Trump is a dangerous threat to our democracy

By Donald A. Collins | 13 November 2020
Church and State

(Credit: Evan El-Amin /

The moral weakness shown by many leaders in the Republican Party over the past 4 years of the disastrous Trump Administration has been further revealed by Trump’s current failure to acknowledge his defeat.

In watching “Rise of the Nazis” a PBS program on WETA on Tuesday evening, November 10th, I watched an eerie recital of how the political manoeuvring by ambitious ruthless politicians who failed to understand Hitler’s sinister aims led to disaster. At one point in his accession to Chancellor, Hitler claims he will “make Germany great again”.

Trump got 72 million American votes and while Biden got 5 million more, Trump’s party, for that is what the Republican Party has become, sees his future popularity as a highly useable ticket to power.

I suggest it will be important for us to read and heed an article by Timothy Snyder in the Boston Globe which appeared on November 11th entitled “Trump’s Big Election Lie pushes America toward autocracy–Clinging to power by claiming you are the victim of internal enemies is a very dangerous tactic. Don’t underestimate where this can go.” You can read it in full here.

This article’s first paragraphs are especially worthy of your attention:

“When you lose, it is good and healthy to know why. In the First World War, the conflict that defined our modern world, the Germans lost because of the overwhelming force assembled by their enemies on the Western Front. After the Americans entered the war, German defeat was a matter of time. Yet German commanders found it convenient instead to speak of a “stab in the back” by leftists and Jews. This big lie was a problem for the new German democracy that was created after the war, since it suggested that the major political party, the Social Democrats, and a national minority, the Jews, were outside the national community. The lie was taken up by the Nazis, and it became a central element of their version of history after they took power. The blame was elsewhere.

It is always tempting to blame defeat on others. Yet for a national leader to do so and to inject a big lie into the system puts democracy at great risk. Excluding others from the national community makes democracy impossible in principle and refusing to accept defeat makes it impossible in practice. What we face now in the United States is a new, American incarnation of the old falsehood: that Donald Trump’s defeat was not what it seems, that votes were stolen from him by internal enemies — by a left-wing party. “Where it mattered, they stole what they had to steal,” he tweets. He claims that his votes were all “Legal Votes,” as if by definition those for his opponent were not.

Underestimating Donald Trump is a mistake that people should not go on making. Laughing at him will not make him go away. If it did, he would have vanished decades ago. Nor will longstanding norms about how presidents behave make him go away. He is an actor and will stick to his lines: It was all a fraud, and he won “by a lot.” He was never defeated, goes the story; he was a victim of a conspiracy. This stab-in-the-back myth could become a permanent feature of American politics, so long as Trump has a bullhorn, be it on Fox or on RT (formerly Russia Today) — or, though Democrats might find this unthinkable, as an unelected president remaining in power.”

Think about how this plays out, Folks. Snyder is clear as he continues writing, “After all, a claim that an election was illegitimate is a claim to remaining in power. A coup is under way, and the number of participants is not shrinking but growing. Few leading Republicans have acknowledged that the race is over. Important ones, such as Mitch McConnell and Mike Pompeo, appear to be on the side of the coup. We might like to think that this is all some strategy to find the president an exit ramp. But perhaps that is wishful thinking. The transition office refuses to begin its work. The secretary of defense, who did not want the army attacking civilians, was fired. The Department of Justice, exceeding its traditional mandate, has authorized investigations of the vote count. The talk shows on Fox this week contradict the news released by Fox last week. Republican lawmakers find ever new verbal formulations that directly or indirectly support Trump’s claims. The longer this goes on, the greater the danger to the Republic.”

Have I got your attention? The rest of what Snyder says is equally chilling and relevant so please read it all and take heed.

Snyder concludes by saying, “This is no time to mince words. In the interest of the Republic and of their own party, Republicans should accept the results.” Indeed!!!!!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Kindle Store

President Trump Yet To Concede To Joe Biden, Promising Legal Fight | Sunday TODAY

Republicans split over acceptance of Joe Biden as President-elect | DW News

How Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the fight for America’s soul | Anywhere but Washington

Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here