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A Choice Between Democracy and Autocracy

Donald Trump has been found guilty of two serious crimes and indicted for many others. In a New York civil case he was found guilty of sexual abuse and defamation. In a federal court in Florida he has been indicted for illegally hoarding classified documents and impeding efforts to retrieve them. In a federal court in Washington, D.C., he has been indicted for illegally attempting to reverse the results of the 2020 election. In a Georgia state court he has been indicted for criminally interfering with the 2020 election. In a New York state court he has been indicted for illegally making payments to cover up a sexual affair with a porn star.

Despite these convictions and indictments, Trump is the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

During his campaign to this point, Trump has proposed several disturbing plans to expand presidential power. Some of the most chilling are:

  • Bringing independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission under direct presidential control.

  • Ending independence of the Justice Department and placing it under the control of the White House.

  • Terminating the employment protection for career civil servants.

All of these plans, and others, point to a desire for strict authoritarian presidential power. It is not clear how such changes would be enabled, but a statement by Russell T. Vought, who ran the Office of Management and Budget during Trump’s first term summed up the strategy: “What we’re trying to do is identify the pockets of independence and seize them.”

Trump’s plans are extremely dangerous for our democracy. This man should never again be elected to any governmental office, and certainly not to the presidency of our country.

All responsible Republicans should denounce Trump’s dictatorial ambitions in the strongest possible terms. In Berrien County, our two Republican congressmen, Huizinga and Walberg, must speak out against the draconian changes proposed by Trump and his cabal.

It is time for all seeking or holding an elected Federal Office to choose between democracy and autocracy. Silence on this question is not an acceptable response. This issue is the most important one in the next election, and in the history of our nation.

Ed Shaffer



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