This week Trump enacted a number of unprecedented actions targeting the civil liberties and well-being of both legal and illegal immigrants. These range from stripping ALL immigrants of privacy protections to punishing sanctuary cities to putting a freeze on the entry of ALL refugees, targeting Muslim ones in particular. Immigration experts expect mass arrests to be only a matter of time.
His administration began to attack the science-minded branches of the government, clamping down on the release of scientific data and requiring all studies be reviewed by his people before they’re released to the public. Data that was once freely available to the population and conclusions that were once independently drawn will now be subject to the approval of political operatives.
Trump also instituted changes to the press corps to allow them to incorporate alternative outlets, as picked by Trump himself. This allows websites like Breitbart to Skype into press conferences — and gives Spicer a friendly face to call on when taking questions. They have spent a great deal of time this week railing against the unfairness of the media. His representatives have lied repeatedly and obviously, and when confronted with their lies called them “alternative facts”. When further pressed, representatives threatened to ban major news organizations from the White House and its events. This conflict has culminated in one of his closest advisors declaring the press to be an enemy and telling them to be quiet.
He threw out a number of regulations and ordered the instigation of a number of projects that will prove financially beneficial to himself and those in his cabinet.
Over in Russia, a number of high-level government officials and citizens involved in intelligence and cybersecurity were arrested for treason, specifically involvement in leaking information about the Trump-Putin connections. When the US intelligence community began sounding the horn about the connections between Russia and Trump’s election, one of their concerns was the jeopardization of our informants and intelligence assets overseas. It appears their fears are being borne out. US employees doing their job whose actions were perceived as politically unfavorable to the Trump administration have effectively been sent to their deaths.
He’s ordered a federal hiring freeze across all branches of the government. The sole exception is the military — which as of his actions today will be enjoying a massive buildup.
He’s expressed the desire to send in troops to exert control over a major American city. He signed an order punishing “sanctuary cities” — that is, cities deemed to be insufficiently aggressive in their efforts to ferret out illegal immigrants.
Though these may eventually be challenged by the courts, passing these actions are all within his power as POTUS and technically legal.
It has been one week since Trump’s inauguration.
In November 1932, a parliamentary election in Germany saw support for the Nazi Party drop from 37% to 33%. They held a plurality of seats in the Reichstag and were able to install Adolf Hitler as Chancellor. They enjoyed the support of less extreme conservative factions, as they felt Hitler was a buffoon who could be controlled. However, as the Nazi Party did not hold a majority of seats, they could not exert full governmental control. This in addition to the drop in their support led some opponents to hope their popularity was beginning to wane.
On February 27, 1933 the Reichstag was set on fire. Hitler declared this to be proof the country was under attack by communists and foreign elements. The Communist party was the second largest party in the German parliament and the major political opponent of the National Socialists. He pressured the passage of an executive order the next day that suspended a number of civil liberties. Hundreds of Communist Party members and politicians, including many members of its leadership, were summarily arrested and held without trial. This was all accepted by the population under the precedence of law-and-order — Hitler argued the country was dangerously unstable and subject to enemy forces from within.
Further executive actions were signed in the next month. Existing Nazi militias began to be integrated into the military and police forces. On March 23, 1933, the parliament itself passed a law that allowed the Chancellor and his cabinet to pass laws without parliamentary approval, effectively handing Hitler the unilateral power to enact laws. By April, the Nazi Party had complete control over Germany. They began mass arrests of critics and political opponents. By July, all opposing political parties had been dissolved.
Within the space of six months, the Nazi Party had gone from holding a minority of seats in the German Parliament to running a totalitarian state. A terrorist attack was given as an excuse to increase national security, and less than thirty days after its occurrence Hitler had total control of the German government. Each step to that point was technically legal within the confines of the Weimar Republic’s constitution — or legal enough that the population did not resist.
Everything Trump is doing is technically legal. But if you are not terrified, you are not paying attention.