A Wake-Up Call

I’ve mentioned a few times that I wonder, as Trump sees his poll numbers sliding and as we move closer and closer to election day, what new tricks Trump will try to ensure his re-election.  It seems he has pulled a number of tricks out of his sleazy bag, but are there more?  Robert Reich’s column in The Guardian today shows us what has been done, and what is left that could happen.  We all need to be aware, to stay on our toes, to be ready to fight back.  And most of all … on November 3rd … VOTE!

Donald Trump’s re-election playbook: 25 ways he’ll lie, cheat and abuse his power

From now until November, opponents of the most lawless president in history face a fight for democracy itself

Robert Reich-4By Robert Reich

Donald Trump will do anything to be re-elected. His opponents are limited because they believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t.

Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps:

1) Declare yourself above the law.

2) Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and “rioters and looters”. Describe Covid-19 as “kung-flu”. Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.

3) Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.

4) Fire US attorneys who are investigating you.

5) Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.

6) Demean and ignore the intelligence community. Appoint a director of national intelligence more loyal to you than to America. Demand that the head of the FBI pledge loyalty to you.

7) Pack the federal courts with judges and justices more loyal to you than to the constitution.

8) Politicize the Department of Defense so generals will back whatever you order. Refer to them as “my generals”. Have them help clear out protesters. Order the military to surveil protesters. Tell governors you’ll bring in the military to stop protesters.

9) Purge your party of anyone disloyal to you and turn it into a mindless, brainless, spineless cult.

10) Get rid of accumulated experience and expertise in government. Demean career public servants. Hollow out the state department, the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and public health.

11) Reward donors and cronies with bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, government contracts, regulatory rollbacks and plum jobs. Put their lobbyists in charge of your agencies. Distribute $500bn in pandemic assistance to corporations in secret, without any oversight.

12) Coddle dictators. Don’t criticize their human rights abuses. Refuse to work with the leaders of other democracies. Withdraw from international treaties.

13) Create scapegoats. Demonize migrants and lock up asylum seekers at the border, even if they’re children. Put a white nationalist in charge of immigration policy. Blame Muslims, Mexicans and Chinese.

14) Denigrate and ridicule all critics. Describe opponents as “human scum”. Attack the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

15) Conjure up conspiracies supposedly led by your predecessor and your opponent in the last election. Without any evidence, accuse your predecessor of “treason”. Fabricate a “deep state” out to get you.

16) Downplay real threats to the nation, such as a rapidly spreading pandemicLie about your utter failure to contain it. Muzzle public health experts. Urge people to go back to work even as the pandemic worsens in parts of the country.

17) Encourage armed supporters to “liberate” states from elected officials who disagree with you.

18) Bribe other nations to investigate your electoral opponent and flood social media with lies about him.

19) Use rightwing propaganda machines like Fox News and conspiracy-theory-peddling One America News to inundate the country with your lies. Ensure that the morally bankrupt chief executive of Facebook allows you to spread your lies on the biggest media machine in the world.

20) Suppress the votes of people likely to vote against youIntimidate voters of color. Encourage Republican governors to purge voter rolls, demand voter ID and close polling places.

21) Seek to prevent mail-in ballots during the pandemic. Claim they will cause voter fraud, without evidence. Threaten to close the US postal service.

22) Get Vladimir Putin to hack into US election machinesas he did in 2016 but can now do with more experience and deftness. Promise him that in return you’ll further destabilize America as well as Nato. Let him even place a bounty on killing US troops in Afghanistan.

23) If it still looks like you’ll be voted out, try to postpone the election.

24) If you’re voted out of office notwithstanding all this, refuse to leave. Contest the election, claim massive fraud, say it’s a conspiracy, get your cult of a political party to support your lies, get your propaganda machine to repeat them, get your justice department to back you, get your judges and justices to affirm you, get your generals to suppress any subsequent rebellion.

25) Declare victory.

Memo to America: beware Trump’s playbook. Spread the truth. Stay vigilant. Fight for our democracy.

24 thoughts on “A Wake-Up Call

  1. Trump is a man who’s spent the last 42 months tearing slowly at the Constitution until iit;s finally in scraps and no longer recognizable. Then he wants to write his own and heaven help you then.

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  2. I have been observing and reading the history of America all my adult life and when Trump was installed as potential dictator of the empire, I said that he was the embodiment of the American spirit. Racist, hateful and warmongering. That is the America its own writers and historians, as well as the ‘live’ history I was exposed to his shown me. Same old: Hitler could not have achieved in the few short years given him what he did if the people hadn’t been predisposed to agree with his views which were racist, expansionist and warmongering. Ditto for America. Apart from the piddly few on places such as WordPress, most Americans will give Trump the freedom to act on his 25 points mentioned above. There were a very few dissidents in Nazi Germany as well. Those who did not or could not flee were eliminated, a la, the 25 points above. In my 20’s I predicted the utter downfall of America. I knew two things that guaranteed it: consumerist greed and endless war in which the lion’s share of the nation’s resources went into weaponry and a military increasingly dependent on technology deployed by its navy and air force, rather than boots on the ground because with navy and air power you an subdue the world. The rulers knew there was no reason for any defensive military, nothing could seriously threaten the mainland. But the billionaire psychos are taking care of that now, no military needed. “‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!’ (Rev. 18:2). In the Bible generally, and in Revelation in particular, Babylon represents the world against God — fallen, sinful humankind. So the fall of Babylon is a symbolic way of describing the end of the world. Revelation 18 almost reads like a news report of the breakdown of civilisation.(https://www.theaquilareport.com/fallen-fallen-is-babylon-the-great/)

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  3. Robert Reich has been a busy guy today, this is the second column by him arriving amidst my inbox. You and I, as well as many other thinking individuals, do not need to wake-up. We already are not only well aware of the first 22 steps, but also have watched in horrification as they have been attempted and many already accomplished by trump and his enablers. The ones who truly need to wake-up prefer not to be woke-up!! Sadly, that same group would loudly cheer at #23, #24 and #25 taking place! Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • He IS a busy man … he only writes a weekly column for The Guardian, but he also writes in other venues and does a podcast as well. He has a message to get across, for sure! Yes, we have been asleep at the wheel … or should I say, Congress has been asleep at the wheel, and allowed him to expand the power of his office in ways that no other president has even done or even attempted. Sigh.

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  4. Jill, he is a cornered animal who will do anything to save himself. Yet, he is also his own worst enemy, so without a filter he will make many bad decisions that hurt his campaign, like he did with the racist tweet, which was an unforced error. Plus, he denied being briefed on the Russian bounty, but my guess he is lying or was not paying attention.

    While he will try to blame everyone else for the COVID-19 resurgence, his continued misinformation and absence of early action has harmed people, some who have died. Keith

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    • That is my fear, Keith. He knows no limits, no boundaries, and has no empathy for We the People … he is only about self. You’re right that he is his own worst enemy, but … his base will applaud him no matter what he does, and THAT is what scares me. That, and the fact that he and the GOP are doing their level best to disenfranchise voters, and in general turn the election into mass chaos. If everyone in this country could be counted on to use common sense, to think for themselves independently of Fox and OAN, then I wouldn’t worry. But, we have seen the madness … we know how the 40% think … and we know how the system works. That is what is robbing me of sleep and appetite. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The way Reich is talking, although inadvertently, he is writing the book for how to change a democracy to a dictatorship. Most of it, I think, comes from Adolph, but trump is widening the parameters, and refining the policies. Not that I don’t wish him well (I don’t) but the best thing that can happen to America is to have Dumbtruck Donnie catch Covid-19 in September, and have him die of it in October (as long as they cannot cancel or even postpone the election).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, of his 25 points, 22 have already happened, so he isn’t telling us anything new. Of the remaining 3, I have predicted much the same, so nothing new there, either. I blame Trump for what he has turned me into … or rather, for what I’ve allowed me to be turned into, for I have never wished death on another human being, yet now I go to bed every night hoping to wake to the news of his death. I seriously fear that the election will either be cancelled, or be so unfair that he might just as well declare himself dictator for life and be done with it. I fear that there will be blood shed in the streets here. It’s bad when I prefer thinking of somebody dropping a nuclear bomb on Washington than the thoughts of what might come next in this corrupt government of ours.

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    • It seems most liberals have made Trump their raison d’etre, the most influential person in their lives. I would say that Trump is just a symptom of the greater rot that has consumed western society, all this lawlessness is simply coming to a head.
      I know deep down you don’t really “hate” Trump. No person can change your innate being, most cherished principles without your acquiescence. Once you start thinking, behaving like your enemy, you become poisoned just like him.
      Jesus said, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you” + “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”
      Mindfulness of self is as important if not more so than awareness of others.


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