Tags: Donald Trump | McMullin | Trump | Authoritarian

Evan McMullin Op-Ed for NYT: Trump Using 'Authoritarian Playbook'

Image: Evan McMullin Op-Ed for NYT: Trump Using 'Authoritarian Playbook'

 Evan McMullin (AP)

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2016 01:48 PM

President-elect Donald Trump is following "the authoritarian playbook" in preparing for his upcoming administration, according to 2016 Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin.

"Last week, Mr. Trump commented on Twitter that flag-burning should be punished by jailing and revocation of citizenship," the former C.I.A. officer writes in an opinion piece for The New York Times.

"Although I suspect that Mr. Trump's chief purpose was to provoke his opponents, his action was consistent with the authoritarian playbook he uses."

The former candidate ran as a conservative alternative to Trump, winning just over 600,000 votes, according to Politico.

McMullin lists a number of instances that, he claims, point to a lack of "basic knowledge of the Constitution," on Trump's part, and a disinterest in learning more.

"He had questioned judicial independence, threatened the freedom of the press, called for violating Muslims' equal protection under the law, promised the use of torture and attacked Americans based on their gender, race and religion. He had also undermined critical democratic norms including peaceful debate and transitions of power, commitment to truth, freedom from foreign interference and abstention from the use of executive power for political retribution," McMullin wrote.

He then draws upon his previous experience as an intelligence officer to back up his assertions.

"As a C.I.A. officer, I saw firsthand authoritarians' use of these tactics around the world. Their profound appetite for absolute power drives their intolerance for any restraint — whether by people, organizations, the law, cultural norms, principles or even the expectation of consistency. For a despot, all of these checks on power must be ignored, undermined or destroyed so that he is all that matters," McMullin wrote.

McMullin ends with a call to action, urging readers not to "allow Mr. Trump to normalize the idea that he is the ultimate arbiter of our rights. Those who can will need to speak out boldly and suffer possible retaliation. Others will need to offer hands of kindness and friendship across the traditional political divide, as well as to those who may become targets because of who they are or what they believe. Those who understand the cause are called to the work, which I hope will unify and bless our nation in time."

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President-elect Donald Trump is following "the authoritarian playbook" in preparing for his upcoming administration, according to 2016 Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin. "Last week, Mr. Trump commented on Twitter that flag-burning should be punished by jailing...
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Monday, 05 Dec 2016 01:48 PM
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