The Dictators’ Advocates: Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly
Do any of those names look familiar? You may recognize Manafort, who is Paul Manafort, who was the number one man in Trump’s campaign. You may also recognize Rodger Stone who was one of Trump’s closest advisors. This was a firm they ran together that was known for being political consultants for brutal dictators.
They are no longer officially advising the campaign (Manafort because his ties to another dictator) but they have had a big influence on it in the past, and could still be giving Trump unofficial advice.
Ferdinand Marcos’ Political Consultants
Roger Stone himself described, “Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, lined up most of the dictators of the world we could find. … Dictators are in the eye of the beholder.”
Some of their well known dictator clients included Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos and Jonas Savimbi.
Their Expertise: Make Dictators Look Acceptable
Manafort had a special gift for changing how dictators are beheld by American eyes. He would recast them as noble heroes—venerated by Washington think tanks, deluged with money from Congress.
Why does the GOP, the media, and Trump supporters too often normalize the extremely dangerous bigotry and megalomaniacal demagoguery of Donald Trump? They’ve been swindled by people who do this for a living. Who normalize this behavior for a living.
Their Dictator Tactics During the Primary
This sort of thing already went on during the GOP primary when Stone was threatening delegates…
The Dictator Playbook Being Used Today
A lot of what comes from the Trump campaign recently feels like a window into third world dictatorships. It feels like Trump’s advisors are pulling out the same playbook they used to undermine democracy in other countries.
One can understand how, when you start accusing the election of being rigged, everyone else as being an untrustworthy politician, and “you alone” can fix it… when you can get a cult following that will stick by you even if you “start shooting people on fifth avenue,” it could undermine democracy. Not to mention finding convenient internal scapegoats like Muslims or (insert minority group) depending on the situation.
Stone & Manafort must know a lot about that. And from the Trump campaign rhetoric, it seems like they are passing the “overthrow democracy” playbook right to Trump.
I feel pained for whatever country lost their democracy due to this playbook… if Stone & Manafort really did apply these tactics to a less stable democracy it is easy to see how the people have little chance to stop it.
They Aren’t Fooling Us
We are very blessed to be in this country, as, at least for now, these tactics seem almost comical when Trump tries to use them anymore. It is almost like the stereotypical Putin-backed internet troll that can barely speak english. It isn’t working on America. But we should still pray and fight these evil tactics as they have no place among the world’s greatest democracy.
But Stay Vigilant & Speak Out
Professional dictator advisors can be dangerous… really dangerous. Dictators are know, for example, to come to power by committing a terrorist attack and blaming it on their opponents. It wasn’t just Hitler that did this but many others including one of Trump’s biggest supporters, Vladimir Putin. We have to be vigilant and speak out.
Don’t Be Afraid
It seems like with the Trump campaign they totally failed no matter what they do. But these people work by intimidation… but don’t let them intimidate you like they have with so many in the GOP. If you give an authoritarian a concession, they only see weakness. You have to stand up to them if you want them to back down. If you give in, you will only make them lust for more.
Fear is what makes them stronger. Laugh at it like Obama… they really are failing comically… or stand up to it nonviolently, with your words or actions.