At last night’s CNN Republican Presidential Debate moderated by Jake Tapper, Donald J. Trump affirmed he likes to emulate “strength” even if it’s authoritarian in nature.
Below is the full exchange between Tapper and Trump:
Although Trump claims he doesn’t endorse authoritarianism, he downplayed the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre last night by calling it a “riot” stopped by a “strong” Chinese government and said he approved of the “strong” message contained in the Benito Mussolini quote he retweeted.
Trump’s flirtation with authoritarianism is nothing new. In a 1990 interview with Playboy Magazine, Trump suggested the Chinese government demonstrated the “power of strength” for quashing dissent from pro-freedom Chinese students on June 4th, 1989:
When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world–
Most recently, he thanked former KGB agent and current Russian president Vladimir Putin for complimenting him as “bright and talented without any doubt” back in December. And just last month, Trump suggested he would “open up our libel laws” to suppress speech and writings that are critical of him.
If this quasi-tyrannical behavior from Trump doesn’t scare you, it now should.
Why are people excusing the presumptive GOP frontrunner’s bully tactics and mercurial Jekyll-Hyde tendencies if they despise this behavior from the Left? They resent Obama’s divisive rhetoric and mean-spirited ways, but unapologetically stand by Trump no matter the discordant thoughts he utters or the disparaging insults he delivers.
Mr. Flexible pledges to “Make America Great Again” on the pretext of empty promises and building magical things. It doesn’t matter if Trump resorts to ad hominem attacks or if his staffer beats up a female reporter. In the eyes of his supporters, the thrice-married Mr. Trump is perfect. Dare to challenge Il Trumpo? You’re not loyal to this country!
We already saw this blind idol worship of presidential candidates during the 2008 campaign election cycle. Like Obama, Trump won’t save us or make this country better–only the American people can. If Trump isn’t stopped by someone like Ted Cruz, I’m afraid we’re doomed with either him or the Margaret Sanger-loving Alinskyite this November.
As I write this, today marks the 26th anniversary of my ancestral homeland, Lithuania, formally declaring its independence from the Soviet Union. It was the first occupied country in Eastern Europe to boldly stick it to the communists. The desire for freedom soon reverberated throughout the world–helping to usher in the USSR’s demise. It was a beautiful testament to freedom triumphing over evil. More than a quarter of a century later, sadly, the re-emergence of authoritarian ideas has creeped into American politics by way of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. Alas, it appears that many of our fellow Americans have not learned from history.
Don’t be bamboozled by Trump’s “strength” and tough talk. Authoritarianism–whether in the form of fascism, socialism, or Marxism–is antithetical to our way of life. If you hate authoritarianism from the Left, you should hate it from Trump too.