An international politics expert who studies authoritarian regimes said President Donald Trump was already taking steps to gather tyrannical power — and he called on Americans to stop him.
Brian Klaas, an expert on global democracy and political violence, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Americans should worry about the Trump’s willingness to flout the law and attack democratic institutions.
“I’m worried about it,” Klaas said. “Retweeting a Britain First account linked to neo-Nazis and provoke a spat with our allies. You have demonization of the press and also attacking CNN, saying we should boycott them. There (are) constant ethics violations, violations of the Hatch Act.”
Klaas, the author of “The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy,” said the White House press secretary had given an “Orwellian” response to questions about those anti-Muslim videos Trump retweeted from a British fascist.
“Sarah Huckabee Sanders says it doesn’t matter if it’s true, what’s true is what the president says,” Klaas said.
He said what’s happening now in the United States lines up with the early stages of authoritarian regimes he’s studied in other countries.
“These things are happening on a daily basis,” Klaas said. “What I’ve been trying to say for a long time is, this is not a drill. This is not the thing where we move on to the next story tomorrow. This is a threat to our democracy and to the core values we stand for. Are we bigots who just smear Muslims and say that they’re hateful, anti-Christian criminals, and then just move on to the next piece of breaking news? No, we’re not.”
“People need to draw a line in the sand, because if we don’t draw it there, where do we draw it?” he added.
Mika Brzezinski, the show’s co-host, agreed with his conclusions.
“There are a lot of people that say this is how it begins,” she said. “I am there completely.”