*Donald Trump is trying push our country backwards. Not simply to a time when only society was setup for only a few groups of people would be successful; his candidacy is about taking western civilization back to a time when only certain groups of people could survive.
First Trump went with the tried and true method of vilifying an outside group. When Trump kicked off his campaign he made the issue of illegal immigration the only thing that mattered. And in doing so Trump turned every Mexican-American and Mexican immigrant into a criminal. Of course he famously “assumed some are here for good reasons” but that implies that most are in fact up to no good. Trump’s campaign slogan is “make America great again” and in scapegoating any and everyone of Mexican descent Trump is fostering an us against them mentality. This is nationalism 101. But when a dictator follows this tactic it becomes impossible to have anyone outside of your group seen as positive. This is why Trump has continuously expanded the vision on who is the problem. Muslims, and people of color have joined Mexicans as what’s wrong with America.
A second play that dictators often use is the idea that only they have the answer. This works much better when you are the head of a company (although I have questioned his business acumen) but not as well when trying to lead a country. Most people running for president allow for the fact that their plan for the future of the country is contingent on the knowledge of others. Trump makes no such allowances. Dictators cannot make such a concession because they want everyone to look to them only for solutions.
The last straw is the fact that Trump has repeatedly asserted that the election is rigged. There is no evidence to suggest that the results of the election will be anything but authentic. Dictators stay in power because the only elections that are valid are those they win. Any other election results get swept under the rug and the dictator uses military might to attain or retain power. During the third election Trump had the opportunity to speak to the American public and essentially say that he trusts them and their judgment. Instead Trump went in the other direction and doubled down on his corrupt election accusation.
Trump has behaved like a dictator in that he unnecessarily alienated multiple groups of people, he positioned himself as the only possible savior, and indicated that he would not accept an election result that doesn’t conclude with himself as the winner.
I never believed that Trump was a good candidate for president, but even if I did the fact that he is running as a dictator would make me think twice.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.