Are Americans really OK with a dictator?

While we may not always agree on policy, the President of the United States is supposed to work for all Americans. However, if Donald Trump gets a second term in office, America may look far different from the country we all know.

For years I’ve listened to people say they like former President Trump because he says the things people have been scared to say for a long time. Many of my own family members have told me they like Trump because he’s the politician who most represents them. I’m not sure how a real estate tycoon has anything in common with rural blue-collar family farmers from Michigan, but to each their own.

Trump supporters may like what he says, but then backtrack when Trump says something controversial. “You can’t take everything at its word,” they’ll say.

So I’m curious as to what people think when Trump said that if re-elected, he will govern as a dictator “only on day one.” Only one day? Do we really think that’s the case?

The candidate for president who faces federal charges for trying to steal the 2020 election has praised world dictators, yet says he will only be a dictator for one day? This isn’t a cynical spin of a politician I don’t care for, it’s actually what the guy said.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not OK with the idea of a dictator running this country.

This election cycle isn’t the first time political candidates have been accused of being wood-be authoritarians or fascists. Rivals of both Richard Nixon and Barack Obama warned American voters about the dictatorial ambitions of these men, yet none of them ever spent months trying to overturn an election they lost.

So what’s so crazy to me is that we have Donald Trump willing to admit he’s happy to be a dictator here in American and people are just … OK with the idea?

I understand that supporters of Trump will say he’s joking, it’s just political rhetoric, that sure he will abuse the powers of the Constitution to get much-needed things done in this country but that’s OK. And if you believe that, do you really think he’ll stop after 24 hours? It’s three years after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and he’s still repeating conspiracy theories about that election, despite facing federal and state charges related to it.

Trump has said for months that the legal cases against him are a result of President Joe Biden going after him as a political opponent. Yet Trump has said he’d seek revenge on his own opponents if he takes office again. I mean, remember the whole “Lock her up” thing? Who else would he come after? Journalists? People who voted against him? Fellow politicians who won’t align with his policies? He’s said he admires Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un who have been known to lock up and even kill rivals, so asking where this dictatorship would end is a fair question.

I’m not sure why anyone paying attention would think saying you’d be a dictator was funny, even if he’s said it’s a joke. And what’s even crazier to me is that for many, the talk of being a dictator is actually an attraction.

If you’re a Trump supporter and still aren’t convinced the idea of a dictator isn’t a big deal, consider this: Imagine if President Biden said the same thing.

— Rachel Brougham is the former assistant editor of the Petoskey News-Review. You can email her at racheldbrougham@gmail.com.


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