According to Larry "Ban $100 Bill" Summers, Donald Trump Is The "Greatest Threat To American Democracy"

Tyler Durden's picture

Last week, Larry Summers took on the $100 bill.

Now, he’s taking aim at the man who, if it were up to him, would be on that banknote. In a new Op-Ed for The Washington Post, Summers calls Donald Trump “the greatest present threat to the prosperity and security of the United States.”

While we’re reasonably sure readers will disagree with Summers on any number of points, it’s worth reflecting on the following essay because whatever you think about Summers and whatever you think about Trump, some of what you’ll read below is worth serious consideration, if only for what it says about why Trump is the dominant force in American politics.

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From "Donald Trump Is A Serious Threat To American Democracy"

While comparisons between Donald Trump and Mussolini or Hitler are overwrought, Trump’s rise does illustrate how democratic processes can lose their way and turn dangerously toxic when there is intense economic frustration and widespread apprehension about the future. This is especially the case when some previously respected leaders scurry to make peace in a new order -- yes Chris Christie, I mean you.

The possible election of Donald Trump as president is the greatest present threat to the prosperity and security of the United States. I have had a strong point of view on each of the last ten presidential elections, but never before had I feared that what I regarded as the wrong outcome would in the long sweep of history risk grave damage to the American project.

The problem is not with Trump’s policies, though they are wacky in the few areas where they are not indecipherable. It is that he is running as modern day man on a horseback—demagogically offering the power of his personality as a magic solution to all problems—and making clear that he is prepared to run roughshod over anything or anyone who stands in his way.

Trump has already flirted with the Ku Klux Klan and disparaged and demeaned the female half of our population. He vowed to kill the families of terrorists, use extreme forms of torture, and forbid Muslims from coming into our country.  Time and again, he has claimed he will crush those who stand in his way; his promised rewrite of libel laws, permitting the punishment of the New York Times and The Washington Post for articles he does not like, will allow him to make good on this threat.

Lyndon Johnson’s celebrated biographer, Robert Caro, has written that while “power doesn’t always corrupt…[it] always reveals.” What will a demagogue with a platform like Trump’s who ascends to the presidency do with control over the NSA, FBI and IRS?  What commitment will he manifest to the rule of law? Already Trump has proposed that protesters at his rallies “should have been roughed up.”

Nothing in the way he campaigned gave Richard Nixon a mandate for keeping an enemies list or engaging in dirty tricks.  If he is elected, Donald Trump may think he has such a mandate. What is the basis for doubting that it will be used?

To be sure there are precedents in American politics for Trump. Precedents like Joe McCarthy, George Wallace, and Huey Long. Just as Trump does, each mined the all too rich veins of prejudice, paranoia and excess populism that lie beneath American soil. Yet even at their highest points of popularity, none of these figures looked like plausible future presidents. One shudders to think what President Huey Long would have done during the Depression, what President Joe McCarthy would have done at the height of the Cold War, or what President George Wallace would have done at the end of the turbulent 1960s.

My Harvard colleague, Niall Ferguson, suggests that William Jennings Bryan is the right precursor for Trump. This comparison seems unfair to Bryan who was a progressive populist but not a thug, as evidenced by the fact that he ended up as secretary of state in the Wilson Administration. Trump’s election would threaten our democracy. I doubt that democracy would have been threatened if Bryan had beaten McKinley.

Robert Kagan and others have suggested that Trump is the culmination of trends under way for decades in the Republican Party. I am no friend of the Tea Party or of the way in which Congress has obstructed President Obama. But the suggestion that Trump is on the same continuum as George W. Bush or even the Republican congressional leadership seems to me to be quite unfair.

Even the possibility of Trump becoming president is dangerous. The economy is already growing at a sub-two percent rate in substantial part because of a lack of confidence in a weak world economy.  A growing sense that a protectionist demagogue could soon become president of the United States would surely introduce great uncertainty at home and abroad. The resulting increase in risk premiums might well be enough to tip a fragile U.S. economy into recession. And a concern that the U.S. was becoming protectionists and isolationist could easily undermine confidence in many emerging markets and set off a financial crisis.

The geopolitical consequences of Donald Trump’s rise may be even more serious. The rest of the world is incredulous and appalled by the possibility of a Trump presidency and has started quietly rethinking its approach to the United States accordingly.  The U.S. and China are struggling over influence in Asia.  It is hard to imagine something better for China than the U.S moving to adopt a policy of "truculent isolationism." The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a central element in our rebalancing toward Asia, could collapse. Japan would have to take self-defense, rather than reliance on American security guarantees, more seriously. And others in Asia would inevitably tilt from a more erratic America towards a relatively steady China.

Donald Trump’s rise goes beyond his demagogic appeal. It is a reflection of the political psychology of frustration – people see him as responding to their fears about the modern world order, an outsider fighting for those who have been left behind. If we are to move past Trumpism, it will be essential to develop convincing responses to economic slowdown.

The United States has always been governed by the authority of ideas, rather than the idea of authority.  Nothing is more important than to be clear to all Americans that the tradition of vigorous political debate and compromise will continue. The sooner Donald Trump is relegated to the margins of our national life, the better off we and the world will be.

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Gab Timov's picture

Even the plutocrats think we have a democracy. That's weird.

Supernova Born's picture

You will know him by his enemies.

Trump '16

So Close's picture

Larry Summers..  The great patriot and champion of Democracy.  /sarcasm off now.

Perimetr's picture

This c*cksucker wants to steal our money and has the gall to talk about "democracy"

Oh regional Indian's picture

Summers is right.

That said, The fact that this man even has a voice is an equal tragedy...

DO something ;-)


remain calm's picture

Summers has cervical cancer that has metastasized to its brain.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Next he will suggest banning air in our tires....then shoe laces.

New Hampshire is Best Hampshire's picture

They can just get more devils to endorse Trump:

Same old game. Just like Goldwater '64, oldest crap in the book. 50 f*cking years same tricks.

Robotio "you're terminated, f*cker":


pods's picture

Princess Leia, will you hurry up and choke this bastard?


The9thDoctor's picture

Super-delegates are the greatest threat to "American Democracy".

Bernie supporters learned that the hard way.

Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

This asshat doesn't get it.  That Trump is where he is has nothing to do with what he cites and everything to do with the gang rape of the middle class and crony capitalism that the "establishment" has been engaged in for decades...people are hitting their braking point.

Fester's picture

Trump got my Texas vote.
Larry you can fade away quietly or swing from a rope in a couple of years.

Your choice.

Pairadimes's picture

We need a new punishment for people like Larry. I'd like to bring back public hanging, but that probably won't pass. And if that won't pass, I doubt we can get to something appropriate like forty lashes.  How about a spanking, shown on live prime time television? We can appoint a designated spanker (retired NFL lineman?), build a stage for the event, and broadcast it on all the channels. 

Bumpo's picture

Obama has run roughshod over the constitution. Only Trump has the balls to reverse it all in week 1.

peddling-fiction's picture

Trump´s quotes really embody what the state and deep state eat for breakfast everyday.

Policemen behave that way when they kill someone without good reason.

One thing is what politicians say, and another is what they really do.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) peddling-fiction Mar 1, 2016 2:15 PM

Trump is the greatest threat to Summers' re-appointment to Usury Secretary under Cruz/Rubio/Clinton so he can payback Goldman Sachs for his "speaking fee".

Manthong's picture

"or swing from a rope in a couple of years."


.. I vote for the rope sooner rather than later...

that should be the fate of common criminals.

he doesn't even need to stay awake for it...

Kayman's picture


The problem with public spankings for Larry and the Criminals is that you would wear out the designated spanker.

A glass of hemlock would suffice.


rbg81's picture

According to Summers and his ilk, you are threat to Democracy if you actually win the election.

surf0766's picture

There are no super's on the GOP side.

Kayman's picture

HiLiary isn't going to keep Bernie's young vote. Once a real democracy starts churning the old mold is killed by the sunlight.


Snake's picture

Bernie Sanders is the next US president. Just watch.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

This all leads me to believe that we will see an inordinate number of false flags if/when Donald gets into office.

"See, we told you not to vote for him,"

CheapBastard's picture

Another reason to vote for The Trumpster is to safeguard the borders from this kind of problem that we saw a glimpse of the other day but here is more info:


Woman apparently carrying child’s head shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Moscow, reports say

NotApplicable's picture

Yep, all this wailing and gnashing of teeth remind me of TPTB's "Give us $700B, or else the market gets it!" threats right before the failed first TARP vote in Congress.

whstlblwr's picture

Can it be anymore obvious that they have a coordinated scheme And Trump aint in it

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) MANvsMACHINE Mar 1, 2016 1:58 PM

I hope Larry is in the car with Obama when it hits a big tree.  Don't bother with those seatbelts guys.

TheReplacement's picture

Did you not read the article?  Clearly, if Trump wins, we will have a full on global economic meltdown of epic proportions.

Oh and the really horrible news is that Japan might be forced to take care of itself.


MANvsMACHINE's picture

This all leads me to believe that we will see an inordinate number of false flags if/when Donald gets into office.

"See, we told you not to vote for him,"

New Hampshire is Best Hampshire's picture

Then false flags go mainstream.

The Trump campaign inside slogan "Let Trump be Trump".


nope-1004's picture

If we are to move past Trumpism, it will be essential to develop convincing responses to economic slowdown.


Go to hell Larry, you imbecile!!!!  Of course, it's the economic slowdown at fault, not the fascist governing policies, foreign affairs screw ups, constant lies, and lawlessness among the banking elite.  It must be the economy!  Can't be the elite running this shitshow, right?

You're an absolute clueless, arrogant, imbecile.  Now fuck off, idiot, but keep writing this garbage as a constant reminder to everyone of the out-of-touch douchebag you really are.


Anasteus's picture

Larry Summers: Donald Trump Is The "Greatest Threat To American Plutocracy!"

Overfed's picture

Threat to democracy, eh? They say that like it's a bad thing. America was not meant to be a democracy. Democracy becomes every bit as totalitarian as any other dictatorship.

Stackers's picture

Yes, as oppsoed to Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama, who HAS assassinated US citizens he deemed to be a terrorist, including a minor.... and who attended a racist marxist "church" for 20 years

fleur de lis's picture

Summers is partially right. The Don is indeed a threat, but not to the average American. But he is a mortal threat to parasites like Larry, warmongers like the Kagan vermin, CIA screwballs who use our tax money to instigate conflicts, and he recently spoke about auditing the Earth's biggest roach motel, the Fed.

If I were a DC welfare queen like Larry and friends I'd be concerned, too.

Goliath Slayer's picture
Goliath Slayer (not verified) fleur de lis Mar 1, 2016 12:47 PM

It's all smokescreen. Summers (Jew) in reality wants Trump who's bought and paid for by the Israeli Lobby >>

New Hampshire is Best Hampshire's picture

I've seen smokescreens before. They don't rate the people very highly, so most smokescreens are like FARTS.


If this is a smokescreen, it's like a sandstorm inside a tornado inside a hurricane.


And I don't see why us mere mortals deserve their kicking up the game SO MUCH.

We've never before seen a pope get involved.

We've never before seen a sitting Israeli prime minister get involved.

We've never before seen the establishment say they'd vote Hillary.

Sometimes the game changes.


That said I don't think Trump has any problem with those people, so if that's what you're looking for, you probably want another candidate.

I think the world is more complex than you imply. Maybe I've studied more than you. Or maybe you've studied more than me. I know what I've studied. And my studies lead me to believe that the world is more complex than you imply.


justdues's picture

So Trump appears to be a Zionists wet dream , mates with Nutty , kids married into the tribe, totally pro Israel ,anti Islam, sooooo at the risk of not seeing the obvious and feeling/looking stupid , WHY are all these Zionists so (apparrently) against him ? Rothschild owned Economist doing hit pieces on him,  Zionist owned media in general hating on him, now fat Larry etc etc ? Somebody please explain to a non American ?


New Hampshire is Best Hampshire's picture

You're getting close to some of the right questions, in my opinion.

I suggest that most need to study what those words mean. Many use the words in your post without knowing what they mean.


But for now, in my opinion, it suffices to say that those who screw us are agin it, so I'm afor it.


Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes's picture

those who screw us SAY THEY are agin it


Maybe I don't trust their motives, they know we hate them and would do the opposite of anything they say. After all they're hardly above lying to the masses.

New Hampshire is Best Hampshire's picture

So your choice is (1) bad or (2) maybe-bad/maybe-good.


Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes's picture

The 'choice' is (1) bad, (2) bad, (3) madame guillotine


I'm backing (3) all the way, shame there isn't the real support for this option so you'll all stick with someones puppet.

Rhett72's picture

Because of exactly the reaction we are getting here on ZH.  The more they scream against Trump, the more supporters he gets.  If Trump is a Manchurian Candidate for the Zionists, this is the perfect playbook to get him elected.

Kayman's picture

" for the Zionists, this is the perfect playbook to get him elected. "

Some fucking plan !  They have to out themselves and try to scare middle class voters, who are fed up to the eyeballs with financial and political criminals raping them and their children. 


Odd thing, some people are actually thinking that their vote might count. Now that is death to the Political criminals.

TheReplacement's picture

The only bad publicity is no publicity.

They give Trump all kinds of FREE publicity which is one of the best kinds of publicity.


TheReplacement's picture

Sigh, for those of you who don't get what I'm saying - just consider how they treated Ron and Rand Paul.  Those guys were real and they were IGNORED.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

Trump was also ignored at first. The Paul's were ignored because they never posed a serious threat to the status quo. 

Tall Tom's picture

WHY are all these Zionists so (apparrently) against him ? Rothschild owned Economist doing hit pieces on him,  Zionist owned media in general hating on him, now fat Larry etc etc ? Somebody please explain to a non American ?


Reverse psychology.


Let them think that they are SELECTING a "reformer". That'll quiet them down for a couple of years so we can make the transmutation of the Welfare State into the Custodial State complete.


It is just the implementation of the false paradigm in practice...All according to plan.


The only event that will save us is that Black Swan Financial Meltdown...which will crush everything down to the foundation. In that way we MIGHT be ableto build again. But I am not counting on that outcome either.