The President-elect’s psychopathologies are well-known; his ignorance is on daily display. The Press has begun to criticize people nominated to occupy positions of influence. Columns are devoted to speculating about the limits of Trump’s susceptibility to psychological manipulation. Who will prove best able control Trump’s vindictiveness, venality, and vanity? Talk of political give and take is beside the point, if “politics” is no longer a matter of agendas, programs or policies. Here is how authoritarian rule will be established:
Rallies. Trump knows how to work an audience into a mob. He is addicted to adulation. He is a practiced demagog, who knows instinctively the tedious ritual that delivers mass hypnosis and hysteria. His mastery of crowds is the key to his power. He will demand and get more frequent and bigger rallies. As their size and fervency grows, so will Trump’s power to intimidate his party’s leaders. His first order of business will be to find a stage-manager for his spectacles. The second and more dangerous feature of his mobilization strategy will be his need to focus and direct the mob’s energy against selected scapegoats.
Suppression of the [Lame Stream] Media. Trump will start the process by intense attacks aimed at the already demonized press. He will refuse to hold press conferences, and rely instead upon the propagation of deceitful tweets. Once he consolidates a firmer grip on the judiciary, he will deliver on his threat to revise libel laws, and he will [ab]use his access to blackmail-worthy material (in the manner of J. Edgar Hoover) to limit and distort information about his administration.
Emergencies and Disorders. Trump will dine with relish on protest marches and organized resistance by sanctuary cities, or other forms of civil disobedience. Riots will be provoked in order to be suppressed. He will encourage his partisans to “meet” violence with more violence, until he can justify the imposition of martial law. He will demand and receive unquestioned loyalty, enforced by harsh policing methods. Suspected categories will find their ranks tested though massive deployment of the technical resources of Big Brother.
Subversive Conspiracies. The final phase of the forfeiture of our constitutional order will be a revival of the familiar phenomena of McCarthyism. Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, or Rudy Juliani– or all three of them– will be designated to lead “investigations” designed to delegitimize the defunded Planned Parenthood membership, as well as the ACLU, collective bargaining entities, and every other form of organized opposition.
You cannot deny you were forewarned, by history, and by sound prophecy!