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Donald Trump and the Demise of Democracy

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo

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July 30, 2016


“ Men cannot improve society by setting fire to it; they must seek out its old virtues, and bring them back into the light.”

Russell Kirk


Donald Trump’s campaign has become a source of intense preoccupation, for those who support, as well as for those who oppose, his candidacy for the White House. The uneasiness has ranged from the judgment that he is a racist and xenophobe to the serious possibility that he is mentally unstable and therefore not a rational actor. Many worry that he is woefully ignorant of policy and foreign affairs. Some conservatives reluctantly supporting Trump cannot shake off the feeling that they are being played by the ever-changing rhetoric of Mr. Trump.

Others have drawn parallels with the rise of Hitler to power in Germany. But the questions of how precisely Trump might severely damage democracy or cross the line into that which one could justly characterize as the rule of a dictator, remain murky.

The problem with any parallel to certified dictators such as Hitler is that this comparison requires a big jump for the human imagination and clearly one that is not warranted by the facts at present. The needed clarification is that the threshold for a totalitarian ruler does not require anything even close to the horrors perpetrated by Adolf Hitler. Slipping into totalitarianism is much more banal than people imagine.

Who Is In Danger?

In my view, the danger in a Trump presidency will not be so much for the Hispanic community but rather for the Muslim community.

To forcibly round up over approximately 16 million undocumented Hispanic immigrants would require the arrest and deportation of nearly the entire population of Ireland four times over. Trump would double the population in American prisons in his first 100 days if he were keeping up with the daily average of arrests necessary to accomplish this feat in two years.

So, Trump is bluffing when he speaks about plans for Hispanic mass deportations. But when he promises retaliation against Muslim families of terrorists, he believes he will have ample support. Trump clearly does not understand that the civilized world operates (correctly) under different rules of engagement than terrorists. He seems to think this is weakness. He has made it plain that the rule of law as it exists today in this regard is something he is eager to dismiss.

In the meantime, he has neither formulated nor explained a policy for actually dealing with the growing threat of ISIS, which Trump (ever the simpleton) vacuously describes as “…there is something going on that is really, really, bad. It’s bad…”

Trump’s solution to America’s problems with trade, terrorism, monetary manipulation, and the rest are all to be magically solved with his four-word incantation, “… we must get tough.” If only we were tough, Trump incants, America would be great again.

It seems hard to believe George W. Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney lacked a backbone. Undoubtedly, Barack has not even a hint of a solution. Nevertheless, there is no reason to think that we may fill the policy void by simply installing a national leadership which will willfully trample the rule of law and then be able to walk away smiling, with our democracy still intact. Reagan was tough on a much bigger enemy, the Soviet Union, but he was a rational actor. His precise and measured actions liberated millions of people and accomplished what many thought would be impossible. Thatcher was certainly no wilting lily. But Trump is no Reagan or Thatcher.

Trump and the Dangers of a Nuclear Exchange

It is hard to imagine how the United States would have averted nuclear Armageddon during the Cuban-missile crisis had Trump rather than Kennedy been in charge. Recall Trump fires first and then tries to clean up his mess. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara testified in 1964 before Congress that unleashing a nuclear exchange would have caused the death of over 100 million Americans in the first hour. If Trump had been commander-in-chief in 1962, it is very likely there would be no America left to make great again.

Trump is not someone who can deal with failure. Destroy the enemy at any cost seems part of his psychological make-up. What would happen when his “brilliant” strategy to destroy ISIS fails? Trump has repeatedly raised the threat of dropping a nuke on someone, “ I would be very, very slow and hesitant to pull the trigger,” “… well, someday, maybe…” “Of course if somebody… Let me explain if someone hits us within ISIS, you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?” No, replies Chris Matthews. Trump in response to further questioning, “ Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?”

Trump has also stated the Japanese, the South Koreans and of course Saudi Arabia, should perhaps also get nukes. In fact, he even refused to take off the table blowing up a nuke in Europe. These are the words of a madman, not a potential president.

And herein lies the rub. Hillary Clinton is in so many ways worse than Donald Trump. But the manner in which Trump could be worse than Hillary Clinton is of apocalyptic proportions.

(Continue reading at Town Hall)
aderito
I would prefer none of these two candidates ,it,s unbelievable ,a country like USA ,with some much talent end up with Hillary and Trump
Uncle Joe
Two weeks ago I asked Fr. Guarnizo the following question which, at that time, he did not answer:
As you know, It is the president who will make nominations to the Supreme Court and those nominations must only then be confirmed by the Senate. Therefore, it is the president who obviously is the most crucial person in the process of populating the court with whomever he/she believes most closely …More
Two weeks ago I asked Fr. Guarnizo the following question which, at that time, he did not answer:
As you know, It is the president who will make nominations to the Supreme Court and those nominations must only then be confirmed by the Senate. Therefore, it is the president who obviously is the most crucial person in the process of populating the court with whomever he/she believes most closely corresponds to their own political objectives. I don't intend to follow up or to argue about other points but simply would like you to go on the record with your answer. God bless.
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To repeat:
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I have one question. Which of the two candidates would you prefer making Supreme Court nominations (as many as 3 or 4 or perhaps even 5) knowing that those nominations would likely influence the policies of the United States for decades. . Hillary?
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Well, in his latest Town Hall article - linked above - he seems to have answered my question by writing the following:
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I can easily imagine worse evils than a liberal Supreme Court.
springle1
The only one that is "simple" is yourself Father. Hillary's America is a land against God and the Holy Faith. You whine about individual issues, hopefully God will inspire you with the reality of who is the servant of God and who serves the adversary.