Historian Heather Cox Richardson compared the current right wing to “southern Democratic leaders in 1860, when they knew they did not have the numbers to win the upcoming election fairly. They kept opponents from the polls, jiggered the mechanics of state elections, and warned white voters that, if Abraham Lincoln were elected, he and his dangerous radicals would destroy America. As their calls for violence escalated, they promised supporters that if it came to a fight, weak and frightened northerners would run away.”
DDT, the self-identified “law and order president,” told Fox’s Jeanne Pirro he believes in police shootings as retribution—the extrajudicial kind—when he talked about the police shooting death of Michael Reinoehl, a suspect in the killing of right-wing Aaron Danielson. With the Proud Boys who were attacking demonstrators in Portland with paintball guns, Danielson had been carrying a knife, according to Reinoehl. After police killed Reinoehl, witnesses stated he wasn’t holding a gun and that police in unmarked vehicles fired without announcing themselves. They said Reinoehl was walking in a parking lot, eating a gummy worm and carrying a cell phone. DDT called Reinoehl a “violent criminal” who engaged the officers in a “gunfight.” Like his praise for the 17-year-old killing demonstrators in Kenosha, DDT called their shootings “retribution.”
DDT assassinated Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the town hall, he said he wants more police force, presumably to cause more violence and deaths. He killed the Kurds to please the Turkish dictator and has no concern about the Yemen civilians who are dying because of his war. He bragged to Bob Woodward for the book Rage how he protected Mohammed bin Salman after the Saudi Crown Prince tortured, killed, and dismembered the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. He proposes to massacre people in the U.S. by encouraging deaths from COVID-19. DDT’s indifference to human life is in the news daily. And all to please his supporters.
Steven Levitsky, author of How Democracies Die, wrote about DDT’s support of white supremacist militias, “The public embrace of militias and paramilitaries is clearly recognizable authoritarian behavior.” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of a forthcoming book on authoritarian leaders Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, compared DDT’s behavior to Mussolini’s use to violence to destabilize violence in order to claim he is the person to stop the violence. Levitsky said:
“The only way you can avoid violence, and perhaps a constitutional crisis, is if the political leadership moves to de-escalate things and demobilize their bases. Trump is doing precisely the opposite of that.”Will DDT Kill Democracy? | Nel’s New Day