In the book “How Democracies Die”, the author, clearly not a moderate, but who is these days, tells us what are the qualities of an autocratic ruler. The following is his brief list:
- Rejection of or weak commitment to democratic rules of the game.
- Denial of the legitimacy of political opponents.
- Toleration or encouragement of violence.
- Readiness to curtail civil liberties of opponents, including media.
Now before I go on with what I was going to say, let me say this. I am equally at home reading books on the left and books on the right. I don’t vote any party line but go through each candidate and decide who I want.
So back to the list, sound like anybody you know? Well we all created him and brought him to power with our intolerance of each other. This is what happens when we can’t listen or dialogue with the other. There is somebody there waiting to take advantage of the state of things and fill the void. There was once a place for tolerance and now there is a void there. The void has been filled with intolerance.
So while he is still in power please take a good look at him, and consider if we keep going down the road of intolerance where we will finally find ourselves. In some sense he is a reflection of us all.