There are few people Donald Trump seems to think of more highly than himself. And as his own words prove, that select group includes some of the world's most dangerous dictators. But it is his authoritarian actions that are even more troubling. Join hundreds of thousands of Americans in sharing the video that encapsulates this chilling truth.
Donald Trump is a big fan of Donald Trump.
This has been obvious throughout his various careers. But it became as explicit as it could be at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
While accepting his party's nomination for president, Trump infamously boasted, "I alone can fix it." His "it" apparently encompassed anything his supporters deemed broken, whether it was the economy, the immigration system, or such broad and vast notions like "war and destruction" around the globe.
This is not the language of a person who understands the role of president of the United States and how our representative government functions. That lack of understanding has always been alarming. But his hasty unilateral decisions and reliance on executive orders, rather than the legislative process, is especially concerning.
His latest decision to fire FBI Director James Comey for what appears to be a refusal to pledge loyalty to Trump and do his bidding is, according to many experts on authoritarianism, a sign that he is attempting to not only sound but also act like a dictator.
Our Constitution was never been meant to imbue the office Trump now occupies with sole and unquestionable power over the government and the people. That kind of role is more aptly referred to as a dictator.
But then, other than himself, many of Trump's favorite people have something disturbing in common.
They are dictators, not just in name or desire, but in the bloody and inhumane acts they condone and perform from their totalitarian perches. And not only does Trump admire these men — more and more each day in his presidency, he is beginning to mirror their worldview.
On-screen text: This is how dictatorships start.
TRUMP: I am your voice!
STEPHEN MILLER: The powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial, and will not be questioned.
On-screen text over images of Hussein, Putin, Kim Jong Un: Who else doesn't like to be questioned? A lot of Trump's heroes.
TRUMP: You've got to give [Kim Jong Un] credit. He wiped out the uncle. He wiped out this one, that one. Obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie.
TRUMP: President el-Sisi has been very close to me. We agree on so many things.
TRUMP: Putin's been a very strong leader for Russia.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: He also is a person that kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries.
TRUMP: At least he's a leader.
REPORTER: Trump inviting Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to Washington —
REPORTER: A self-confessed killer into the White House.
JAKE TAPPER: The president called Turkish President Erdogan to congratulate him on his recent power grab.
TRUMP: We would be so much better off if Gaddafi were in charge right now.
TRUMP: Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? You know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good.
CHUCK TODD: It's a famous Mussolini quote. You retweeted it. You like the quote? Did you know it was Mussolini?
TRUMP: It's OK to know it's Mussolini. It's a very good quote.
On-screen text: Trump admires dictators and borrows from their playbooks. Attacking the free press:
TRUMP: They are the enemy of the people.
TRUMP: We're going to open up those libel laws, folks, and we're gonna have people sue you like you never got sued before.
JONATHAN KARL: Is he really going to pursue that?
REINCE PRIEBUS: It's something that we've looked at.
On-screen text: Threatening the separation of powers:
Image of Trump tweet: The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
TRUMP: The rules of the Senate and some of the things you have to go through ... Maybe at some point, we're going to have to take those rules on.
On-screen text: This is not normal. These are dictator tactics.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT: Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump.
On-screen text: #RESIST
This is indeed not normal. For the leader of a proudly free country to esteem and emulate leaders who view freedom as a nuisance, at best, and a poison to be eradicated from their subjects, at worst, is a frightening omen. And it must be resisted.
Donald Trump disdains the bedrock values of this nation. It is left to the rest of us to champion them.