As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:
- Exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote.
- Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.
- Call anyone who opposes them “enemies.”
- Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.”
- Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements.
- Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.
- Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them.
- Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.
- Threaten mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.
- Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties.
- Appoint family members to high positions of authority
- Surround themselves with their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public.
- Put generals into top civilian posts
- Make personal alliances with foreign dictators.
- Draw no distinction between personal property and public property, profiteering from their public office.
Consider yourself warned.
This article was originally posted on Robert Reich’s blog.