Trump Part III – The Use of Security Crises

angry_trumpI can’t predict the future, but we know every US President is tested by security crises – whether domestic or foreign. President Trump’s four years will be no different.

[While I’m not predicting the future, in previous posts on Trump I am having nightmares of a potential future, and reviewing the past rise of authoritarians.]

We don’t know if the biggest threat will come from domestic disturbances or jihadists at home. We don’t know whether the crisis will be abroad, like a foreign military threat. We do know there will be heightened moments during and after a security crisis when we as civilians are especially frightened for our safety.

Those are the times when society turns eagerly to the institutions with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force – institutions like the police, the FBI, spy agencies, the National Guard, and the Army.

It’s precisely at that time that we are most vulnerable to leaders’ worst instincts. It’s then that we willingly vote in – with few Congressional dissenters – the Patriot Act, to give up our protections from domestic surveillance. When we are under direct attack we (many of us) seem willing to condone the creation of Japanese internment camps.

It’s then that we applaud extrajudicial interrogation techniques – like waterboarding – that authoritarians seek.

japanese_internmentThe Turkish premier Erdogan is right now using the crisis opportunity of the failed coup in Turkey to jail or fire independent voices from the universities, the press, the military, the judiciary, and the civil service.

Former Congressman, Obama White House Chief of Staff, and now mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel famously counseled, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” [1]

In the authoritarian’s hands, what use can he make of that inevitable security crisis? What opportunity will he take to do the things he could not do before?

When the next lone-wolf jihadist shoots up a movie theater, will that be the pretext that Trump needs to register all Muslims for a government database as Trump says he wants to do? When the next dead-ender pledges allegiance to ISIS on Facebook just before shooting up a mall, does that mean Homeland Security shuts down all immigration from majority Muslim countries as Trump says he wants to do? When Russian irregulars in civilian clothes in Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania ask for Russian military intervention to protect their rights, and Putin responds with another opportunistic strike, how does NATO, and our country, respond?

homeland_securityTrump does not have to enact a false flag attack – As Putin’s FSB seems to have done – in order to take advantage of a security crisis to enact his plans. We will have incidents around which he and his national security team can build a case for breaking with constitutional norms.

Trump has told us over and over how he yearns to bully perceived enemies. He has demonstrated a vengeful character throughout his campaign.

We know that vengeful instinct because we’ve even felt it ourselves, when we feel attacked. What will we give up, that we can’t get back again, when we’re most fearful?

In January Trump will control the awesome power of the US national security apparatus. He will wield more power to threaten, detain, injure, and kill people than anyone else on the planet. This is part of why I can’t sleep.

 

Please see related posts:

Trump Part I – Fever Dreams

Trump Part II – Review of Recent Elected Authoritarians

Trump Part IV – The Use of Economic Crises

Trump Part V – The Constitutional Crisis

Trump Part VI – Principled Republican Leadership

 

And related posts:

Candidates Clinton and Trump: Economic Policies

Candidate Trump on US Sovereign Debt

 

[1] Winston Churchill also gets credit for this one. Because Churchill said every clever thing that’s ever been said, like, ever.

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2 Replies to “Trump Part III – The Use of Security Crises”

  1. “We don’t know if the biggest threat will come from domestic disturbances or jihadists at home.”
    Yes, we do – it will come from both. Our single largest Middle Eastern import is oil; our second is domestic terrorists we pretend to call “refugees”, and our third largest are body bags from our troops fighting proxy wars on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

    “We don’t know whether the crisis will be abroad, like a foreign military threat. We do know there will be heightened moments during and after a security crisis when we as civilians are especially frightened for our safety.”

    Our current administration thinks global warming is our biggest military threat.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/7/pentagon-orders-commanders-to-prioritize-climate-c/

    Technically speaking, he’s not wrong – the US government is one of the biggest polluters. I bet pulling out of proxy wars we have no business fighting in would certainly help make our defense department more “green”.

    “It’s precisely at that time that we are most vulnerable to leaders’ worst instincts. It’s then that we willingly vote in – with few Congressional dissenters – the Patriot Act, to give up our protections from domestic surveillance. When we are under direct attack we (many of us) seem willing to condone the creation of Japanese internment camps.”

    Your’e right about the Patriot Act, which many now rightfully believe to be a staged incident in order to try to bring the populace in line. Regarding FDR’s Japanese internment camps, it was a criminal and racist thing for Democrats to do at the time, especially when you consider the strict immigration laws and controls that our country used to have. (You seem to be implying something with the Japanese camps, but I’ll let you bring it up.)

    “The Turkish premier Erdogan is right now using the crisis opportunity of the failed coup in Turkey to jail or fire independent voices from the universities, the press, the military, the judiciary, and the civil service.”

    These things should be ground for expulsion from NATO, especially in the context of part 2 of your derpy Trump series. It’s unfortunate, however, that Democrats don’t have the spine to take those steps.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/turkey-carries-out-major-nato-purge_us_57fe20abe4b0e9c70229e93d

    “When the next lone-wolf jihadist shoots up a movie theater, will that be the pretext that Trump needs to register all Muslims for a government database as Trump says he wants to do? When the next dead-ender pledges allegiance to ISIS on Facebook just before shooting up a mall, does that mean Homeland Security shuts down all immigration from majority Muslim countries as Trump says he wants to do?”

    Prepare to clutch your pearls, sweetheart, because that’s *exactly* what you do. US citizenship, like voting, is a privilege and not a right; for reasons only a politician could love, the law as been circumvented and/or ignored time and again to the detriment of all citizens, including Japanese-Americans who came here legally. Whether you want to believe it or not illegals and Muslims are two of the greatest domestic threats to our country right now. To give greater deference to political correctness over the rights and concerns of legitimate citizens is cuckoldry of the worst possible kind, and thankfully people are starting to wake up to this realization.

    “Trump does not have to enact a false flag attack – As Putin’s FSB seems to have done – in order to take advantage of a security crisis to enact his plans. We will have incidents around which he and his national security team can build a case for breaking with constitutional norms.”

    He doesn’t have to build a case at all for cracking down on illegals and dangerous communities because there are already plenty of laws passed he could operate under – laws that currently aren’t being enforced. If he wants to change the constitution – which in this country is no small task – that’s a different story altogether. So far the only thing we know of that he wants to put in the constitution is term limits – and no matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, that is seen as a necessity, so it will probably pass. But who knows?

    “In January Trump will control the awesome power of the US national security apparatus. He will wield more power to threaten, detain, injure, and kill people than anyone else on the planet. This is part of why I can’t sleep.”

    That you slept as well as you have while Obama was continuing the policies of George W. Bush show how unqualified you are to write about politics in the first place.

  2. Dear Stinky,

    I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts so thoroughly. I see we will not agree on most things, but part of my goal on this blog is create a dialogue, even among people who disagree. The great thing about our country (so far) is that people get to hold different opinions and express them freely.

    A request: Please refrain from calling people “libtards,” and refrain from demanding that I stop writing about certain topics that I don’t understand. Insulting people and demanding people shut up is not the direction we need to go in, as a society.

    Otherwise, I welcome your disagreement!

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I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying to score points over next year’s budget – it is a weakness of our civil society. For reals. It’s also really fun for me.

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