Stating she knows a thing or two about dictators, the daughter of President Ronald Reagan ripped into Donald Trump in a column for the Daily Beast.
According to Patti Davis, writing under the telling headline, “Presidents Didn’t Use To Be Dictators,” she once had a dinnertime conversation with her father who explained to her, “Dictators are never benevolent, that’s why they’re dictators. They want to control people, hold onto their own power, and not allow people to be free. America has the most perfect government.”
In her column, Davis applied that explanation to the current presidency of Donald Trump.
“I knew a lot about dictators when I was a kid. My parents had a friend who had numbers tattooed on her arm. She was at our home often, and I knew the story about how she was put into a concentration camp with her family when she was a child, and only she and her mother survived. I had seen photographs of Nazi soldiers herding Jewish people into cattle cars. I asked my father once why the people didn’t turn and trample the soldiers—they outnumbered them by a lot. He told me they were too afraid. When people are frightened, he said, anything can be done to them,” she wrote before making the connection to the current political climate.
“Almost on a daily basis now, we hear about how frightened people are of Donald Trump—Republican Senators, people working in the White House in various capacities, apparently many in the Department of Justice,” she explained. “They fear his wrath and his insatiable appetite for revenge. Those of us who are horrified at the dismantling of our democracy fear him because he may very well be destroying more than we can ever rebuild.”
“We run the risk, it seems to me, of forgetting what the presidency is supposed to be. We are so bombarded with the crudeness of Donald Trump, his cruelty and wanton disregard for the tenets of our Constitution, that the image of a president who has a moral compass, reveres our democracy and follows its laws is fading from our collective psyche,” she added, before warning, “We will never save this democracy until we remember what it feels like to have as our president someone who puts democracy above personal, selfish interests.”
“We need to remember who a president is supposed to be, and we do that by remembering who we are supposed to be,” she concluded.
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