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Let’s Play ‘Spot The Dictator!’

A head of state is desperately working to jail his top political opponent before a national election. Who does that sound like?

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A wave of hysteria hit the political press last week with a series of articles all dropping at the same time to peddle fear about another Trump presidency. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Atlantic each published pieces fomenting terror over Trump’s potential return to the Oval Office.

The Times went so far as to compare Trump to a Chinese dictator.

“Mr. Trump’s violent and authoritarian rhetoric on the 2024 campaign trail has attracted growing alarm and comparisons to historical fascist dictators and contemporary populist strongmen,” the Times wrote. “In recent weeks, he has dehumanized his adversaries as ‘vermin’ who must be ‘rooted out,’ declared that immigrants are ‘poisoning the blood of our country,’ encouraged the shooting of shoplifters and suggested that the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, deserved to be executed for treason.”

That’s interesting. Has President Biden never said anything remotely divisive? Was it not Biden who stood before a blood-red background flanked by Marines last fall to castigate political minorities as an existential threat to “the very foundations of our Republic?” Is it not Biden who implemented a socialist-style social credit system across the federal government to give priority treatment to specific races? Was it Trump whose son received an $80,000 diamond from a Chinese energy tycoon, sought to funnel millions from Chinese communist leaders directly into family bank accounts, and secured six-figure shopping sprees from Chinese businessmen? Oh wait, that was Hunter Biden.

“So what’s with the coordinated media campaign this week claiming a second Trump term will usher in the end of the republic and the rise of a fascist dictatorship?” Federalist Senior Editor John Davidson asked Friday. “It’s fair to call this kind of rhetoric ‘assassination prep,’ because of course if this will really be the last election, if we’re really facing a fascist dictatorship in Trump’s second term, well then drastic measures are necessary, are they not?”

It’s probably no coincidence that the coordinated campaign happens to coincide with the publication of former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney’s new book, Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning.

“Former congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming is the poster child of a Republican establishment abandoned by the party’s far-right base,” The Washington Post declared last week. “Now, she’s billboarding what may come next: In an interview with CBS aired Sunday, Cheney lamented the extent to which the Republican Party had been ‘co-opted’ by Trumpism and said she feared the potential of a vengeful Trump presidency in 2025.”

“One of the things that we see happening today is a sort of a sleepwalking into dictatorship in the United States,” Cheney told CBS.

Cheney, of course, led the House Democrats’ partisan Select Committee on Jan. 6 last Congress. The committee weaponized the levers of Congress to prosecute political dissidents and smeared political opponents in Soviet-style show trials. The partisan panel, which Cheney ran as vice chair, even zeroed in on political operatives who worked to unseat her with a humiliating defeat in the Wyoming primary.

But Trump is a dictator because he occasionally says a few mean things? Allysia Finley, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, explained the far-left’s fascination with declaring Trump an authoritarian on Sunday.

“Cynicism is one way to explain the left’s hysteria,” she wrote. “Another is that the portrayal of Mr. Trump as a would-be dictator is a textbook case of psychological projection, the process by which people avoid confronting their own unwanted thoughts, feelings or behaviors by subconsciously ascribing them to others. Psychologists refer to this as a defense mechanism.”

Today, a head of state is desperately jailing top political opponents before an upcoming election to remain in power. Who does that sound like more? President Trump or Joe Biden?

What about a politician who illegally enriched his family with millions of dollars from foreign oligarchs by trading elite political influence? Trump or Biden? What about one with a well-oiled dystopian censorship regime to suppress dissident speech ahead of an election? Trump or Biden? Can election integrity even be certain? Who is banging the war drums in Ukraine, threatening to trigger third-world conflict? Trump or Biden?

In the context of these questions, there’s very little difference between Russian President Vladimir Putin — who the left routinely insists is an existential threat to Western liberalism — and Biden. Can any of these questions even apply to President Trump?

Between Trump and Biden, who is more similar to Putin? Whose top political opponent is under arrest?

But perhaps more importantly for the pro-regime press, which of the two presidents is more of a threat?


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