Same Playbook

The 2024 presidential campaign is hardly in its infancy but it is already both terrorizing and telling. Donald Trump has been making what passes for promises from him (the worth of which I will explore below). Juxtapose that with recent history and it’s not pretty.


Shortly into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine he was forced to supplement his regular army with released prisoners. This may be part of a last gasp (we can only hope). Remember, that Saddam Hussein released prisoners in his last days in power.

Recently Trump has said that he would pardon the January 6th domestic terrorists (only he didn’t call them what they really are), many of whom are incarcerated, if reelected. Will he actually do that? Based on his track record he will only do so if he feels he needs them and it is to his personal advantage to do so. That would most likely be the case.

Putin is and Hussein was an authoritarian; Trump certainly wants to be one. At its core is there any real difference between the actions of Hussein and Putin and the “promises” of Trump? Authoritarians all call their plays from the same playbook.

Going back a few more decades in history, I wonder what color shirts Trump will pick for his “storm troopers”? Hitler had his brownshirts and Mussolini had his blackshirts so those colors are taken. White is a strong contender (think white supremacy), but the sure thing is that Trump will have them made in an overseas sweatshop and make a buck on their sale.

Last week we saw proof – as if we needed it – that Trump has allies in high places. Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville went out of his way to defend White Supremacists in the military.

Putin was installed via an inside play. If you think that he has actually won a free and fair election during his reign in Russia I suggest you seek professional mental health assistance. Hussein was installed by covert American action. Neither Hitler nor Mussolini ever won the majority of the popular vote.

Trump got handily beaten in both 2016 and 2020 in the popular vote. The only thing that saved him and the only things that gives him a chance in 2024 is the geographical concentration of the lowest common denominator of voters and its effect on the electoral vote.

There is one foolproof way to avoid this situation and probably save American democracy in the process: don’t allow Trump a second term in the first place.

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