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Hullabaloo


Thursday, June 14, 2018

 
Trump is an authoritarian. Full stop.

by digby



Addie Stan clarifies the historical moment for us by throwing a glass of ice cold water in our faces and telling us to wake the hell up:

In this image made from video released by KRT, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un shakes hands with President Donald Trump while his sister Kim Yo Jong, left, looks on during thte Singapore summit on June 12, 2018.

If there’s any lesson to be taken from the events of the past week, it’s that there’s a major geopolitical realignment taking place, thanks in part to President Donald Trump’s love of dictators—and likely helped along by whatever Russia’s strongman President Vladimir Putin is holding over Trump’s head.

Trump’s head-snapping behavior during and immediately following the G-7 summit in Canada is a big part of the story, as is his praise for North Korea’s despot boy king, Kim Jong-Un.

Putin—whose minions interfered in the 2016 presidential election to Trump’s benefit, and whose oligarchs apparently hold sway in Trump World—has long sought to crack the Western alliance of the European Union with the United States, a project that appears to be coming along nicely.

Note Trump’s praise for Italy’s new, anti-EU Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose anti-establishment Five Star Party has taken power in coalition with the country’s far-right League Party. On June 9, Trump shocked U.S. allies at the G-7 meeting of Western powers by calling for the readmission of Russia, despite its seizure of a chunk of Ukraine. Conte echoed Trump’s view in a tweet.

The president’s use of tariffs as a weapon against U.S. allies is no doubt part of his pro-Putin agenda, and understandably does not sit well with the allies so slapped. The G-7 whiplash executed by Trump, who first peevishly agreed to sign the consensus communiqué issued by parties to the summit and then tweeted his reversal after he left the meeting (what a coward), was assessed by pundits as a negative reaction to comments made by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who, in a press conference at the summit’s conclusion, called the U.S. tariffs “kind of insulting,” especially given the fact that they were implemented on the grounds of national security.

She takes people to task for shrugging at all this and merely noting that it's "barely registering". She says, and I agree, that it's important to keep sounding the alarm. I've felt that way since the day he was elected.

She concludes:

We’re in the grips of a shift in national identity, one in which democracy and adherence to human rights as stated national values (however flawed in their actual execution) are giving way to an acceptance of authoritarian rule. And we’re allowing our country to align itself against the democracies of the world at the hands of a president who is looking more and more every day like a traitor. A president who is helping to fuel the rise of the authoritarian right in Europe.

Just days after Trump walked away from the G-7 consensus statement with a slam at the prime minister of Canada, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was planning to “strengthen the northern border.”

And that announcement, you could say, “barely registered.”