Trump wants to be America’s 1st tin pot tyrant – he wants to jail…

first_imgIn a debate on Sunday night, the Republican Party candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, Donald Trump, declared that should he be elected President, he would lock up Hillary Clinton, his Democratic Party opponent. He wants to be America’s first ever “tin pot” tyrant. Many Americans were horrified by the declaration, likening the threat to what happens in certain “banana” republics and dictatorships. Locking up political opponents is a lamentable act, but not rare where despots and tyrants reign. Trump threatened to take America down the “third world” realm of dictators and tyrants.Just recently, before the May 2015 elections, APNU/AFC leaders constantly threatened that should they win they will lock up former President Bharat Jagdeo, President Donald Ramotar and many of their cabinet members, including me, Roger Luncheon, Ashni Singh, Anil Nandlall and Irfaan Ally. Those threats were made in Parliament many times and became a staple of virtually every speech made by APNU/AFC leaders during the election campaign. They claimed they had the evidence and given an electoral mandate, APNU/AFC would exercise unfettered power to lock up their political opponents and in their own words “throw away the key”. While some of their supporters reacted with glee, most Guyanese were appalled, just as most Americans are horrified by Trump’s threats.Unfortunately, locking up political opponents is part of our colonial political heritage and part of the modus operandi of dictators and tyrants. Cheddi Jagan and many of the political leaders of the People’s Progressive Party were locked up by the British Government in Guyana. While Burnham, their hand-picked dictator, did not lock up Cheddi Jagan, the People’s National Congress did lock up several leaders of the People’s Progressive Party during the PNC-led dictatorship after Independence. Today, the APNU/AFC is using several different strategies to intimidate their political opponents. The point is that countries like Guyana and too many others around the world with fledgling democracies or still fighting for democracy too often endure the despicable reality that political opponents are imprisoned and intimidated.The ‘tin pot” dictators who threaten and lock up their opponents are not people that leaders in democratic countries emulate. But Donald Trump, the candidate for President of America, has gone there. He wants to be America’s first “tin pot” dictator. After my initial shock that a candidate for the Presidency of America could make such a public threat to lock up his opponent, I realised that Trump is deep down a dictator. The people he admires are all “tin pot” tyrants – Kim Jong-un of Korea, Putin of Russia. He does not seem to recognise that jailing your political opponent takes America to a dangerous, chilling place it has never been, far from making America great. Trump, with his anti-immigration policies, does not recognise that most Americans ancestries are linked to escaping tyrants.Trump places American foreign policy and diplomats in a lamentable place. When “tin pot” tyrants threaten, intimidate and jail their political opponents, America and its diplomats are expected to stand up and reject such violation of democratic principles. For more than 240 years, America has rejected the practice of locking up political opponents and has even gone to war to defend citizens against such dastardly violations of human rights and democratic principles. Electing Trump threatens political leaders around the world because tyrants and dictators will quote Trump that this is the spoils of winning an election.These are present and recent examples of the people he wants to be like: former Ukrainian President Viktor Fedorovych; the military Junta in Myanmar that locked up Aung San Suu Kyi, the present Prime Minister, for almost two decades; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni; Zambian President Edgar Lungu; Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe; Congolese President Joseph Kabila; Cambodian President Hun Sen; Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso; President Maduro of Venezuela; in addition to Putin and Kim Un Jung.Trump speaks with relish about locking up his political opponent, he boasts about sexual assault of women because his wealth and fame provides him with entitlements. His claim of making America great again is really dog whistle for bringing dictatorship to America. His mission is to return America to a monarchy, but worse to install a despot as the head of America and the free world. This is what America must resist. But there are lessons for Guyana. We get what we wish for sometimes.   (Please send comments to

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