Donald Trump was apparently quite hurt by a skit he watched on the late night comedy show Saturday Night Live, so did what he usually does when his feelings are hurt: fired off a tweet.
A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
Of course, this tweet is just another example of the lack of temperament Donald Trump has to be President of the United States. Saturday Night Live has been lampooning the President for some 40 plus years. Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama have all been made fun of by SNL. For the President to not be able to take that kind of treatment, much less speak out about it, suggests a temperament that is wholly unsuitable for the job he has. Aren’t there more important things for the President of the United States to be doing than complaining about Saturday Night Live?
That being said, the rest of Trump’s tweet portrays something much darker. In response to having his feelings hurt by Saturday Night Live, Donald Trump suggested that it should be illegal for Saturday Night Live to make fun of the President, and illegal for the press to report negative stories about him. This is, of course, a ridiculous suggestion. The United States Constitution protects both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press.
But, Donald Trump has shown over and over again that he does not particularly understand or believe in the United States Constitution. Donald Trump violated the Constitution when he appointed non-Senate confirmed Matthew Whitaker to be the Acting Attorney General. He has previously argued against Freedom of The Press, against Freedom from Religion, against Freedom of Speech, and against Due Process. He has violated the Constitution by enacting billions of dollars in new tariffs without the consent of Congress
What it all comes down to, though, is that Donald Trump just has never wanted to be President of the United States. Instead, Donald Trump has always wanted to be Dictator of the United States.
A “president” is someone who presides over a group of people. For an example of what that is really supposed to mean, one need look no further than the organization of the United States Senate. The United States Senate has a Presiding Officer: the Vice-President of the United States. Basically, the Vice-President of the United States is the President of the Senate.
Wait, you might say, that doesn’t sound correct, the Vice-President barely does anything in the Senate. The reason why that might not sound correct is because the actual job description of the President of the Senate has not changed much since it was created by the United States Constitution. However, the job description of the President of the United States has changed quite a bit due to what has been a constantly expanding executive branch of government. But, when it comes to creating the laws of the land, the power of the President of the United States still remain much the same as the power of the President of the Senate.
In both cases, neither are supposed to create the laws. That power is left to the Congress. In the Senate, the Vice-President’s function as President of the Senate is to preside over that group by casting the deciding vote, should it be needed. In much the same way, the President of the United States is supposed to preside over the Congress by either assenting to legislation they have already passed or deciding to vote against that legislation. That is the extent of the President’s constitutional responsibility with regards to legislation. Donald Trump does not understand this.
Donald Trump does not believe he should be hindered by either Congress or the Constitution. Donald Trump wants to be a dictator instead. He wants to tell the Congress what to do, and have them do it. He has made that clear since he assumed the Presidency. He has issued more executive orders than any President in the last 50 years. He has assisted Saudi Arabia in fighting a war against Yemen without congressional approval.
There is another former famous world leader who did not want to be constrained by a legislative branch of government, nor a constitution. That leader’s tactics and rhetoric have been not so subtly mirrored by Donald Trump. That leader’s name was Adolf Hitler.
When Adolf Hitler gained power in Germany, he did so at a time of fractured politics in Germany. No political party enjoyed majority support. There was a need for coalitions to be formed among different parties. Hitler took a political party that at the time had minority support, and, using rhetoric and ruthlessness, created a majority ruling coalition that he then used to disintegrate all competing parties, creating a one-party dictatorship, ruled by him. The means by which he did so have been well documented. Most famously, there was the Reichstag fire, which he blamed on the rival Communist Party, leading to a ruthless elimination of that rival party. There were also the Nazi Brownshirts, a paramilitary group who Hitler used to intimidate the other remaining politicians into voting to give him dictatorial powers through the Enabling Act of 1933.
Among the aims of the Enabling Act which gave dictatorial powers to Hitler are some themes that should sound familiar to those who have been paying attention to Donald Trump’s actions as President. They were the elimination of rival political parties, the elimination of the German Constitution as an institution that could override the policies instituted by Hitler, and the elimination of the need for legislative consent for any actions taken with regards to foreign treaties.
Sound familiar? It should. Donald Trump has repeatedly called for more Republicans to be elected, or for the Senate filibuster to be eliminated, so that laws can be passed without needing any Democratic party support. He has withdrawn from international agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Paris Climate Accord, and Iran Nuclear Agreement without a congressional vote.
Is it too alarmist to compare Donald Trump’s intentions to Adolf Hitler? Evidence suggests it might not be alarmist at all. Take for example, Donald Trump’s September 2018 speech at the United Nations, and compare it with a speech Adolf Hitler gave in 1937:
They both touted themselves as being responsible for a jobs renaissance:
Trump: “Jobless claims are at a 50-year low. African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment have all achieved their lowest levels ever recorded. We’ve added more than 4 million new jobs, including half a million manufacturing jobs.”
Hitler: “When I took over power there were more than 6,000,000 unemployed and the farmers seemed doomed to decay. Today you-must admit that I have fulfilled my promises. The Four-Year Plan will give permanent employment to those workmen who are now being released from the armament industry. It is significant for the gigantic economic development of our people that there is today a lack of trained workmen in many industries. There will be no strikes or lockouts in Germany, because every one has to serve the interests of the entire nation.”
They both decried the ability of international organizations to make sound decisions:
Trump: “America’s policy of principled realism means we will not be held hostage to old dogmas, discredited ideologies, and so-called experts who have been proven wrong over the years, time and time again. This is true not only in matters of peace, but in matters of prosperity.”
Hitler: “If it is to be the task of the League of Nations only to guarantee the existing state of the world and to safeguard it for all time, then we might as well entrust it also with the task of guarding the high tide and the low tide, or of regulating for the future the direction of the Gulf Stream. Its continued existence depends on the extent to which it is realized that necessary reforms which concern the relations of the nations must be considered and put into practice.”
They both portrayed their countries as victims of unfair trade:
Trump: “We believe that trade must be fair and reciprocal. The United States will not be taken advantage of any longer.”
Hitler: “I do not believe that there can be durable economic cooperation except on the basis of a new mutual exchange of goods.”
Trump: “We will no longer tolerate such abuse. We will not allow our workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated, and our wealth to be plundered and transferred. America will never apologize for protecting its citizens.”
Hitler: “Germany has an enormous number of people who do not only want to work but to eat. I cannot build the future of the German nation on the assurances of a foreign statesman or on any international help, but only on the real facts of production.”
They both tried to level charges of hypocrisy against international organizations that dared to criticize their human rights abuses:
Trump: “I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.”
Hitler: “Only a few months ago honorable British citizens felt they must make a protest to us for detaining in a concentration camp one of the most criminal subjects of Moscow. I do not know whether these honorable men have also protested against the slaying and burning of tens of thousands of men, women, and children in Spain.”
They both charged that international organizations are illegitimate:
Trump: “The United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority.”
Hitler: “The League of Nations has never been a real league of peoples.”
They both stated that international organizations were a danger to sovereignty and world peace:
Trump: “Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from other, new forms of coercion and domination.”
Hitler: “It is impossible to maintain peace so long as an international, irresponsible clique continues its agitation un-checked.”
They both complained of an invasion of people to their country that was being ignored by the international community:
Trump: “Illegal immigration funds criminal networks, ruthless gangs, and the flow of deadly drugs. Illegal immigration exploits vulnerable populations, hurts hardworking citizens, and has produced a vicious cycle of crime, violence, and poverty. Only by upholding national borders, destroying criminal gangs, can we break this cycle and establish a real foundation for prosperity.”
Hitler: “If Europe does not awaken to the danger of bolshevist infection, commerce will decrease in spite of all the good will of individual statesmen. Therefore I am not in a position to judge the economic future of Europe as optimistically as Mr. Eden apparently does. I rejoice at every increase of our foreign trade, but in view of the political situation I shall not regret anything that will guarantee to the German people their existence when other nations have perhaps become the victims of bolshevist infection.”
They both bristled at mutual defense treaties:
Trump: “And we expect other countries to pay their fair share for the cost of their defense.”
Hitler: “It is impossible to make one nation responsible for armaments or another responsible for armaments limitation.”
They both then claimed that they actually wanted to “reform” the international organizations they had excoriated:
Trump: “The United States is committed to making the United Nations more effective and accountable.”
Hitler: “The League of Nations, to be effective, must be reformed.”
They both expressed their nationalist agenda as a restoration and protection of their country’s sovereignty:
Trump: “We must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.”
Hitler: “German sovereignty and equality have been restored, and that Germany will never sign a treaty which is in any way incompatible with the honor of the nation and of the Government which represents it, or which otherwise is incompatible with Germany’s vital interests and therefore in the long run cannot be kept.”
Now, some may say that Trump is too stupid to be as dangerous as Hitler. Trump is indeed quite ignorant, and most likely also mentally ill. But genius is not a requirement for evil, especially if evil has help. Trump did not write his speech to the United Nations. Somebody helped him. Trump did not personally separate children of asylum seekers from their parents. Somebody helped him. Trump and his helpers have already removed the United States from international treaties and started an idiotic trade war with our allies. Trump and his helpers have already passed policies to discriminate against legal immigrants and to kick legal immigrants out of the military. What else do Trump and his helpers have planned?
It was 1937 when Hitler gave the speech that was referenced above. In the years that would follow, Hitler and his helpers started a World War that would cause the deaths of 60 million people and instituted a genocide that would kill 6 million Jews. Hopefully, Trump and his helpers have nothing that catastrophic planned. But, really, why wait to find out? Nobody dreamed of what was to come in 1937, either.
Donald Trump’s tweet about Saturday Night Live was not just a case of a temperamentally unfit President whining about something he doesn’t like. Donald Trump’s tweet about Saturday night live was yet another reminder of the dark desires of Donald Trump; desires that he has to rule the country as a dictator who is not beholden to the law, the legislature, or the Constitution; desires he shares with some of the most ruthless, dangerous dictators throughout history.