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If Trump thought it was the best way to get what he wants, he would become a liberal again in a blink. He has merely “adopted” the party where he can do the most damage. Conservatives are deluded to think he cares about their party or their ideology. There has been an outcry from many conservatives about losing their civil liberties in the pandemic lockdown. They have a legitimate and serious gripe, but it is beside the point. For a lot of people to lose their civil liberties is what Trump wants; he could care less if it happens first or foremost to conservatives or liberals, as long as it feeds his plan of giving both a more than liberal dose. Can I prove this? Let’s just forget about facts here; all they do is lend an aura of plausibility to what is already believed, or at least to what wants to be believed, not to mention that they can just be fabricated. At this point in the contest, it’s all about who can tell the best lie. Trump is winning, hands down. If you think what follows is just another lie, please come up with a better one.

There may be conservatives who believe that Trump will inevitably achieve undemocratic control of the country, but that they will be better off than most because they are wealthy and on his side. Like the wealthy upper Jewish echelon under Hitler, they are naive. Not only does Trump want total power, but he needs to exercise it mercilessly. His recent treatment of Governors over lockdown measures and medical supplies is but a hint of what he is capable of, and it is doubtful that he will keep it in reserve for only liberals. For example, does Mitch McConnell really he think he will stay in Trump’s good graces if their association becomes a liability in the upcoming election? Trump will never miss an opportunity to make someone squirm if he thinks they’re in his way, party affiliation be damned, as McConnell already well knows from being previously rebuked by Trump. Do Republicans really believe that they will lead lives of relative ease and control under four more years of Trump? They need to consider what his agenda might become once getting re-elected is no longer important and his strategies are focused on getting what he wants on a much more grandiose scale.

Trump himself probably doesn’t know what he ultimately wants. At some point becoming President was not a high priority, but eventually it fell in line with his uncanny ability to "seize the day” in ways aligned with getting what he wants. Whatever that has been, and whatever it will become, involves his being in control as much as possible, exercising that power in ways that tickle his fancy, being adulated by unthinking masses, and being certain that no one else can be seen as being his equal. Whatever evil is his ultimate goal, his primary strategy for achieving it is obvious. This strategy is nothing new or sneaky, but one he professed many years ago and has lived by ever since.

“When bad times come, then I’ll get whatever I want,” he told Barbara Walters in an 1980s interview. His initial reaction to 9/11 was that the collapse of the World Trade Center made his own buildings look taller. His initial reaction to the 2008 economic collapse was joy at his potential to profit. Everything to Mr. Trump is transactional, and you – all of you – are the transaction. ("The Plague Of Donald Trump")
In this prescient article from The Globe And Mail, Sarah Kendzior, goes on to review how this strategy has been consistently used by Trump to his own advantage, no matter the consequences to anyone else.

Surprisingly, there is still partisan bickering over whether Trump mishandled the pandemic. If looked at from the angle of his manipulating and even inciting bad times towards getting whatever he wants, his handling of covid-19 was perfect. There is no evidence in his words or actions, or lack of them, that he ever wanted anything other than for things to get really bad. Once that eventuality passed the point of no return, the stage was set for him to exploit it politically for his own pleasure, including a host of new opportunities to make the bad times even worse. He must be tinkled pink to have his followers now rallying behind him with “the cure is worse than the problem ever would have been” rhetoric, since that is exactly the kind of cure he wanted all along. Who can doubt that he will take every measure possible within his alarmingly escalating power to make sure his followers are correct?

Even setting aside the arguments minimizing the pandemic’s severity had it been handled along more conservative or free-market lines, the doomsday scenarios from the cure are not unfounded. Even the most sanguine commentators do not deny that prospects for the post-pandemic world, America not excepted, are potentially dire. The dismaying pictures that are painted of what we may be up against are not unlike, and in some ways dwarf, conditions in post-WWI Germany. Trump should be up for that. So many valid comparisons have been made between Trump and Hitler that it should be manifest by now that dwelling on them does little good, and may indeed exacerbate the likelihood of further parallels. It is not surprising that these conservative doomsday scenarios, mostly made in response to “your granny must die for the economy” style charges from Left, do not go so far as to envision a Hitler-like rise to power for Trump, even though they do not shy from predicting conditions similar to those that made it possible, including a stock-market crash and world depression.

To be fair, when conservatives have attempted to figure effects on the economy into the equation for how to best handle the pandemic, the liberal reaction has been overblown. Even when less than hysterical, it has almost always dismissed the fact that sacrificing lives to avert even greater losses, or even out of mere convenience, is not un-American or even necessarily conservative. A prime example, perhaps more relevant than it first appears, would be President Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan. He did so against the moral reservations and military recommendations of generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Douglas McArthur, who favored winning the war along more conventional means even while advising that to do so could result in as many as a million American casualties. It is estimated that the immediate losses from the nuclear bombings were in the range of “only” a fourth of that. In deciding if this was a fair trade-off, even without factoring in the long term effects of the bombings, should it even be considered that American casualties would have been to soldiers, while the Japanese’s were mostly civilians, including women and children and babies? Is it a reasonable place for “America First” rationalizations, with their underlying assumption that some lives are more valuable than others? Or, on a less dramatic scale, consider one example where we seem to accept the loss of lives for mere convenience. Without fail, studies show that as highway speed limits increase, highway fatalities also increase. In spite of this, speed limits have been allowed to dramatically increase.

That said, the conservative knee-jerk to the medical establishment’s recommended handling of the pandemic falls short on other counts, even if they are correct that its effects have been exaggerated. Most importantly, they ignore that under Trump’s “leadership” we were well on the way to their doomsday scenarios even without the pandemic. This was more than suggested in a story, in The Atlantic January/February 2020 issue, titled “The Alarming Scope of the President’s Emergency Powers.” It was written early enough that the pandemic isn't mentioned, but that would fit squarely into the article’s warnings. Had it been written a month later, I’m sure it would be even more alarming than it already is. It describes how even in a more ostensible “emergency,” scrapped together by Trump and cronies, a doomsday scenario could result. Granted, Elizabeth Goitein’s scenario does not, on the surface, sound as alarming as the ones now put forth by Trump camp conservatives, and even she allows that her “scenario might sound extreme.” What is important is that it is not a competing scenario but a compounding one, and that it fits disconcertingly well in places where even conservatives seem afraid to tread. Put them together in the aftermath of the pandemic, and it’s hard to see how we are not already in the midst of a modern day equivalent to post-WWI Germany:

. . . the German middle class bore the brunt of the economic chaos. When another financial crisis hit, they grew weary and distrustful of their government leaders. Searching for new leadership and fearing a Communist takeover, many people turned to extremist parties such as the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler, despite his unpopular and failed attempt to start a national revolution in 1923.

In 1932, the Nazi Party became the largest political party in Parliament. After a brief struggle for power, Hitler was named Chancellor in January 1933. Within weeks, he invoked Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution to quash many civil rights and suppress members of the Communist party.

In March 1933, Hitler introduced the Enabling Act to allow him to pass laws without the approval of Germany’s Parliament or President. To make sure the Enabling Act was passed, Hitler forcibly prevented Communist Parliament members from voting. Once it became law, Hitler was free to legislate as he saw fit and establish his dictatorship without any checks and balances. ( - April 26, 2019 )

There is nothing about Trump to suggest he would not welcome similar developments in his own tenure. In the four years following the stock market crash in 1929, Hitler was able to consolidate his power into complete dictatorship, so Trump should have plenty of time if he gets re-elected in 2020.

The pandemic played right into Trump’s little hands, which are now overfull of deadly bad-time ammunitions bursting to be aimed at anything in the way of his getting what he wants. Not the least of these is the economy, whose strength the political pundits once thought key to his re-election. Now, it would be a grave mistake not to think there will be an about-face similar to what he pulled with the pandemic. His antics on that score may have been all along mainly a way of leveraging the economy over a similar brink of no return. We know the routine. He will claim that everything was not only “under control” but booming, until the liberals came along and ruined everything with their fake news (like a national debt that had already surged in unprecedented manner to over a trillion dollars) and pandemic over-reactions. Then he will promise to save us with a simple little tweet, or as many as he thinks the circumstance demands, and he will surge again to number one on something and tweet some more to call attention to the fact. But we will not be saved, and America will not be great again.

Be certain that he is not counting solely on pandemic related “emergencies” like the economy but is busy behind the scenes setting up other potential national crises, just in case. For instance, his recent press releases about intelligence on imminent “military” threats from Drug Cartels and, separately, Iran, went by relatively unnoticed in the commotion surrounding the pandemic. If things are moving too slowly for Trump’s self-satisfaction, a little military action, whether at home or abroad, should speed things up. Who knows what else he may be staging to disrupt the upcoming election in ways that are deadly favorable to his majesty, or to keep in reserve for his reign of terror beyond? Not to be outdone by a measly little misanthrope who wasn’t even American and was of questionable “whiteness,” Trump will continue his infamous aim for the number one spot in the annals of nihilist history, never mind that even an infinitely negative Trump is still less than a Big Zero and even further from being Number One. Unfortunately, I can not tell a lie — at least not one that’s big enough to trump him.