Former White House Counsel to disgraced President Richard Nixon is worried sick about what America will be like under Trump’s incoming presidential administration — literally. John Dean told The Atlantic that he’s literally had nightmares about a Trump presidency, saying, “I’m not somebody who remembers the details of dreams. I just know that they were so bad that I’d force myself awake and out of bed just to get away from them.”
Dean’s worry is birthed out of the fact that he’s not just looking at Trump as a concerned American.
Rather, he’s looking at Trump as a concerned American who also has an intimate perspective on what may be one of the most corrupt presidential administrations in American history — and he fears that the one about to begin may be worse. That, obviously, is saying something, since Richard Nixon, Dean’s former boss and the man he came to know so well was so corrupt that, facing impeachment, he became the only U.S. president to ever resign from the office.
Dean told The Atlantic:
‘The American presidency has never been at the whims of an authoritarian personality like Donald Trump. He is going to test our democracy as it has never been tested… I don’t think Richard Nixon even comes close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump.’
Indeed, the president-elect has made abundantly clear that he has absolutely no allegiances whatsoever to anything but what’s inside his mind. That’s why he feels free to comment that he doesn’t care whether or not he sparks a global nuclear arms race. That’s also why he feels no inhibitions about surrounding himself with as virulent a figure as is the white nationalist former Breitbart head Steve Bannon.
With Trump having long established that he’s not going to change the way he conducts his affairs after he officially becomes president in just a few days, there’s literally no telling what he’s going to do — and that’s easily terrifying.
As Dean told The Atlantic in a recent interview, he just doesn’t see the same kind of check on inner authoritarian tendencies that he saw in Nixon.
The former White House official said, “I used to have one-on-one conversations with [Nixon] where I’d see him checking his more authoritarian tendencies. He’d say, ‘This is something I can’t say out loud…’ or, ‘That is something the president can’t do.'” That “check,” however, is in Dean’s view simply conspicuously absent from Donald Trump’s behavior.
Dean’s concern is not based out of conjecture. Trump has made it well known that he’s not at all interested in putting aside any connections of his that could possibly be inroads for corruption into his presidential administration. Before winning the presidency, the flashpoint was that Trump would, under absolutely no circumstances, release his tax returns so that his financial connections could be probed. After the businessman won the presidency, it turned into that he won’t, under any circumstances, divest from the business connections of his that are known.
Featured Image via Kevin Dietsch-Pool/ Getty Images.