Friendly to dictators

47. He’s the would-be leader of an international authoritarian mob.

Over the past few years, authoritarian governments led by antidemocratic strongmen have sprung up in various countries. Détente in the Philippines, Erdogan in Turkey, Orbàn in Hungary, and Duda in Poland are among the most notorious, although there has been a significant shift toward authoritarian policies among the leaders of several other countries. During this time, several outright dictators, already in power, have maintained their iron grip. Most notable among these are Xi in China, Kim in North Korea, and Putin in Russia. With the exception of Xi, what do all of the above have in common? They’re all buddy-buddy with DT.

Why does he like dictators so much? One might reasonably assume, considering the accolades he heaps on them and the myriad power grabs he’s attempted at home over four years, that he wants to be one himself. Now maybe the partiality he has repeatedly displayed toward Putin is mere gratefulness for helping his ascent to the White House. Or perhaps Putin has hard evidence of DT’s own criminality and has threatened to expose him if he doesn’t play nice. But clearly, it’s partly just admiration. Putin is in complete control; anyone who poses a significant threat to his rule is simply eliminated. DT must wish he could have it so easy.

Rather than promoting America’s longstanding democratic ideals overseas, DT has cozied up to fascist thugs again and again, severely damaging the reputation of the U.S. in the eyes of the world and creating a sense of dread at home. This is the opposite of what a president should do, and it alone is sufficient reason to vote him out of office.

The irony is rich

It’s probably worth noting that of the two major U.S. parties, it was the Republicans who most consistently railed against Russian authoritarianism throughout the past century. If Clinton or Obama had shown the slightest willingness to accommodate Putin on anything, the GOP would have considered it outrageous. Funny how they go out of their way to defend this president when he crawls into bed with Vladimir, isn’t it?

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