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Reader's view: Trump's authoritarianism no surprise

A lot of people were amused when the former "Apprentice" contestant and now White House staffer Omarosa Manigault voiced these bombastic lines before the election: "Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President (Donald) Trump. It's everyone who (has) ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, whoever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe."

Most people probably aren't laughing anymore as this president and his inner circle continue to promote their unique combination of authoritarianism and chaos — what Assistant to the President and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon called the "deconstruction of the administrative state."

It is especially disturbing that Trump has appointed so many conspiracy theorists to the highest staff levels. Bannon's effusive praise as recently as 2016 for "Camp of the Saints," an overtly racist French novel that Kirkus Review compared to "Mein Kampf," tells us a lot about the mindset of the new administration. Bannon frequently has disparaged refugees using the "lesson" of the book: "It's really an invasion. I call it the 'Camp of the Saints,'" he stated on Breitbart news. Only a handful of Republicans have dared to speak up about it, one of them Republican commentator Linda Chavez: "'Camp of the Saints' is really shockingly racist, and to have the counselor to the president see this as one of his touchstones, I think, says volumes about his attitude."

None of this should come as a surprise considering Trump's thoughtless birther crusade against President Barack Obama and his joining Russian President Vladimir Putin in supporting racist European politicians like Marie LePen in France and Dutch far-right candidate Geert Wilders.

After just over a month of this authoritarian-minded administration, "might makes right" would be a more appropriate motto than "e pluribus unum" on the Great Seal.

Robert Ellis

Duluth

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