Donald Trump Didn't Create Danger Of Presidential Dictatorship... He Inherited It

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by James Bovard, op-ed via USA Today,

Those who denounce Trump's constitutional depredations and anti-democratic pronouncements are clueless about the real threat.

Americans nowadays have a bad attitude towards presidents. Many people are denouncing Donald Trump as a dictator. But the real problem in this nation is the dictatorial illiteracy that has allowed modern presidents to commandeer far too much power.

Trump’s saber rattling, rude outbursts and rancorous tweets have spooked folks far and wide. But most Americans are not sufficiently informed on recent history to recognize where Trump poses dire threats beyond the usual Washington machinations. Most citizens are unaware that both political parties have perennially championed bureaucratic aggrandizement over civil liberties.

Many of the experts who have condemned Trump are also clueless about how far federal control has stretched.

Yale professor Samuel Moyn and Oxford professor David Priestland recently declared in a New York Times op-ed that “there is no real evidence that Mr. Trump wants to seize power unconstitutionally, and there is no reason to think he could succeed.”

But violating the Constitution is practically the job description for modern presidents.

It was George W. Bush’s White House, not Trump, that asserted a “commander-in-chief override” entitling presidents to ignore the law and the Bill of Rights. Congress utterly failed to thwart that outrageous claim.

Presidents have amassed vast authority because they are judged on their rhetoric and purported goals, not on their constitutional fidelity. Former president Barack Obama’s drone assassinations of U.S. citizens were non-issues because observers think he “meant well.” When Obama decided to bomb Libya in 2011, his appointees made it clear that he'd ignore the War Powers Act of 1973, enacted to prevent presidents from launching wars on their whim. When a federal judge ruled in May 2016 that the Obama administration’s consumer subsidies under the Affordable Care Act violated the Constitution, the decision was almost completely ignored — perhaps because Obama’s illegalities were progressive. When President Trump ended the subsidies, he was denounced for trampling congressional prerogatives.

Much of the response to Trump is akin to a novice cable weather reporter who treats each morning’s sunrise as a shocking development. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., responded to Trump’s media bashing by warning, “That's how dictators get started.” By this standard, practically every president since Thomas Jefferson has been a dictator in the making.

Trump is being denounced as a dictator for rescinding Obama’s executive decrees. Nothing frightens some Trump opponents more than his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced that decision as “an immoral assault on the public health, safety and security of everyone on this planet." But Obama chose not to submit that agreement for ratification to the Senate. As The Times noted, Obama relied on “bureaucratic bulldozing rather than legislative transparency,” issuing nearly 50% more “major regulations” than the Bush administration.

Many Trump opponents are not opposed to dictators per se; they simply want different dictates. Trump was widely denounced because his Justice Department refuses to compel every public school in the nation to make special bathroom and locker room accommodations for self-proclaimed transgender kids. But the Constitution did not grant the federal government jurisdiction over gender identity.

The news media bear much of the blame for Americans’ dictatorial illiteracy. None of Trump’s actions yet rivals the odiousness of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which retroactively legalized torture and gutted habeas corpus. There was little uproar at the time thanks to blasé headlines such as this Washington Post gem: “Many rights in U.S. legal system absent in new bill.” Whitewashing torture was of no more significance than Congress creating a wool subsidy.

People who are clueless about past oppression are unlikely to effectively resist new abuses. If people never perceived or complained about the power grabs of the prior three presidents, they have scant standing to bewail Trump. This is especially true of top officials in previous administrations who set perilous precedents that Trump could exploit.

Trump, like recent presidents commanding armies of enforcement agents with sweeping prerogatives, is a threat to our rights and liberties. His recent comments endorsing police roughing up arrestees were appalling by any standard. Luckily, Trump’s blather cannot negate local, state and federal laws against such abuses. On the other hand, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ campaign to revive the drug war and asset forfeiture poses a far more direct peril.

The sheer amount of punitive power possessed by the federal government is one of the best gauges of potential tyranny. Do we really need 4,000 federal criminal laws and 300,000 regulations with criminal penalties to punish wayward citizens?

As Benjamin Constant wrote in 1815, “It is in fact the degree of force, not its holders, which must be denounced. ... There are weights too heavy for the hand of man.”

Unfortunately, many Trump opponents will never make an adverse inference against arbitrary power because they seek to put government itself back on a pedestal.

Trump won the election last year in part because he promised to “make America great again.” But America will not be great again until people expect and tolerate far less from presidents. And only illiterates believe that toppling Trump is the only “dictator insurance” that America needs.


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desertboy's picture

Apparently, if you want the so-called "Left" in this country to be concerned about unlawful wars and war-mongering, you had best elect someone like Trump.

nevertheless's picture

the left /right paradigm was designed to create comments like yours...there is no right or left, just a zionist media that makes you pick one, then has you hate the other.

ThirdWorldNut's picture

Government is like a weed, left on its own it will multiply like there is no tomorrow, suck the life blood out of everything productive and never itself produce anything worthwhile.


PS: Tylers where is the news on Hillary falling yet again, this time in London, 2 days ago! Excuse was wearing high heels and running down the stairs. Yeah, thats believable.

IH8OBAMA's picture

I'm convinced that the left is made up of people who were born without a portion of their brain.  They are missing the logic area in addition to others.


Winston Churchill's picture

Only high heels HRC has seen in 30 years were Huma's over her fishnets.

drendebe10's picture

Better anaolgy is gubmint is a meatstatic cancer... as for dictatorship, thank the illegal indonesian kenyan alien muslim fudgepacker traitorous imbecile enabled by the meanest nastiest hypocritical intolerant turds on the face of the earth, progressive liberal democraps. fukemall

Mr Twitch's picture

Getting played if u think 'unlawful wars' depends on left or right

Mind the GAAP's picture

This was written for USA Today?  They probably need to feed the article through a "3rd grade translation" algorithm replete with pie charts and histograms so the average USA Today reader can begin to wrap their heads around it.  

That article made way too much sense with waaay too articulate reasoning to be in a fishwrap like USA Today.

junction's picture

Please don't attack USA Today.  They were the only news source that wrote about the EpiPen overcharges, a criminal conspiracy that involved Obama, West Virginia Senator Machin, Mylan Specialty and, of course, Machin's daughter, the CEO of Mylan who gets $18 million a year.  Her qualifications for the job: a fraudulent MBA degree and her father's connections.  That's why she is not under indictment now for defrauding the federal government, insurance companies and indivdual payees of EpiPens for criminal overcharges in the range of $1.5 billion.  

gmrpeabody's picture

I suppose one story right out of a thousand ain't bad.


drendebe10's picture

if true, fukemall... even if not true fuk obamy

serotonindumptruck's picture

While it may be an "apocryphal quote" attributed to George Washington, it remains relevant.

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." -- George Washington

Hank Stinkhammer's picture

We must remain calm and keep VOATING HARDER!!!


Stan522's picture

Funny how democrats during obama could not, did not see this at all, but are all panicked by Trump.....

nevertheless's picture

why are you concerned with what democrats did, are you 5 years old?


what ever happened to lead by example...


the focus when obama was doing his terrible job was, "at least he was better than the bush and the republicans".


you people are slaves to the zionist machine...I hope you all pay the highest price for your ignoance and hypocrasy. 

Stan522's picture

Hey dip shit... Read my sentence again then apologize. I didn't comment on what I believed. I commented on what I have observed my democrat friends and associates are concerned with. They are all worked up over Trump being a dictator and republican's were all worked up over obama being the same

Hank Stinkhammer's picture

Even funnier (in the saddest sense possible) is how anyone is still able to conjure the self delusions necessary to convince themselves that there's any effective  difference whatsoever between the two 'parties'.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Funny how this all was obvious under G.W. Bush

allamerican's picture

yep, and its a fuking mess.

gov is full thieves and liars.

all of em., legislative and judicial..  all way including county's and  municipals.

fuked up!!!

Mr Twitch's picture

Hillary Clinton

If I am president, we will attack Iran....your stupid down voters-lolz

nevertheless's picture

trump is just a continuation of the zionist control over america, and as their power has increased, so has their control over washington and the president. 


and while obama was certainly a zionist globalist shill, trump will stand alone as an example now of 100% control. zionist trump will grant amnesty, and zionists will have completed their destruction of white america. 

NickPeeMe's picture

The push for dictatorship has been evident sense 911 if not before.

Deep Snorkeler's picture


1. his nihilist tactics are reminiscent of Christ

2. Trump's tweets are close to the Gospel.

3. he wears the flag pin of Christian-Genius

4. his values and morality put an end to Americans' unnatural fornications

5. he thanks God for his brilliance

6. God's golfing swordsman against the Superdevil

7. White lorekeeper, our pure-minded neo-saint


TeethVillage88s's picture

Why not teach people to ... "be woman and believe in unicorns"?

- Chinese are smart, disciplined, understand value, accounting, business, schemes
- Chinese understand military strength
- Japanese may start to see USA as weak
- Stewardship of US currency, WRC, has been atrocious and corrupt

Well we are teaching unicorns 101- 301 in K-12.

HuskerGirl's picture

When our spinless law-makers avoid responsibility by leaving the details of laws up to unelected executive branch bureaucrats, you're two-thirds of the way to a president-dictator.  When the Judicial branch uses anything but an unbias reading of the Constistution to judge the constitutionality of executive branch actions, you're the rest of the way there.

And that's exactly what we had under Obama and you're right, Trump inherited that. 

For an example, pull up the ACA and read how many things it left to the discretion of the secretary. 

rejected's picture

Can't believe the pic includes Carter. As bad as many think he is, he was not even close to the class of demonic assholes Clinton, Obama and the Bush Duet belonged to.

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw's picture

Fuk the liberal,democrats,and all of those that support them. The Donald is costing the elite billions of bucks!  Maybe Friday would be a good day to send the usless Pope out for some more words of wisdom. 

TeethVillage88s's picture


"On the other hand, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ campaign to revive the drug war and asset forfeiture poses a far more direct peril."

onwisconsinbadger's picture

I am surprised, not really, you left Reagan out from this picture. How fake ?

historian40's picture

They like to leave "Saint" Reagan out when discussing immigration too.  Well, the amnesty part at least.

Robert A. Heinlein's picture

What I think this shows is how useless congress has become. Not only can they not run the country's business effectively, they abrogated a lot of that power to the president.  And then you have a court system that decided since congress won't do it's job, it will help by making law.  And you wonder why we are in the shape we are now.  How's it looking to get any better soon?  

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"Donald Trump Didn't Create Danger Of Presidential Dictatorship... He Inherited It"

TRUE... But that doesn't mean he has to commit treason as part of the "initiation ritual" along with them!

Oh... That's right!... Almost forgot what happens when you don't follow the "sheet of music" you're given when you violate and betray that "oath of office" on the first day of work! (

myth_the_fallen_lords's picture

Hitler didn't create the anti-semitic hatred that resulted in the Holocaust - he inherited it...

Umh's picture

True; congress critters trying to do nothing for bribes has led to an imperial presidency.

Falling Down's picture

Read "The Ominous Parallels". Peikoff nailed it, the U.S. was a fascist dictatorship in the 70's.



TeethVillage88s's picture

Banana Wars, Smedley Butler?

- Empire since after 1812?
- New British Empire since 1913?

Alananda's picture

USA Today. AYFKM?????

historian40's picture

There has been no Constitutional authority since 1861.  Since the States had war waged against them by a new Federal Union, and their sovereignty transferred to the federal union.  We're just brainwashed to ignore that part of the war and focus on the slavery issue, but as we see today, it was trading one form of slavery for another, and the overriding change of form of government hidden in plain sight.  All it takes is an examination of Federal actions versus the authority and power granted in the Constitution and you'll see the two are foreign to each other.

Good luck looking at the ever-expanding "United States Code", a Talmud-like collection of laws(Almost like the two were invented by the same ideology.), that have become the replacement for the Constitution.

They essentially entered it into public and international record, claiming the United States and all civiliation branched from the Noahide Laws.  This is entirely an invention in Pharisaism(judaism), within their Talmud, their tradition.  The same antichrist traditions rebuked by Jesus.

Schneerson, the antichrist rebbe, being honroed, while these same people speak from the other side of their mouth and call the US a "christian nation".

Nobody told, heh, well, nobody will make Trump behave like a dictator, even if the other branches of government are not operating as Constitutionally defined, and his predecessors behaved like military despots.  He'll choose to do it, or not.  He has already crossed the line when ordering an act of war, an attack on Syria. 

Blue Steel 309's picture

Sleaze bag pedophiles and pederasts in congress go our of their way to ensure they don't hold anyone accountable for anything. They don't want to be held accountable themselves. Not to their oaths, their duties, the American people, or even God.

historian40's picture

They maintain their gradual power grab by fluctuating between parties in power, and each "team", R/D, will cry foul because "your guy" broke the rules and didn't get in trouble.  Back and forth, excuses, "everybody's doing it", "My friend Benny is riding his bike off the bluff, why can't I?"

Those standing on the sidelines shouting BOOOO! at the whole display, whether it be in refusing to vote, or by voting for a "third party" candidate they believe to be best for the role.  The only thing the teams  hate more than each other is those who refuse to wear their colors.

FBaggins's picture

Trump is either part of the problem or part of the solution. If he keeps saying the Arabs or Islamic terrorist did 9/11 and not the corrupt US government and Israel then he is simply part of the problem and cannot be trusted for any real reform. In fact, since the US government is most obviously behind the recent Vegas false flag massacre, he likely gave his consent and is as evil as any of his predecessors. The US is now so visibly fragmented internally by globalists, socialists, neocons, the deep state, and Zionists that it is rapidly losing the ability to properly govern itself and has lost its influence as a world leader in anything, except in military spending (now $750 billion a year). The amoral and godless establishment rules by stealth and terror, and has so spurned its Christian roots that there is no longer any part of it which is not diseased. The cure for the all-pervasive cancer that has beset our governments and Western nations will now have to go way beyond simple surgery in order to save the people.

redmudhooch's picture

Trump: I’m Reopening 9/11 Investigation

Trump gave a speech in Richmond, Henrico County, on October 14, 2016, he did not mention 9/11 during the speech. However, he had talked about releasing secret 9/11 documents during a campaign event in Bluffton, South Carolina last February, saying that Americans “will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center” if he is elected as president.

“It wasn’t the Iraqis,” he said at the time, according to Real Clear Politics. “You may find it’s the Saudis. They have papers in there that are very secret. But you will find out.”

DoctorFix's picture

Trump is only building upon the legacy of other warmongering presidents unless he does a 180 and starts to draw down quickly.  I don't see that happening with all the hawks and other shit birds he's surrounded himself with. 

ZeroBeek's picture

Hahaha, Trump is also a dictator, but it's not his fault.

Never blame Trump! /s

redmudhooch's picture

Trump is no different, when he starts clawing back the police/surveillance state, and stops acting like ISIS/terrorists/false flags are anything other than a Israeli/CIA/MIC creation, I'll take that back.