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Constitutional vs. Totalitarian

October 7, 2020

Print, broadcast and cable news is filled with terms describing the American President as “leader of the Free World,” “most powerful Executive” and other terms that suggest we elected a King or Monarch. Limits placed on the Chief Executive by the Constitution of the United States and the dominance of the Congress are unnoticed.

In countries dominated by totalitarian parties, all powerful “Great Leaders” guided by totalitarian ideology, few limits are placed on the power of “the State.”

Russia, Cuba, China and North Korea, and after the second World War, countries we once called “Captive Nations” were ruled by totalitarians like Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania, Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia, Antonín Novotný in Czechoslovakia and less well known “leaders” of Socialist Republics in Hungary and other member countries of the Warsaw Pact.

Today some of the words used to describe totalitarian leaders describe the President of the United States. The current President encourages exaggeration of his role and powers because Donald Trump believes he is the embodiment of the nation and, thus, essentially unlimited by Impeachment of even Covid-19. When this President gives a salute, as he did yesterday at the White House, he is sending a signal that his power should never be challenged.

That may explain Trump’s easy familiarity with other “Presidents,” Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, Kim Jong-un in North Korea and Recep Erdoğan of Turkey.

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