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Paul Hayden

Why Do Dems Think Trump is a “Threat to Democracy?”

June 10, 2024

The Democrats have made their over-arching strategy in this presidential election their claim that electing Donald Trump will threaten the very fiber of our “democracy.”  Putting aside for the moment the fact that the United States is a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC, not a democracy, what evidence do the Dems have that this would be the case? In particular, regarding the four years Trump served as president, what can the left present that supports their claim?  

The two items the left will point to, without fail, are the subjects of the two impeachments against him. First, Trump allegedly “abused power” by simply asking Ukraine to look into the Bidens’ alleged corrupt activities there. Second, and to them far more important, is that on January 6, 2021, he allegedly encouraged what became a riot (albeit at least semi-allowed by the guards who waved people through the barriers into the Capitol). This became the capstone of the Dems’ claim that Trump was trying to “overthrow” not only the results of the 2020 election but also the very government he’d sworn as president to uphold. However, since both impeachments went nowhere because the evidence to back the Dems’ claims was nonexistent, their overblown hyperbole on these topics should be seen for what it is – as Gen Schwartzkopf put it during Desert Storm, so much “bovine scatology.”

If anything, Trump went out of his way to ensure that he could NOT be accused of being a dictator. Exhibit A – the pandemic. Trump’s critics, especially those on the right, have had a field day accusing Trump of ceding management of the COVID crisis to Dr. “Science” Fauci and his accomplices Dr. Deborah Birx and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Trump also made sure he followed the spirit of the Constitution by allowing state governors to manage their responses to the pandemic with minimal federal interference (noting there’s a BIG difference between Trump criticizing what some blue-state governors were doing and actually trying to impose his will on them).

So, there must be something else driving the fears from the left that Trump would be a dictator, right?  Let’s see.

Trump has often expressed admiration for what he would call strong leaders. It just so happens that at least some of the leaders he professes admiration for are cold-blooded dictators. Why does Trump keep spouting off on this subject when he’s giving Dems the ammunition to continue the mantra that Trump’s re-election represents an “existential threat to democracy?” Is he doing a very poor job of trying to get across what he believes is a valid point?

In my opinion, the most charitable explanation, and certainly open to question, is that Trump just has an awkward way of expressing his admiration for strong national leaders. When he expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin, perhaps it would have been better to substitute Ronald Reagan, and maybe in retrospect that’s what he wished he’d said. As I said, the charitable explanation.

Another thought is that Trump is so frustrated with the left’s takeover of the cultural and political institutions in our country that he believes only a “strongman” can fix the situation. Unfortunately, he hasn’t really articulated this clearly as a reason why he likes strong leaders so much. But he did say at one point that he’s “the only one who can fix it.” 

Since Trump has either left us in the dark or said outrageous things about leadership styles (like his alleged claim that he’d suspend the Constitution if that’s what it takes to straighten our country out), the left has plenty of ammunition just from his words to pummel him about his supposed desire to be a dictator. And we know what true dictators have done historically – removing freedoms one by one until none remain. So, the Dems, for all their tendency to overreach and fearmonger, may have hit on a real hot-button issue here. After all, even as they’ve watched freedoms being taken away like the steady drip of a leaky faucet, Americans still value the freedoms that remain. How many voters will make the distinction that while the Dems screech about the threat of Trump to American freedoms, it’s the Democrat party that is primarily responsible for the freedoms we’ve lost and are still losing?  

In one of my previous articles about the many shortcomings of today’s Republicans, their failure to clearly articulate their policies and goals for the country is a major reason they are either misunderstood or simply dismissed. On the subject of who’s more likely to take away freedoms and who’s more likely to preserve them as we move into election season, they cannot afford to get their messaging wrong this time – especially including the presidential nominee. And unfortunately, he can speak from personal experience about his own freedom being threatened. Maybe that’s more relevant to what this election is really about.

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