The following article is an editorial. All opinions, statements, and viewpoints are solely that of the author and do not fully represent or encompass the opinions of The Forest Scout.
One fear going into the Trump Presidency was the apprehension surrounding his controlling tendencies. Many were able to overlook this, yet there were still some that were unable to move past his personality in considering him as the Commander in Chief. “Dictators get started by suppressing free press,” stated John McCain, a Republican Senator from Arizona, and a former U.S. Presidential Candidate. This is shocking, as McCain is a prominent Republican figure and an important member of Trump’s party to have support from. This was in response to Trump’s disdain over the media, and calling CNN “fake news.” “The fact is we need you. We need free press,” McCain said.
John McCain is not the only Republican who has negative things to say about Trump. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also questions many of Trump’s actions. During the 2016 campaign, Trump made numerous Twitter posts bashing Ryan for his lack of support. “Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty,” Trump fired in one post. While Ryan and Trump are on good terms now, this is mostly due to Trump opting to stay out of Ryan’s business, which is not the most effective system in the long term for government cooperation and party unity. Ryan’s ability to have independence is a long stretch from fully endorsing the President he did not even want to become the Republican nominee.
As further evidence of dictatorial tendencies, the executive orders by Trump just keep coming. One being his ban on lobbyists, preventing appointees to the Executive Branch from lobbying for 5 years. Another recent executive order is the process to begin building the famed border wall between the United States and Mexico. On the more extreme end, there is the ban of all visitors and refugees from certain, profiled countries.
The greatest threat to American freedom, though, is Trump’s executive order of mass deportations and taking away funding from sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities are cities that welcome illegal refugees and immigrants and don’t make efforts to deport them unless they commit major crimes. Cities need federal funding to be able to maintain infrastructure, provide for the people, and most importantly, provide public education. By taking away money from cities–where the people have made the decision to provide human rights–Trump is hurting their wellbeing in retaliation. This action only proves Trump’s value of order over freedom and education.
Amidst all of these actions, Trump has emptied the White House of almost all Democrats, including the firing of Democratic Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and the surprise resignation of Democratic National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. White House staffers are not the only ones being removed from the White House by Trump, as major news agencies are as well. CNN, the New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, and BuzzFeed were all banned from a White House press briefing, while many other news agencies that have shown more favor to Trump were allowed into the press briefing.
Trump opposes the media, wants to repress views not in line with his own, and wants to control cities with his rules. A recent poll showed Americans trust the military more than the media, something all too true in many dictatorships throughout history.
How far can Trump go without being called a dictator? How much will we allow him to take away from us? I, for one, do not know how scared I should be, and I believe many other people are wondering that too.