Here’s how it goes down, as so often in third-world countries.
A charismatic leader arises. He makes a strong appeal to passionately held emotions and the suppressed anger of a large segment of the population. He establishes a mythical alternative view of reality by denying facts and telling the “big lie.”
He engages in scapegoating, often carrying it to the point of incarcerating disfavored minorities, such as happened in Nazi Germany to the Jews, gypsies and homosexuals, among others. He pursues a program of social exclusivity that borders on theories of racial superiority.
He eliminates knowledgeable experts who don’t share his view of the world.
He suppresses the right of participation in elections and political life for those who oppose him in order to maintain and increase his power.
He demands perfect loyalty and tolerates no opinions that do not mirror his own. He punishes any who oppose or disagree with him.
He establishes himself above the law and immune from personal scrutiny or public accountability.
The result is rule by one man or by a narrow cabal of close adherents to his cause.
We’ve seen this time and time again in third-world countries, and sometimes even in nations that are more developed. But this is America, the land of the good. It could never happen here in this sensible, fair-minded land.
Or could it?