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Trump 54: No dissent in Trump’s America

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Given the other available pieces of the puzzle, there shouldn’t be much difficult in figuring out where Donald Trump would stand on civil liberties and civil dissent.

He would be what the novel 1984 indicated: A boot stomping on the face of liberty. As long as he held power.

So much of a piece with the rest of his world view is this, that I’ll mention here just one statement from Trump, from 26 years ago.

It came in a 1990 interview in Playboy magazine, when the conversation turned to Mikhail Gorbachev, as he was presiding over the end of the Soviet Union.

“Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand,” Trump said.

The interviewer suggested comparing to China, where protests in Beijjing centered at Tiananmen Square were violently put down by the Chinese government, which roared tanks through the square, and killed hundreds to possibly thousands of peaceful protesters. The attack has been criticized worldwide ever since, most notably in the United States.

But not by Trump. In the Playboy interview, he continued, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world –”

Trump’s conception of governmental strength – the kind of strength pursued by dictators, not leaders of a free society – is completely, totally at odds with the kinds of freedom long cherished in the United States. To elect him as president would be to endanger that heritage, possibly permanently. – rs

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