There is a trend going on here in the US that is not something to be proud of…..I know we are according to the slogan “Making America Great Again”…..but the only thing that we are doing to our country is making it more authoritarian….
What does it feel like when a liberal democratic country turns the corner into authoritarianism?
America is changing. It isn’t always obvious and flagrant — like Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announcing that some opposition parties will not be allowed to take part in the country’s 2018 elections, or the Polish government changing the way the courts oversee the nation’s laws in order to advance the agenda of those currently in power. And neither are these changes necessarily all things that have happened only since President Trump’s election last year. Even if the authoritarian drift accelerated with Trump’s rise, it didn’t begin with him. He is its expression. We need to do everything we can to ensure he doesn’t end up being its culmination.
Doing that requires keeping our eyes open for and taking note of longer-term trends and signs of authoritarian drift that are sometimes difficult to detect.
What started off as a positive thing….the generals in the Trump cabinet would keep Trump on an even keel…..that has yet to materialize….if anything they are traveling the authoritarian road…..
An article yesterday at NBC focusing on Trump and “his” generals got me to thinking on this subject again. Its author, Suzanne Garment, suggests that Trump likes generals as obedient alpha males. They lend him credibility without directly threatening his delicate ego. And there’s truth in this.
But I want to focus on other reasons for Trump’s preference for generals in high positions. A year ago, I wrote an article for TomDispatch.com on “All the President’s Generals.” That article focused mainly on the potential impact of these generals on America’s foreign policy and domestic culture. As I wrote last December:
It is not looking good for the country…..the American people need to stay informed and stay alert……we have a country to lose.