Latest from the Impending Dictatorship Watch

  • Recalling the “Good Germans” who didn’t pay attention to Hitler’s rise;
  • Salon’s Chauncey DeVega on how Americans are sleepwalking into a Trump dictatorship;
  • The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg on the danger of a second Trump term;
  • Steve Bannon’s promise to prosecute and imprison people in government and journalists;
  • And examples of how people besotted by ignorance and superstition have firm opinions about the gays.

It’s been said that there were many “Good Germans” in the 1930s who did not pay close attention to politics and so were complacent about the rise of Hitler and Nazism. Thus Hitler was *elected*; he didn’t take over in some kind of coup, as in so many military dictatorships that happen around the world. He appealed to the same kind of conservative resentments as Trump has done in the US. With this thought in mind…

We might wonder why there is not more attention and outrage to the rise of MAGA and Trump’s stated plan to become, essentially, a dictator– to wipe out the “deep state” and indict on any grounds whatsoever anyone who opposes him. There is attention, but only in the highbrow press, as documented here. Even the main-stream media (MSM) are afraid to acknowledge the issue, for fear of being accused of being partisan. Though Liz Cheney on 60 Minutes the other night, and on the Today Show this week, were positive steps.

Salon, Chauncey DeVega, 5 Dec 2023: Americans are sleepwalking into a Trump dictatorship, subtitled “Everyone but MAGA is blind to the truth. They know the evil that they do and are doing it with their eyes wide open”

Nice summary of recent pieces on this subject. The original spin here, apparently, is in the subtitle. The MAGA crowd knows what they are doing, and are self-righteous about it.

Donald Trump’s devolution into an American dictator who believes that he is on a mission from God as some type of chosen one continues. This is mentally pathological behavior on a massive level. His Hitler-like behavior is only going to get worse as next year’s presidential election approaches and the pressure from his criminal and civil trials increases.

Trump’s behavior is not isolated to him, it is important to note. He is the leader of a political cult movement and controls the Republican Party.

Examples from recent speeches to the faithful.

“But I think if you had a real election and Jesus came down and God came down and said, ‘I’m going to be the scorekeeper here,’ I think we’d win there [in California], I think we’d win in Illinois, and I think we’d win in New York,” Trump told his gathered MAGA troops.

Trump is telling his followers what they want to desperately believe. Public opinion, focus groups, and other research repeatedly show that a significant percentage of White Christians see Trump as a prophetic figure who is a tool for their “God” to make America a White Christian nation.

Citing Salon‘s Heather Digby Parton, that Economist essay from November, and Robert Kagan’s piece in Washington Post, among others; all of which I’ve linked here and commented about. Then quoting Trump:

“But I think if you had a real election and Jesus came down and God came down and said, ‘I’m going to be the scorekeeper here,’ I think we’d win there [in California], I think we’d win in Illinois, and I think we’d win in New York.

These elections are rigged.”

Jesus? Seriously? What crowd is he playing to?

And finally Liz Cheney on CBS on Sunday. DeVega concludes,

Cheney, like too many other members of the political class and news media who still believe in the myth of American exceptionalism and the inherent goodness of the “average” American, has committed a fundamental error in her assumptions and therefore conclusion. In reality, there are tens of millions of (white) Americans who know exactly what Trump represents and want him to be president again. Trump is a weapon for their rage, anger, resentment, destructive impulses, cruelty, and desires to hurt the people they despise. These Americans are not asleep, tricked, bamboozled, conned, or somehow not aware of what they are doing and the implications of such collective evil and meanness. American fascism as a force and idea, and the fascists and authoritarians and others who are attracted to such politics and vision, are very real – and denying that fact will not save this country or its democracy and future. They know the evil that they do and are doing it with their eyes wide open.


Here’s one more, by another prominent writer and editor.

The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, 4 Dec 2023: A Warning, subtitled “America survived the first Trump term, though not without sustaining serious damage. A second term, if there is one, will be much worse.”

Goldberg is editor in chief of The Atlantic, and it’s worth quoting the final paragraph of this piece first:

The Atlantic, as our loyal readers know, is deliberately not a partisan magazine. “Of no party or clique” is our original 1857 motto, and it is true today. Our concern with Trump is not that he is a Republican, or that he embraces—when convenient—certain conservative ideas. We believe that a democracy needs, among other things, a strong liberal party and a strong conservative party in order to flourish. Our concern is that the Republican Party has mortgaged itself to an antidemocratic demagogue, one who is completely devoid of decency.

Circling back to the beginning, Goldberg ponders how he’s been trying to figure Trump out over the past eight years, and cites Adam Serwer’s The Cruelty Is the Point essay from this very magazine in 2018; a meeting with Jared Kushner; another Atlantic piece by Tom Nichols, Trump Crosses a Crucial Line; and another piece by David A. Graham, who made this key point:

The former president continues to produce substantive ideas—which is not to say they are wise or prudent, but they are certainly more than gibberish. In fact, much of what Trump is discussing is un-American, not merely in the sense of being antithetical to some imagined national set of mores, but in that his ideas contravene basic principles of the Constitution or other bedrock bases of American government.

Goldberg wraps up:

And so here we are. It is not a sure thing that Trump will win the Republican nomination again, but as I write this, he’s the prohibitive front-runner. Which is why we felt it necessary to share with our readers our collective understanding of what could take place in a second Trump term. I encourage you to read all of the articles in this special issue carefully (though perhaps not in one sitting, for reasons of mental hygiene). Our team of brilliant writers makes a convincingly dispositive case that both Trump and Trumpism pose an existential threat to America and to the ideas that animate it. The country survived the first Trump term, though not without sustaining serious damage. A second term, if there is one, will be much worse.

And then the final para, quoted above.


More clear evidence of their impending takeover.

Joe.My.God, 5 Dec 2023: Bannon: This Is Not Rhetoric, We Will Prosecute And Imprison People In The Government And Journalists. Via Mediaite.

It’s out there: Trump and his allies are saying exactly what they will do.

We’re not – you cannot have a constitutional republic and allow what these deep staters have done to the country. The deep state, the administrative state, the fourth branch of government never mentioned in the Constitution, is going to be taken apart, brick by brick and the people that did these evil deeds will be held accountable and prosecuted, criminal prosecutions.

These people are rebelling against the “Constitution of Knowledge”(see here) that has made our modern, complex, civilization possible. What would they reduce civilization to? Libertarian little houses on the prairie?


For all that we see on the political level, there are deeper levels driven by people besotted by ignorance and superstition. Or perhaps they know better but they’re lying to pander to their audience, who are besotted by ignorance and superstition.

Right Wing Watch, 5 Dec 2023: ‘Christocrat’ Rick Scarborough Declares That ‘A Sodomite Will Always Reflect it in His Countenance’

Also here:

Joe.My.God, 5 Dec 2023: Prominent Evangelical: You Can Tell Sodomites By The Look On Their Faces And They All Face “Certain Death”

This is nonsense. Again: these people are besotted by ignorance and religious superstition.

Joe.My.God, 5 Dec 2023: Mike Johnson: Send Money Because God Is About To Smite Our Country For Having So Many LGBTQ Youth

They always need money; funny how that works.

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