Donald Trump has dropped a number of very loud hints over the last two years that he doesn’t just want to be a leader–he wants to be a dictator.
Earlier this week, for instance, he declared that the biggest threat this country faces is–wait for it–fake news.
As ominous as that tweet sounded, it’s even more so when you consider that, according to Lesley Stahl, when Trump says “fake news,” it’s code for reports that dare to criticize him. Which means that when Trump declared the media to be “the enemy of the American people,” he was effectively saying that any newspaper or television station that criticizes him has set itself against the American people.
On Friday morning, we got even more evidence that Trump’s idea of leadership sounds an awful lot like dictatorship. He openly hoped that the American people would listen to him in the same way that the people of North Korea listen to their supreme leader, Kim Jong Un.
While watching his favorite morning show, “Fox & Friends,” Trump noticed that co-host Steve Doocy was live on the north lawn of the White House. Trump mulled whether he should drop by.
Ultimately he did. Watch the whole thing here. He wound up riffing on a number of topics–the Justice Department’s internal investigation into the handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, NFL players taking a knee, Russia hacking the election, among others.
But perhaps the most chilling comment came when Trump discussed his recent summit with Kim. For the umpteenth time, Trump went out of his way to praise Kim–or “Dear Respected,” as the North Koreans called him. He then wondered–why can’t Americans listen to him like North Koreans listen to Kim?
“He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
Trump later said that he was merely kidding, and wondered why the assembled reporters “don’t understand sarcasm.” Well, Mr. Trump, in light of the fact that we now know “fake news” is code for any reports that criticize you, you’ll have to pardon us if we find it hard to believe you.
Let’s review how Kim gets North Koreans to listen to him, shall we? According to a 2014 United Nations report, North Koreans are indoctrinated literally from the moment they come out of the womb to obey “Dear Respected”–a tradition passed on from his grandfather, “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung, and his father, “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-un. The intention is to weed out any sign of independent thought and instill absolute obedience to Kim.
The New York Times tried to remind Trump of this report before Trump flew to Singapore. Judging by this statement, as well as his earlier effusive praises of Kim, that warning went unheeded.
Here’s a news flash, Mr. Trump. In a democracy, we do not merely “sit up at attention” when our leaders speak. And if you expect that we’ll do so–especially in the manner of THE most brutal dictatorship in the world–you have another think coming.
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