EDITORIAL:

Readers divided in responses to Trump’s dictatorial governing style

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Patrick Semansky / AP

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after meeting with Senate Republicans at their weekly luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

On Sunday, the Las Vegas Sun published a Page 1 editorial making the case that President Donald Trump and Republican Party leadership have stepped over the line from merely displaying authoritarian tendencies to establishing an emerging dictatorship.

The editorial prompted a robust discussion among readers. It drew more than 300 comments on Facebook alone, as well as several phone calls, emails and letters to the editor.

As the dialogue revealed, a vigorous group of Sun readers recognize what’s happening in Washington, D.C., as a threat to our democracy, and are speaking out about it. Those comments, and the editorial itself, drew harsh backlash from GOP supporters, including calls for those concerned about the situation to leave the country and denials that Trump and GOP leaders have abused their authority in any way.

Today, we present a sampling of the Facebook comments, both in support of and opposition to the editorial, to offer a flavor of the rhetoric from both sides. The comments are edited and are presented here without attribution.

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Countries and democracies don’t last forever. This certainly does appear to be the beginning of the end of the country as we know it. One of the few rays of hope is that Trump’s core supporters … are a fading demographic. So if the country could just hold on until the influence of that demographic can be dampened, might have a chance to get the country back on track.

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Terrifying, but we see it taking place right before our eyes.

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Damn straight, hoping for that (Trump/GOP takeover). Trump 2020-24-28-32 then Donnie Jr. KAGA !!!

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Trump supporters better be careful what rights they’re surrendering to Trump’s ideology. Much worse than wearing a mask. Why would anyone want to give up freedoms to support this man?

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Evidence match(es) the facts. He gets along with other dictators like Kim Jong Un and (Vladimir) Putin, he supports Saudi Arabia and supply them with firearms, he morally supports the domestic terrorists by calling them “fine people,” there have been several watchdogs being fired so he can do whatever he wants, he is impeached and the GOP helped him to not to go to trial …

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Trump is using the Hugo Chavez model. Stack the courts, socialize the base (farmers), support protesters against the adversaries, slowly peel back regulations and laws. Add in state run news (Fox) and promote fake news. We are almost there.

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It’s the Democrat governors of various states such as CA,IL, NY, NJ, MI, WA,and NV who are transforming their state into dictatorship. The Las Vegas Sun editorial board is so partisan that it is sounding the wrong message.

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This is not conjecture, THIS IS TRUTH

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It’s not anywhere near any dictatorship. Maybe you should live under one to learn.

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Far from the truth! Your great Democratic governors are the one with the dictator syndrome!

(Reader commenting in response) But your recent protesters in the Midwest fight for this very thing against Democrat leaders while Trump is doing the exact thing in front of your eyes. No one protests Republicans doing this.

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So curious, if these supporters would be happier with their rights and freedoms gone under authoritarian dictatorship.

(Pro-Trump reader commenting in response) That’s exactly why we don’t vote Democrat!

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This is true and Americans need to wake up.

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A lot of these commentators need to read the article. It’s pretty obvious they saw the headline and are just making assumptions based off of that. It’s truly horrifying what is happening in our government. Skip to where they just go over the facts of what this administration is doing if you don’t want to read the opinion part of the article. Any true intelligent Republican would be outraged.

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Are you truly unaware of what he has done to our beloved country these past three years? He has sold it to the highest bidder at every turn.

(Pro-Trump reader commenting in response) We finally have real leadership in the White House.

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The ones that completely shut everything down like a dictator are all DEMOKKKRAT GOVERNOR’S. (Expletive) demoKKKrat’s, they have become the enemy of the people.

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A dictator would not have delegated economic decisions to the governors. He would’ve done that himself.

(Response) Did you forget he tried, at first, to be the big boss and not allow the governors to make decisions? Only when his advisers pointed out that the Constitution delegated to the governors and not the president did he turn it back to the governors.

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They (the Sun) are now branding “national sovereignty” dictatorship. They want us to be like the EU. Globalists … and open border, folks.

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Your “dictator” gave full power to his states’ governors on how/when to reopen. Sun, you’re drunk.

(Response No. 1) That’s so he doesn’t have to accept responsibility if it backfires. He’s pushing for them all to open.

(Response No. 2) Yeah, and he is tweeting to his cult members to resist those orders.

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If it were the beginning of a dictatorship, the southern border wall would have been completed by now. What an absurd notion.

(Response) Dictatorships don’t start out as full blown. Even Hitler had to start somewhere.