President Donald Trump is “aspiring to the level of authoritarianism,” says Washington state Congress member Adam Smith.
Last year, Smith was hesitant to say that President Trump was a fascist when talking with constituents. He still won’t go that far, but he has no problem alleging the president has authoritarian traits.
“The narcissistic egomania of President Trump is definitely bleeding over into a thought in his head that this is all about him — it’s not,” he said. “It’s about the country. It’s about the Constitution. Again, we are a nation of laws, not of people.”
Trump is no stranger to opposition. Condemning the “complicity” of his own Republican Party, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake opted not to run for office again, citing Trump’s uncivil persona as one reason. Then there’s Republican Senator John McCain who has not been on good terms with the president. Of course, Trump saying McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War probably didn’t help.
Smith, a Democrat representing the 9th Congressional District (Tacoma, Bellevue, parts of Seattle), was prompted to call out Trump’s “authoritarian” antics by the president’s recent request for a military parade in his honor. Smith’s video lists a series of Trump actions that he argues adds up to an authoritarian attitude.
“For Donald Trump to want the military to march down and solute him, it’s like North Korea and Russia. It’s what authoritarian regimes do. It’s not was liberal democracies do.”
The congressman also pointed to Trump’s recent statements calling Democrats “treasonous” for not applauding him at the state of the union address. Smith points out that Republicans didn’t clap or stand up for President Obama. But now, “we are all supposed to bow down in front of our king. That’s not the way this country works. We have free speech.”
“Attacks” on the media, FBI, DOJ
Smith says President Trump doesn’t seem to appreciate the fact that he lives in a country where the media is free to criticize elected officials.
“As he travels and as his cabinet people travel, they’re banning the media from following what they do … There have been many critical things written about me in the media. I don’t like it when it happens, but I do like the fact that I live in a country where the media is free to do that. President Trump doesn’t seem to. He seems to want to banish the media. If you look around the world and you see how authoritarian regimes spread, that’s always their first step — silence the critics, silence the opposition, shut down the media. Putin does it in Russia, we’ve seen it happening in Turkey and in the Philippines … We don’t want to see it here.”
“Donald Trump seems to want to make it all about him and is creeping towards authoritarianism that has no place in America … now I understand if people support him on his policies, but please stand up for the institutions that make us a free society and don’t let President Trump make this all about him. Don’t let his ego drag us into an authoritarian government. We don’t need that, we need the freedom of the democracy that has served us so well for so long.”