American Caesar

No this is not some random review of the book by William Manchester, American Caesar: Life of Douglas MacArthur….rather about what is happening in this country today.

This post is about Trump and his embracing the tenets of authoritarianism…..

Donald Trump was hardly the first U.S. president to voice his support for authoritarians. But while President Richard Nixon saw it as practical to have an alliance with Spain’s dictator Gen. Francisco Franco — arguing that at least El Generalísimo kept Soviet troops out of the streets of Madrid — he never praised Franco as a role model for the United States. Trump and his loyalists, in contrast, have openly praised far-right authoritarians like Hungary’s Victor Orbán, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.

This open admiration for authoritarianism among Trump supporters is the focus of articles by The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes and Vox’s Zack Beauchamp. Sykes, a Never Trump conservative, has stressed that one doesn’t have to be a liberal to believe in liberal democracy — and he warns that democracy is something that the MAGA right is outright contemptuous of.

“Something genuinely odd and disturbing is happening on the right,” Sykes observes in his column. “Ideas that would have been unthinkable just moments ago are now being normalized, and if anything, the drift toward authoritarianism seems to be accelerating. This includes the explicit embrace of the idea of an American dictator — an American Caesar. Literally and seriously.”

Sykes cites some specific examples of Trumpian authoritarianism. In Arizona, State Sen. Wendy Rogers, a far-right MAGA Republican, has advocated imprisoning the “entire Maricopa County Board of Supervisors” over a dispute about the 2020 election. And the pro-Trump publication American Greatness has praised Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar.

These symptoms have been simmering under the society for 40 years and all it took was the right loudmouth bozo to bring the division to a boil.

Reagan turned the fire up and each election raised the boiling point a little more….until the full boil came with the election of Donald the Orange.

Why is this happening?

Since aggression provokes fear, and fear promotes aggression, a dangerous feedback loop has been established, dividing the nation to such a degree that something like civil war seems imminent. It may be a “cold civil war,” but there will still be violence, destruction, and death. There will also be more gridlock in Washington, which makes any kind of progress impossible. It is hard to calculate the suffering that could have been avoided with a functional Congress, but we can be sure it is substantial. And if the division gets too severe, which is where we are headed, there will be a point of no return. Social chaos and economic collapse will follow, the United States will lose its status as a superpower, and life as we know it, will cease. If the pandemic showed us anything, it is that despite how advanced we are technologically, we are not protected from disaster, and our way of life can change overnight.

This nation is at a crossroads and our future depends on which direction we choose….right now the choice is not looking too promising.

Will we survive?

I say we can but it will take some hard decisions and difficult solutions and I do not think we are ready yet to make those choices.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


14 thoughts on “American Caesar

  1. Sometimes I feel like I am inside a pinball machine. Everything hitting me, spinning me around, bells ringing, lights flashing – all too much to concentrate on anything

  2. Before hostilities actually break out, maybe it is time to seriousy consider dividing the country again, perhaps along the lines of majority political parties in certain states. It would cause a huge uproar I’m sure, but better that than open warfare. It seems that Biden is unable to unify the country, and Harris even less so if she becomes president. The United States may well have run its course as a concept..
    Best wishes, Pete.

      1. But then you get a lot of slightly insane regional rulers. We’ve had that before in Europe. Just look once how our Bavarian Prime Minister behaves. As if Bavaria were identical to all of Germany. He did too many King Ludwig II celebrations. The latter is known to have drowned in the Königssee. 😉 xx Michael

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