Democrats fear president Donald Trump would be an American Hitler. And they mock Mr. Trump for having split Republicans into two factions: those who support Trump grudgingly and those who will never support Trump. Yet this split is itself the best insurance against the risk of having a dictator-president.
Imagine that the president gives an unlawful command to his subordinates — such as to destroy classified intelligence or hide it from the government. The subordinates are more likely to follow that order if they can trust that the president will not betray them, if they can be confident that they won’t suffer other consequences to their misconduct, or if they’re just so loyal to the president that they would sacrifice their own careers for the president’s sake.
Vanishingly few of the thousands of men and women who would serve under president Donald Trump would sacrifice their careers to please him. There are more Democrats than Republicans working in the federal government. Relatively few federal employees are Republicans, especially in Washington, DC. Among these DC Republicans, few even want Donald Trump to be president. Most preferred Marco Rubio or John Kasich. Many claim that they will never vote for Donald Trump, even if the alternative is Hillary Clinton.
Second, opposing Donald Trump is the popular thing to do. Leaders in the media, in politics, and in entertainment vilify Donald Trump in particular, and Republicans in general. Such an environment welcomes dissenters and whistle-blowers. It is a “safe space” for people in the Trump administration who would need the courage to quit their jobs if president Trump ever asked them to do something illegal.
Third, Donald Trump isn’t known for loyalty to his subordinates. Before running for president, his slogan was, “You’re Fired!” Admittedly, Donald Trump does enjoy a cult following, as evidenced by Twitter commenters and rally attendees who support Trump unconditionally. But this cult of personality is weaker than those of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. And, importantly, it does not extend into Washington, DC.
Highly-educated, wealthy adults cried tears of celebration after President Obama’s historic nomination in 2008. Since then, they have forgiven and excused this president’s mistakes of policy and judgment. Many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters idolize her, too. They see her nomination for president as an historical accomplishment for women. They have supported her for decades, throughout many scandals of both public and private concern.
The FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email affair shows that this cult-like loyalty extends into Washington, DC. She asked a campaign aide without security clearance to set up an unsecured home-brew email system that was monitored less closely than your Gmail account. She was warned about the security risk and ignored it. She used it in foreign countries, and many of us learned about its existence only after a Romanian hacker bragged about reading her emails. Even after that, her lawyers deleted far more emails than she disclosed to the government, including information that was classified at the time it was sent. She deleted these emails in a way that now makes them irretrievable to the FBI, but presumably they’re archived at the Kremlin.
And yet everyone who worked with Hillary Clinton went along with this. Her immediate aides participated in this email system with her, and the senior-most officials at the State Department and at other government agencies acquiesced to it. For years, the media has made excuse after excuse in lockstep with lie after lie from Clinton. And yesterday FBI Director James Comey spelled out exactly why Hillary Clinton’s grossly negligent conduct is a felony under the law, even as he rationalized why she won’t be held accountable for it.
The FBI removed all doubt. Hillary Clinton will violate the law. Her aides will violate the law on her behalf. The law will not be enforced against her. Perhaps this is why James Madison was opposed to having political parties in our government in the first place. Right now, Donald Trump is the closest we have to a president without a political party.