Copyright belongs to Karremans Johannes of the European University Institute (for the image above)
(updated 10/20/2020, 23:04 HST)
THE greatest threat to democracy is a dictator, who abuse and misuse power against his own people, who have vested their trust and put him in the highest office of the land in hopes that their lives would be better. To grip onto power, the ungrateful chief executive cares less if he breaches that trust; worse, the ungrateful chief executive cares less if he violates people’s rights. For a dictator’s MO (modus operandi) is as follows:
A dictator has no respect for the rule of law; he has no respect for civil liberties. A dictator is a fiduciary in breach of his duties; in his duty to care, in his duty to protect; in his duty to serve . He is someone whose moral compass is malfunctioning, because of his tight grip on power.
A dictator has no reverence for the sacredness of that very rare privilege to lead his nation to a greater good. He has no reverence for true democracy (Obama, 2020). He has no reverence for that humbling privilege to serve his citizenry—what can be more unpatriotic?
A dictator does not care if he overlaps and infiltrates the greatest institutions and agencies of the republic. Wittingly or unwittingly, he taints the sterling reputations of those institutions and agencies–as he demands loyalty (ironically, amid his betrayal). His message is to “make it clear” that he is in command. And that all should align their undertakings to his theatrical rhetoric regardless of its constitutionality and reasonableness.
A dictator is vindictive to his own people, who voice their opposition against his ill-leadership. He cannot and will not tolerate peaceful protests, fearing that he would lose command, and his power would be outnumbered by the people who exercise their rights to free speech. He takes advantage of a national emergency, such as the current global pandemic of Covid-19 to deter and even punish his critics and protesters using abusive policing.
A dictator abuses and misuses the weaponry of his nation against his own people who disagree with him. He twists facts. He misleads his people on unfounded, baseless, merit less conspiracy theories, all nothing but paranoia. He disseminates false or disinformation, to avoid transparency and accountability. He sows division, hatred and fear to divert people’s attention to the very fact that he simply cannot lead. He is a stranger to diplomacy, decency, and empathy; and a total alien to humility.
A dictator abuses his nation’s resources and will resort even to criminal means for the sake of power. Power power power. To him, power is all that matters.
A dictator treats public service as a business enterprise to enrich himself at the expense of his own people who continue to sink in poverty—what a very sad reality!
The good news is people do have the power against dictators by exercising their rights to vote. They must ensure fair and honest election. They also must ensure elections are taking place accordingly. Because every election is an opportunity for the people to change the course of their history. Every election is an opportunity for the people to improve their lives and to make their nation rise to the occasion and overcome dictatorship. Every voting citizen must responsibly exercise the right to vote.
Lastly, dictatorship is not leadership. And an autocrat is not much of a difference. As both engage in a subtle treason against a democratic republic; against “. . . the government of the people, by the people, and for the people” (Lincoln, 1863). Because in a democratic country the citizenry pledge allegiance never to a party more so, to a dictator, nor to an autocrat; Rather, to the nation and sovereign “. . . government of the people, by the people, and for the people” (Lincoln, 1863). United States of America is the greatest inspiration of democratic nations. A north star of the free world, U.S. must relentlessly denounce dictatorship, autocracy and communism. It will be monumental and inspirational for the people of those nations to hear U.S. President Donald J. Trump rebuke the evils of dictatorship, autocracy and communism that are happening in the Philippines, in Russia, in Belarus, in Turkey, in China, in North Korea and perhaps somewhere else. It is hard to dismiss the fact that President Trump is seen too cozy with the dictators of those nations mentioned above, which according to many national security experts, the President’s personal choice of friendship and adversaries poses immense endangerment to U.S. It is important to note that historically, dictators and autocrats are men, abusive men who are so obsessed with power. Also note, although the late and former United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Margaret Tatcher (1925-2013) was widely criticized for her conservatism; but no one can accuse her of dictatorship. Her toughness in men’s world was warranted.
Personally, I strongly believe that dictators and autocrats are not only the greatest threats to democracy; but, likewise, they’re the grave humiliations and embarrassments to great republics, disgrace to humanity and to civilized societies in this twenty-first century.
Lincoln, Abraham. (1863). The Gettysburg Address. The Library of Congress.
Obama, Barack. (2020) Democratic 2020 National Convention.