Donald Trump has never hidden his love for dictators. From that time he praised Saddam Hussein to the calls with Ergoden following Turkish government power consolidation to his bizarre obsession with Vladimir Putin.
Now news has come out that Trump has reached out to proud murderer and dictator, President Duterte of the Philippines, on Saturday. The New York Times reports that
the call was "very friendly" and that Trump invited Duterte to actually visit the White House! Duterte is a man who has been accused of ordering extrajudicial murders of drug suspects - yes, he kills people who haven't even been convicted of crimes. What could go wrong?
Well, apparently even the White House administration realizes how truly awful the optics are of this move. They are prepared for an insane amount of backlash if this visit actually happens, and this backlash would be absolutely deserved.
This news did not go over well. John Sifton, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said: “By essentially endorsing Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, Trump is now morally complicit in future killings. Although the traits of his personality likely make it impossible, Trump should be ashamed of himself.”
Robert Reich had an excellent check list of Trump's biggest hits when it comes to Tyrants:
Through history tyrants have befriended other tyrants, to their mutual advantage.
Trump’s recent record:
1. Yesterday Trump phoned President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, inviting him to visit the White House. Duterte is an authoritarian leader accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of thousands of people suspected of using or selling narcotics, as well as others who may have had no involvement with drugs. He has referred to President Barack Obama as a “son of a whore.” And he has declared open season on suspected terrorists, saying that if he were presented with a suspected terrorist, “give me salt and vinegar and I’ll eat his liver.”
2. Two weeks ago, Trump called to congratulate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for his victory in a much-disputed referendum, filled with voting irregularities, which expanded Erdogan’s powers and has put Turkey on the road to dictatorship.
3. Trump said the recent terrorist attack in Paris will help the right-wing extremist Marine Le Pen.
4. Trump has praised President Xi Jinping of China, although Xi has cracked down on dissent and emerged as the most powerful leader (dictator) China has had since Mao Zedong.
5. Trump played host at the White House to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who had not been granted an invitation since he seized power in a military coup nearly four years ago.
6. And don’t forget Trump’s vow during the presidential campaign to pursue a warmer relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. (The effort has faltered somewhat in light of questions about links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.)
The United States once advanced democracies against dictators. Under Trump, it’s doing the opposite.
What do you think?
When a man actively attacks the media, the judiciary and now the Constitution, aligns himself with murderers and tyrants, hates being forced to work with branches of government versus just ruling like a king...he wants to become an authoritarian. Will he cross over into actually becoming one or does our government have enough protections to keep our democracy safe?