Danger Will Robinson 2017 Tyranny Alert

I’m looking forward to a great 2017 however for the next few years it may be that the U.S has become a “no-fly zone” due to the election of a demagogue as incoming President. I am still in shock at this. Here are a few of the back ground research articles I have been thinking about over the summer break.

I agree with David Remick of the New Yorker who wrote last week in THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S FINAL WARNING ON THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

“The vain and bullying persona that Donald Trump projects online and in three dimensions is consistent: he is convinced that all that is required to restore the globe to a state of order and prosperity is his own good self. “The world was gloomy before I won—there was no hope,” he tweeted on the day after Christmas. “Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!” He is both the Prince of Peace and the savior of the Nasdaq index.
 
In the weeks since Election Day, Trump has also proved more than once that it is possible to deepen global anxiety armed with nothing more than a galling level of presumption and a Twitter account. Set off a new arms race with Moscow? A trade war with China? Whatever. Type for a few seconds, press “Tweet,” and the world trembles.”

 
I also agree with LEAH MCELRATH who wrote in Salon back in November not long after the U.S election that Why Donald Trump scares you so much — and why it matters. It’s not just you — we were born to fear predators, and Donald Trump fits the profile of a psychopath…

She writes about Trump.

“Being psychopathic is not technically a mental illness. Historically, what we consider to be a psychopath was not considered a form of mental insanity but rather a form of moral insanity. Psychopaths are people unconstrained by empathy or conscience.
 
Some people mistakenly equate the description of a person being a “sociopath” or having been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder with being a psychopath. Others mistakenly equate the description of a person being a “narcissist,” or meeting criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, with being a psychopath. Neither is correct. Rather, “psychopath” is a descriptive term used to identify a relatively small subset of people who manifest many traits found in other so-called Cluster B personality disorders, yet whose destructive impact on the world around them is often far more severe than that of others who meet diagnostic criteria for various character disorders.

 

“the Hare Checklist is the current gold standard for psychological testing to assess an individual’s degree of psychopathic tendencies. In short, if you were testing to see who fit the description as a human predator, you would use the Hare Checklist.”

 
She then makes the case for Trump fitting that checklist. As if all of these warning signs are not enough it also seems that the President Elect is also under some financial pressure and even if he was able to divest himself of business conflicts in a record short timetable it might not be enough since he has still not disclosed his tax status.

Frank Walton writes Is it possible Trump doesn’t divest because he can’t afford it?

He notes that Trump is almost certainly in trouble if forced to sell his complex real estate holdings as he owes huge sums to mortgage holders.

“The Office of Government Ethics, which is responsible for ensuring executive branch personnel don’t run afoul of conflict of interest laws, has been pressuring Trump to place his fortune in a blind trust, like virtually every president before him.”

 
In more recent days there is a developing new story about the OGE office being gutted by the Republicans so it is looking like any safeguards that were in place with the OGE might not be enough.

In GOP Backtracks After Elizabeth Warren Shames Them—and Trump—for Secretive Attempt to Scrap Independent Ethics Panel

“After a morning filled with outcry, Republicans have reportedly rescinded a proposal to strip power from the Office of Congressional Ethics. Although the outcry was near universal, it was a mild tweeted rebuke from Trump on the timing of the decision that appeared to cause the about-face. Let this be a lesson to Democrats that they should push back on every Republican overstep with the exact same volume and tenacity for the next four years.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticise House Republicans for voting, with no forewarning and behind closed doors, to weaken an independent ethics committee that investigates lawmaker misbehavior. “

 
ROBERT B. REICH wrote a couple of days ago about The 15 Warnings Signs of Impending Tyranny – I have reproduced the first 10 of these below but you should read them all and ponder. Is this the world we hoped for in 2017 and what can we do to make it a better place?

As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:

1.  Exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote.

2.  Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.

3.  Call anyone who opposes them “enemies.”

4.  Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.”

5.  Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements.

6.  Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.

7.  Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them.

8.  Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.

9.  Threaten mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

10. Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties.

 
You should read all 15 and be alert to these dangerous changes in the political ecosystem. Yes it is the U.S but the influence on the rest of the world is huge and we are not immune if we don’t live there.
P.S I wrote about some of this earlier last year How to counter a demagogue.