In a video shared this week by the anti-Trump conservative group known as The Lincoln Project, the organization directly compared former President Donald Trump to some of the dictators throughout recent world history who have inflicted horrors on their people and the world for the sake of their personal gains. As the video begins, a narrator lays out the general story of how these dictators have tended to rise to power, especially in situations where the would-be despots somehow got a significant chunk of the population to come over to their side. The mechanisms upon which these destructive figures have relied include lies, demonization of opponents, and more — a lot of which, of course, seems disturbingly applicable to the Trump situation.
As the narrator observed:
‘Eventually, enough people buy it. They hand the fate of their nations over to madmen. But then suddenly, it’s not so funny. The military deploys on the streets to protect the leader. Names appear on enemy lists. Opposition voices are silenced or imprisoned. The leader promises the right bloodlines will survive, and the wrong ones will be purged. It’s an old story. One that could never happen here. The very idea is ridiculous. Almost comical. There’s no one dividing us. No one telling us who to hate… No. It can’t happen. Not here. We know too well how it begins. And it’s always been up to us how it ends.’
As the video draws to a close, an image of Trump appears on the screen. The implication, of course, is that Trump’s rise fits the bill no matter any insistent denials, and as long as Republicans keep up their support of the defeated ex-president, the threat posed by his rhetorical flame-throwing remains. The January 6 Capitol attack was by no means the end of the threat, and what if those behind it are more successful the next time that they employ something similar? A draft executive order from Trump’s White House records has circulated that would have directed the Defense Department to seize voting machines and other election materials from around the country for the stated purpose of further investigations into debunked fraud claims. These investigations would no doubt have essentially been a sham from the start, essentially set up to produce an outcome validating the ex-president’s lies. What if Trump had signed the order? Watch the Lincoln Project video below:
It is up to us how this ends. pic.twitter.com/LM2rLn5lql
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) January 25, 2022