Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Will Trump Become Il Duce (Mussolini) or just Turkey's Erdogan

The question we need to ask is whether Trump will end up like Ill Duce (Mussolini) or Turkey's Erdogan?

Ruth Ben-Giat has studied fascism from her position as Professor of History and Italian studies at NYU. She recently outlined on CNN what you can expect from authoritarian individuals like Donald Trump.

1. Because he's the kind of leader who cultivates a special bond with some of his followers, he can be expected to adapt the presidency to fit his needs.

2. He sees the fact that he lies and acts aggressively towards the press as a good thing, something to be lauded. When he refused to let Jim Acosta of CNN ask a question, and said "fake news," he acted very proud of what he'd done. Because Erdogan has jailed thousands of journalists, he praised Trump for putting Jim Acosta "in his place." We have to hope that Trump will not move to criminalize the media.

3. Beginning with the judge who was to hear the Trump University case, Trump is not afraid to belittle members of the judiciary who get in his way. Judge Gonzalo Curiel will not be the last judge to face Trump's wrath. Faith in our judiciary is a prime component of the formula that has made America "really great" over more than 200 years.

If the Republicans let Trump turn America into a Banana Republic, America will no longer be the leader of the free world or the place to which people want to immigrate. Denigrating representative John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, means he doesn't understand the country he's supposed to run and the heroism it takes to preserve it. It will take all of us to stand up to his brazen lies in his attempts to weaken our democracy.

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