"The most bewildering thing about US dictator creep isn’t that it’s happening: it’s that it is happening with such predictability." That observation is found in an insightful article in The Guardian by author Nesrine Malik, who discusses the actions of President Trump from the eyes of one who grew up in the Arab world.
It's all too familiar, says Malik in his article, "Trump is creating his American caliphate, and democracy has no defence."
Malik talks about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' use of a passage from the Bible to justify the Trump administration's heartless policy of separating young children from their immigrant parents who attempt to cross our southern border to seek asylum.
"If there was a dictator’s playbook, the Donald Trump administration would now be on the “Instrumentalise Religion” chapter," writes Malik. "Last week, in what sounded like the launch of a US caliphate, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, reached for a biblical verse to defend his department’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children at the Mexican border, suggesting that God supports the government."
Malik quoted Sessions:
"“I would cite you to the apostle Paul, and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”
"To those of us who grew up in the Arab world, where Islam is often invoked by “secular” regimes in order to stem political opposition, and who are accustomed to this charade of piety, there is something chilling yet comforting in observing the authoritarian evolution of the Trump administration.
"There is a reason why some of those regimes will not do away with blasphemy laws, so handy are they in purging political opponents. It is chilling to see religion used this way in a supposedly sophisticated, liberal democracy, and in particular this element of it, which reduces politics to mere compliance. But it is comforting, in a macabre way, to have it proved that nowhere in the world have humans evolved beyond instrumentalising religion to justify tyranny.
"The most bewildering thing about US dictator creep isn’t that it’s happening: it’s that it is happening with such predictability.
"The terror of the Trump doctrine is not in its innovation but in its imitation. The last few months are a testament to the fact that history is not past, that the passage of time does not necessarily imply progress. The words Sessions quoted were used in the 1840s and 50s to justify slavery. When abolitionists argued that slavery was cruel, and that separating families was a violation of religious ethics, they were met with the argument of religious compliance with the law."
I strongly recommend that you read Malik's entire article. Here's the link again. My thanks to loyal Not Fake News subscriber Robert Friedman for sending this article to me.