The irrationality of Donald Trump along with the disregard he has for humanity and reality is on full display. From a faux immigration crisis to the mishandling of trade to the encouragement of despots, he is a clear and present danger not only to the United States but the world.
Former President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s New York Times op-ed poses an essential question to Americans about Trump. Will we stop Trump before it’s too late? It is a valid question. So far Republicans continue to watch him decimate the tenets of their party with not a peep from those who are in control of the party.
The problem is as Trump is given a long leash he is given virtual freedom to do as he pleases, to become a dictator, the instantiation of a fascist.
Albright writes in her column,
Today, we are in a new era, testing whether the democratic banner can remain aloft amid terrorism, sectarian conflicts, vulnerable borders, rogue social media and the cynical schemes of ambitious men. The answer is not self-evident. We may be encouraged that most people in most countries still want to live freely and in peace, but there is no ignoring the storm clouds that have gathered. In fact, fascism — and the tendencies that lead toward fascism — pose a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II.
Warning signs include the relentless grab for more authority by governing parties in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey — all United States allies. The raw anger that feeds fascism is evident across the Atlantic in the growth of nativist movements opposed to the idea of a united Europe, including in Germany, where the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland has emerged as the principal opposition party. The danger of despotism is on display in the Russia of Vladimir Putin — invader of Ukraine, meddler in foreign democracies, accused political assassin, brazen liar and proud son of the K.G.B. Putin has just been re-elected to a new six-year term, while in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, a ruthless ideologue, is poised to triumph in sham balloting next month. In China, Xi Jinping has persuaded a docile National People’s Congress to lift the constitutional limit on his tenure in power.
Around the Mediterranean, the once bright promise of the Arab Spring has been betrayed by autocratic leaders, such as Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt (also just re-elected), who use security to justify the jailing of reporters and political opponents. Thanks to allies in Moscow and Tehran, the tyrant Bashar al-Assad retains his stranglehold over much of Syria. In Africa, the presidents who serve longest are often the most corrupt, multiplying the harm they inflict with each passing year. Meanwhile, the possibility that fascism will be accorded a fresh chance to strut around the world stage is enhanced by the volatile presidency of Donald Trump.
Albright goes on to point out that Trump’s attempts to marginalize every American democratic institution from the judiciary, to the media, and federal law enforcement agencies. He vilifies; the other’ whether based on religion, race, or culture. Trump undermines the democratic electoral process with his verifiable lies of an election he did not, outright win.
The former Secretary of State points out an important point that is true of all fascists.
His words are so often at odds with the truth that they can appear ignorant, yet are in fact calculated to exacerbate religious, social and racial divisions.
As bad, Trump condones torture and praises despots. His behavior gives carte blanche to the anti-democratic elements throughout the world. Trump’s irrational behavior with China, read trade war, his contempt for internationally designed treaties, read the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and his undecipherable stance on North Korea make the world an unstable, volatile place. The fear is that in Trump’s complete ignorance and lack of intellect he could unleash events he has no control over. There is not much time to arrest his ineptitude.
Albright closes on what we must consider a hopeful note. After all, we are still a democracy,
What is to be done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: “There’s nothing to be done.”
Greatness may be abstract, but we know it when we see it. Trump is not making America great again. He is distracting and destroying the country as he uses his office to pilfer us all. But November can be the time we change that. It is in our hands.