Every autocrat has 4 things in common:First, he starts out with tremendous support because he speaks to “the little guy”;
Second, he galvanizes his supporters around variations of hate and rage;
Third, he eventually undermines the foundations of the very society he leads;
Fourth, he becomes a tyrant when he takes away the rights and freedoms of his own citizens in order to consolidate his own power and authority.The founding fathers fully understood the threat of autocratic regimes, and approved a constitution which takes power away from an autocrat and puts it in the hands of elected officials. This has produced an experiment in “Democracy” which, while far from perfect, allows for a civil method to seek continuous improvement. It is an experiment which has endured for over 200 years and puts the onus on every American to continue.
Nowhere in the constitution is the mandate to “Make America great.” Instead America is great because the constitution enables it to be great.
The constitution specifies that elected leaders take an oath of office “.. to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”Trump has violated that oath of office by seeking help from the Ukraine to promote a debunked conspiracy theory that implicates the Bidens in helping to undermine the 2016 presidential elections. This is justifiably evidence of a high crime that is the basis of his impeachment.
But really this is the tip of the iceberg. The underlying threat Trump poses is that he does not understand the constitution nor his oath to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.Instead, by taking a queue from Fox News and other conservative outlets, Trump embraces the early stages of an autocrat: appealing to the “little guy” through inspiring but empty rhetoric, and galvanizing support by promoting variations of hate and rage .. against immigrants, the “liberal media”, and the radical left, to name a few.
The survival of our constitution and our nation depends on embracing the “enlightened self interest” that comes through electing people who truly understand what it means to “… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.
This is a hard task when it is much easier to embrace the simple self interest of hate, rage, and authoritarian rule. The benefits may work in the short run, but quickly end up sacrificing what truly makes America great.It is because of Trump’s ambition of becoming an autocrat that I support impeachment. Beyond his involvement with Ukraine, Trump has already started to undermine the foundations of our society by embracing corrupt and tyrannical governments while dissing stable Democracies, trashing and bad mouthing critical government bodies, and demonizing otherwise loyal Americans. And he is perfectly comfortable letting Russia influence our elections in his favor.
The sad irony of Trump is that, like any president, he could accomplish great things and be a great president through embracing his oath of office. But like many autocrats, his appeal is dissing that responsibility and instead portray himself as a figurehead above the constitution and the law.
Trump may or may not be removed from office. Regardless, the bigger challenge for America remains: how to address the ease at which good people can dismiss the true greatness of America in favor of embracing an autocrat.