month, he told his audience: “It’s the blood of our country; what they’re doing is destroying our country.” [Hitler]


June 2023 Campaign speech in Greensboro NC


“This is the final battle,” Trump said at a speech in June. “With you at my side we will demolish the deep state. We will expel the warmongers from our government. We will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists, we will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.”


This campaign statement is in reference to an executive order he put in place while "leaving" office in October. It is widely rumored that this will be part of his 2025 plan if re-elected.


Trump signed an executive order, “Creating Schedule F in the Excepted Service,” in October 2020, which established a new employment category for federal employees. It received wide media coverage for a short period, then was largely forgotten in the mayhem and aftermath of Jan. 6 — and quickly was rescinded by President Biden.



“In 2016, I declared I am your voice,” Trump said in a speech last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference and repeated at his first 2024 campaign rally in Waco, Tex., a few weeks later. “Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”


Questionable Authoritarian 2025 Plans


As president, Kelly said, Trump would often suggest prosecuting his political enemies, or at least having the FBI investigate them. Kelly said he would not pass along the requests to the Justice Department but would alert the White House Counsel’s Office. Usually, they would ignore the orders, he said, and wait for Trump to move on. In a second term, Trump’s aides could respond to such requests differently, he said.


Trump has told advisers that he is looking for lawyers who are loyal to him to serve in a second term — complaining about his White House Counsel’s Office unwillingness to go along with some of his ideas in his first term or help him in his bid to overturn his 2020 election defeat.


Increase the power of the West Wing

Trump 2025 plans on concentrating more power in the West Wing and selecting appointees who will carry out Trump’s demands.


Trump allies plan to increase Presidential authority over virtually every part of the federal government:

  • Placing independent agencies as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission under Trump's direct control.

  • Issue executive orders requiring agencies to submit actions to the White House for review.

  • President would be able refuse to spend money on programs Congress funds Trump does not like

Trump's 2025 advisors are also investigating levying more control over the Federal Reserve, as President Trump repeatedly applied undue pressure on Fed.



Trump plans to issue government apologies to Jan 6th rioters...“I mean full pardons with an apology to many,” he said last year.


He added in a CNN town hall this year that he is inclined to pardon a “large portion” of the hundreds of defendants, while exempting “a couple of them” who perhaps “got out of control.”


He even recently left open the possibility of pardoning members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence, who have been convicted of seditious conspiracy.


The pardons also link up with his planned investigations of all his critics.


  • Institute a controversial travel ban targeting majority-Muslim countries.

  • Halt all of the refugee settlements to the United States.

  • Proposing a “ideological screening” to root out people who, among other things, don’t like our religion.” (The United States has no official religion.)

  • He has promised the “largest deportation operation” in U.S. history. This would involve expanding the powers of National Guard and state officials to arrest and deport people — despite long-standing limits on the military conducting law enforcement activities.



Ezra Levin, a former congressional staffer and co-founder and co-executive director of the progressive grassroots movement Indivisible, said: “In that scenario you see the tools of the executive branch being used for retribution, for dismantling our democratic institutions as he is currently promising to do very publicly, but you also see rightwing Maga members of the House and the Senate controlling the legislature.


Dictator Rhetoric While in Office


Putin

July 2018 Helsinki

On Monday, Trump refused to support U.S. intelligence agencies in a press conference with President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland. The president said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that meddled in the 2016 presidential elections. The comments provoked outrage from both sides of the political spectrum. Russia’s interference in the election is well supported by evidence from the U.S. intelligence community.

 

After face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies and said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote.

 

TRUMP: Well, first of all, he said there was no collusion whatsoever. I guess he said he said as strongly as you can say it


Trump “bonded with Putin” over his scorn for journalists. She quoted their exchange in a tweet:

“Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it?” Trump said. “You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”

“We also have,” Putin answered, in English. “It’s the same.”

They then “shared a chuckle,” she reported.

 

At a news conference after the summit, President Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to the allegations of meddling in the elections.


"President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be," he replied.

US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.


Kim Jong Un


Mr Kelly reportedly pushed back against the idea immediately, according to Michael Bender’s book Frankly, We Did Win This Election (2021), telling his boss that no economic revival could justify the activities of the Third Reich.


More recently, Mr Trump was criticized for describing his enemies as “vermin” in another address in New Hampshire in November – comments that again carried fascist undertones.


June 15, 2018 Fox & Friends

His meeting with the Russian president came on the heels of Russia’s attempted assassination of a dissident on British soil using banned chemical weapons and the indictment of 12 Russians for 2016 election meddling. Instead of condemning these actions, Trump publicly sided with Putin over his own intelligence community.

Kim Jong-Un


February 2018

Trump becomes the first U.S. president to set foot in North Korea on June 30, 2019, with dictator Kim Jong Un at his side.


The moment marked the pair's third meeting, and was widely criticized by Democrats for glamorizing the dictator and not accomplishing denuclearization. It was later revealed that Trump and the authoritarian leader exchanged more than two-dozen letters during the president's tenure, complimenting each other's leadership styles. Days before the end of Trump's term in January 2021, however, Kim Jong Un declared the United States North Korea's "arch-enemy."


June 15, 2018

“[Kim Jong-Un] speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.” Fox & Friends


Feb 1, 2018

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Twitter


In the midst of Trump’s ongoing feud with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the president delivered a speech to the United Nations in September, where he first nicknamed Kim “Rocket Man,” in a reference to North Korea’s missile program.


He later modified the nickname to “Little Rocket Man” in tweets taking aim at Kim.

On nevertheless trying to strike up a friendship with Kim Jong-un

In November, Trump upped the stakes of his public feud with Kim Jong-un, calling the North Korean leader “short and fat” in a tweet.


November 11, 2017

“Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!” Twitter


Hitler

Mr Trump is alleged to have previously praised the Nazi leader during a presidential visit to Europe in 2018, telling his then-chief of staff John Kelly, according to a recent book, that Hitler “did a lot of good things” like dragging Germany out of economic turmoil in the 1930s.


Mussolini


"Mussolini was Mussolini...What difference does it make? It’s a very good quote; it’s a very interesting quote, and I know it. I saw it. And I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?"

Trump on why he retweeted a quote attributed (falsely, as it turned out) to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, "Meet the Press," Feb. 28, 2016.


Analysis: Trump Dialogue - Expert's Weigh in...



The threat from outside forces,” Mr. Trump said, “is far less sinister, dangerous and grave than the threat from within.”


This turn inward has sounded new alarms among experts on autocracy who have long worried about Mr. Trump’s praise for foreign dictators and disdain for democratic ideals. They said the former president’s increasingly intensive focus on perceived internal enemies was a hallmark of dangerous totalitarian leaders.


“There are echoes of fascist rhetoric, and they’re very precise,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor at New York University who studies fascism. “The overall strategy is an obvious one of dehumanizing people so that the public will not have as much of an outcry at the things that you want to do.

 

What Trump figured out – the autocrats that I study, like Orban in Hungry, Erdogan in Turkey and Bolsonaro in Brazil, they all do this – they operate in this space where no law actually prohibits, but soft norms govern. And because there is no law, it’s hard to hold them to account. That’s how democracies collapse,”



“The language is the language that dictators use to instill fear,” said Timothy Naftali, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. “When you dehumanize an opponent, you strip them of their constitutional rights to participate securely in a democracy because you’re saying they’re not human. That’s what dictators do.”


Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University, said in an email to The Washington Post that “calling people 'vermin’ was used effectively by Hitler and Mussolini to dehumanize people and encourage their followers to engage in violence.”


“Trump is also using projection: note that he mentions all kinds of authoritarians ‘communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left’ to set himself up as the deliverer of freedom,” Ben-Ghiat said. “Mussolini promised freedom to his people too and then declared dictatorship.”


Trump’s anti-immigrant onslaught sparks fresh alarm heading into 2024 Marianne LeVine and Meryl Kornfield Oct 12, 2023


“He appears to be taking pages from the Hitler Nazi playbook and using them in this production to divide Americans and engage in tribalism,” Garcia said. “And he’s succeeding to a certain extent.” Civil rights advocates and experts in extremism and immigration policy have compared Trump’s “poisoning the blood” remark to language used by Adolf Hitler in his book “Mein Kampf,” in which he told Germans to “care for the purity of their own blood” by eliminating Jews. [Washington Post Oct 12, 2023]



So we ask again..... Is this Presidential?


If votes are not casted for President Biden they could become "presidential" again.


This is the third in a series of articles covering topics to help remind Americans why Trump cannot get a second term. 


Topic’s Covered:

~ Trump Dictator, Autocrat, Fascist? [This Blog]

2024 Campaign Trail Rhetoric

Questionable Authoritarian 2025 Plans

Dictator rhetoric while in office

Analysis: Trump Dialogue - Experts weight in


Future Topics:~ Election Denial / Voting Regulations

~ Dictator / Fascist

~ Narcissism

~ Racism

~ White Supremist / Nationalists

~ Gun Control

~ View of Veterans

~ Military Use

~ Foreign Affairs /Policies

~ Climate Beliefs/Actions

~ Healthcare

~ COVID

~ Abortion & Reproductive Health

~ Women / Sexism

~ LGBTQ+ Rights position

~ Defamation of Others

~ Trump’s 2025 Campaign Agenda






 


 

 




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