Last weekend Donald Trump asked attendees at his rally in Florida to raise their right hand and pledge allegiance to him and vote for him “no matter what.” (video at the link)
It is the most repulsive gesture of the campaign so far.
One of the reasons Latin American countries are a mess is that they abide by the “great man’ theory,
The great man theory of leadership became popular during the 19th-century. The mythology behind some of the world’s most famous leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar, Mahatma Gandhi and Alexander the Great helped contribute to the notion that great leaders are born and not made. In many examples, it seems as if the right man for the job seems to emerge almost magically to take control of a situation and lead a group of people into safety or success.
This is inimical to a representative republic founded on the principle of rule of law, of equality under the law, on the commitment that no one is above the law. History and experience shows that, time after time, any one person who “seems to emerge almost magically to take control of a situation” will invariably do so by the not-so-magical means of placing themselves above the law.
Mary O’Grady expounds on this subject,
Donald Trump’s Latin Role Models. Far from respecting the Constitution, the candidate promises to out-Obama Obama.
Trump supporters are backing this promise of an unconstitutional use of executive power because they aim to raze the “establishment.” But this is a dangerous game.
It’s too often easy to find an excuse, a moral outrage, to grant permission for the unconstitutional acts of a strongman. Venezuela—which until Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999 was among the longest-running democracies in Latin America—comes to mind. In 1998 oil prices were low, the economy was adrift, corruption was rampant, and the outsider Chávez promised to topple everything. He did. And once the law was destroyed, there was no way to control him.
I got into an argument with a Trump supporter during the weekend, which did not end well.
Let’s hope Republicans come to their senses and do not elect Trump on this primary season.