The Sept. 9 article “Trump orders Russia probe docs declassified” confirms one glaring fact: Donald Trump despises democracy and the rule of law. He barks like Mussolini while he bumbles like Mr. Bean.

Despicably, Trump does what all dictators do: vilifies the media, exaggerates foreign threats; targets political enemies and tells supporters whatever they want to hear. Some of Trump’s rhetoric, like calling the press “the enemy of the people,” mirrors Stalin’s and Hitler’s. A sybaritic would-be monarch, he gaslights the public daily with totalitarian language that reeks of Soviet-era propaganda.

From demanding that The New York Times turn an anonymous source over to the government, publicly fulminating against his own attorney general, revoking a former CIA director’s security clearance and interminable Twitter dysentery to influence the Mueller investigation, Trump’s authoritarian fetish is a metastasizing cancer on his presidency. With an invertebrate Congress enabling him, Trump stomps on democratic norms like some Oval Office Godzilla, spewing fascist blather for lemmings in the Trumpiverse to parrot.

Democracy places persuasion above coercion, but Trump understands only the latter. The constitutional separation of powers is meaningless to him, while his buffoonish kowtowing to Putin and Kim belies his tyrannical tendencies.

Internationally, Trump’s despotic proclamations and actions make the U.S. appear unreliable. Since his inauguration, a Gallup poll shows global confidence in U.S. leadership dropping from 48 percent to 30 percent, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says U.S.-bound foreign direct investment has fallen by 32 percent.

This beauty pageant owner’s disdain for the beauty of democracy is slashing away at the United States’ reputation and leadership role. Trump’s debasement of the presidency through his malice toward democracy is part and parcel of America’s declining influence, culturally, economically and diplomatically.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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