“We’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff, but this is outrageous”
President Trump has a history of praising some of the world’s most nefarious autocrats, including: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; Iraq’s former President Saddam Hussein; President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, and, of course, Russia’s Vladimir Putin. A big reason could be Trump’s own authoritarian tendencies. A lot of his political moves seem to be cribbed from a dictator’s handbook. He’s assailed judges who rule against him, threatened to lock up his political opponents, and worked tirelessly to intimidate the press.
Tuesday, Trump pulled another authoritarian move by firing FBI Director James Comey, the man charged with investigating his administration’s shady and potentially treasonous ties to Russia. Later that night, ABC late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel, made note of Trump’s dictator-like behavior in his monologue saying:
“A few hours ago, [Trump] fired James Comey, the director of the FBI. Which is kinda like O.J. firing Judge Ito halfway through the trial. He fired the director of the FBI while the director was investigating his people of possible collusion with Russia. This is the kinda thing dictators do.”
Kimmel may have been making a joke, but within it lies the undeniable fact that Americans should be prepared to defend their country against a tyrant.
Everything Trump did today is something a sociopathic tinpot dictator in a banana republic would do. America won't stand for this. It WON'T.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 9, 2017\n
Tonight with his firing of Comey, trump has graduated from an authoritarian through dictator all the way to- wait for it- TYRANT.— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) May 10, 2017\n
Fascist dictator Donald Trump controls the House, Senate, DOJ, Supreme Court, CIA, military, and now the FBI. We gotta take to the streets!— ViewFromWise (@ViewFromWise) May 10, 2017\n
Trump fires the man investigating him. How is that democratic? America, you're sliding into authoritarian territory. DON'T. LET. IT. HAPPEN.— Francis B. Baraan (@MrFrankBaraan) May 9, 2017\n
Further reading: Over a year ago, Vox ran a piece outlining the rise in American authoritarianism. It’s a thorough explanation of how we got to the current moment in U.S. politics.