After reading David Ignatius’s May 12 op-ed, “A survival guide to the abuse of power,” I was seized with the comparison to my “opportunity” to witness Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, Mobutu Sese Seko of Congo, Charles Taylor of Liberia, Pieter W. Botha of South Africa and a bunch of other ruthless warlords and dictators in action when I was a Foreign Service officer. The one thing that each had in common with President Trump was an egocentricity that bred total power. Each believed he was right about every decision, and to argue with that decision brought instant banishment or worse. Each is or was an African despot.
There is much about the actions of Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign and the first few months of his term that reminds me of those tinhorn warlords of Africa. Mr. Trump’s ego, emotional decision-making, demand for allegiance and “my way or the highway” attitude are the same as those of the African dictators and warlords who grabbed total control of their nations.
One can only hope the judicial and legislative checks and balances built into the government of the United States are strong enough to withstand the assaults of a leader of the executive branch who is ill-prepared, unsuited and possibly unable to properly carry out his duties.