Trump — The First Dictator of The United States? (TWEETS/VIDEO)

On April 20, 2016, during a campaign rally in Indianapolis, Indiana, Donald Trump promised to impose a 35 percent tax on American companies that send jobs outside of the U.S., such as heating, ventilating and air conditioning manufacturer and distributor Carrier Corporation.

“I’ll call up the head of Carrier and say, ‘Congratulations, you’re moving to Mexico. … I hope you enjoy the plant. I hope you enjoy the hot weather, but you’re leaving Indiana and we’re going to protect the state of Indiana’”… Now within 24 hours they’re going to call back: ‘Mr. President we’ve decided to stay. We’re coming back to Indianapolis.’”

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999, the union that represents Carrier employees, felt optimistic about Trump’s promise, especially given Trump’s announcement in late November 2016 that Carrier would keep 1,100 jobs stateside.

In a speech given before a crowd of 150, consisting of production line workers, supervisors and members of the press, Trump declared:

“They’re keeping — actually, the number’s over 1,100 people, which is so great.”

Unfortunately, when Jones corresponded with Carrier, he learned that the company would only keep 730 production jobs in the U.S. and move 550 jobs to Mexico, costing just as many of his union members their livelihoods.

In a discussion with The Washington Post, Jones related:

“He got up there, and for whatever reason, lied his ass off… Trump and Pence, they pulled a dog and pony show on the numbers. I almost threw up in my mouth.”

In the wake of Chuck Jones public scolding of Trump, the Donald wasted no time striking back via Twitter.

Though Jones was unfazed by Trump’s vitriol, he soon afterward began receiving online threats.

“Calling me names, wanting to know if I have children. I better watch out for myself, and they know what kind of car I drive, that I better watch out for my kids.”

On Thursday, December 8, 2016, in a discussion on CNN with presenter Carol Costello, political science professor Jason A. Johnson Ph. D expressed concern over Trump focusing aggression toward Chuck Jones and the subsequent death threats Trump supporters have leveled at Jones.

“He’s basically auditioning to be a dictator. Dictators bully people, dictators use that kind of arbitrary power… and I think it should concern any American, whether they’re a Republican or Democrat.”

Indeed, Dr. Johnson’s worry that Trump may remake himself into a dictator is well-founded. On several occasions, Donald Trump has previously more or less encouraged his supporters to inflict violence upon those that dare dissent.

In addition, Steve Saideman, a political scientist at Ottawa’s Carleton University and an author who has extensively studied civil-military relations in democratic societies, expressed concern about Trump appointing three retired generals to his cabinet, James Mattis, Michael Flynn and John Kelly respectively as his Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor and Secretary of Homeland Security.

Given the notion that Trump would assume the role of a dictator while in the White House, Saideman fears that the former military officers appointed to his cabinet might become sick of his antics and attempt to seize control of the U.S. government’s executive branch, subjecting the would-be dictator to a coup.

In a recent blog post, Steve Saideman writes:

“Coups happen for a variety of reasons, but most often those engaged in a coup claim that the government is corrupt and/or incompetent. Here is where I could insert a picture of Trump. Trump’s recent call with Taiwan’s President – perhaps to facilitate his own business interests – is an abuse of power that could be used to justify a coup…Simply put, when many of the norms and institutions are under attack, we need to be more, not less, careful about the role of the military in our society,It is, of course, not so much about coups, but about controlling the military so that it does what civilians want.”

Fair use claimed for all images.

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