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After Trump, table is set for dictator

To the Editor:

“Incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government, or any action (especially in speech or writing) promoting such discontent or rebellion.” That is Webster’s least complicated definition of sedition and what, in my modest opinion, the President of the United States, 18 states attorney generals, at least 126 congressmen and women, and a multitude of enablers who eagerly signed on to Trump’s ill-advised, short-sighted, half-baked and very, very dangerous endeavor to overturn a free and fair election, are guilty of.

Armed only with consistently debunked conspiracy theories, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations of widespread voter fraud and the shock of having to accept the short end of the voters’ choice, these men and women enthusiastically sold out their country and intentionally violated their oaths of office in exchange for power and personal gain.

This cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged. These men and women must be charged and held accountable for their misguided adventures that have damaged our country immeasurably and left many Americans permanently distrustful of the essential institutions that have held our nation together and reinforced our democratic form of government for over 200 years.

Zeynep Tufekci stated recently in TheAtlantic.com that Trump’s attempted coup may have seemed “buffoonish” but he’s “writing the playbook for stealing elections.” It seems to me we cannot just simply dismiss (like it was an aberration) the reality that Trump has wide support in a political party desperately obsessed with retaining power no matter the cost, however grave the loss, even if that sacrifice is democracy itself.

Trump’s presidency has revealed chinks in the armor of our Constitution, severe vulnerabilities in our system of checks and balances and critical, deep-rooted flaws in our approach to law and order. Most importantly, this president has inadvertently (and most certainly unwittingly) uncovered a harsh truth about the United States of America. Our institutions (at least in their present form) cannot stand up to such an onslaught that unprincipled and disreputable men like Trump can create.

We may have escaped a disaster — this time. This time we elected a totally incompetent, mentally unstable con man unencumbered by rational sensibilities. However, a smarter, more capable authoritarian of sound mind (one less unhinged) and supported by a more dedicated and determined political party hell-bent on destroying democracy — a closer election coupled with the same apathetic and divided electorate — and we’ll have the elements comprising the perfect storm forming a fully realized dictatorship. Next time we will not be so lucky.

David L. Snell

Franklin

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