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How to Become Dictator of the United States

Imagine you’re President of the United States.

The first step toward becoming a dictator is to capitalize on a crisis.

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” — Winston Churchill

Historically a crisis is usually caused by an economic depression. As humans we are are often willing to look past abstract concepts like freedom and fairness if it means food on the table.

“Peace, Land, Bread” — Bolshevik slogan

Let’s set the dominos in motion by going before the nation and announcing, A War on Inequality.

I wrote a speech for you…

Ladies and Gentlemen, for too long we have been declaring wars all around the world. We have been spending trillions on foreign fights meanwhile here at home people are fighting for their lives. There are good hardworking Americans who don’t know where their next meal will come from! {insert emotional story about struggling single mother}. I am her president and I am your president! I cannot in good conscious hide the truth from you… Washington is corrupt! While you are struggling to eat, we have lobbyists eating, backslapping, and securing deals with your countries highest supposed “public” officials. It’s this corruption that has allowed the rich to get richer while you foot the bill! {insert statistics about rising inequality}. The war, my friends, is not abroad. It’s here. The enemy is corruption. Our enemy is inequality! {pound podium, stare into the distance}

Congratulations, the media is behind you.

You pass an executive order directing the I.R.S. to focus all its energy on the Fortune 500 companies. This will teach them for supporting your opponent in the previous election! And the law has become so convoluted and vague (politicians often don’t even read the bills they pass) that you just need to get these companies on 1 or 2 archaic laws to start freezing assets, fining, and imprisoning board members.

When Americans turn on the news you want them to see CEOs being dragged in to testify before congress (even if they’re innocent the imagery will be powerful).

You also want them to see CEOs and celebrities standing alongside you during your massive rallies. And even if these CEOs and celebrities have a few reservations they’ll still stand by your side because they see how popular opinion is turning against the rich and so they don’t want their business or celebrity taking a hit. The rich and powerful are often the first to tow the line because they have the most to lose.

You call up Mark Zuckerberg. You tell him he needs to publicly accuse his competitors of being monopolies. If he refuses then you say how you’d hate to make an example out of him by breaking up his company and possibly putting him behind bars for negligent use of people’s private data.

BREAKING NEWS: Zuckerberg takes a jab at Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. Declares MONOPOLY!

With this as the breaking news story you go before the nation to announce how the U.S. Justice Department will be studying these companies operations to determine if they should qualify as a monopoly under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Theodore Roosevelt used the Anti-Trust Act to eventually breakup the largest and most powerful company in world history, The Standard Oil Company.

It’s so easy nowadays to reward your friends and punish your enemies. If you want to become a dictator you’ll use every loophole and vagary of the law to your utmost advantage. In American politics 40% of the population will virtually support you no matter what anyway. You just need to give them a half-baked excuse for them to start regurgitating it around the dinner table.

And also by directing the I.R.S. to only focus its energy on the top 1% you just gave 99% of the American public a de facto tax rate of 0%. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you no longer have to pay your taxes because we will not come after you if you don’t!

Barrack Obama did something similar with DACA. His argument was we only have a limited amount of enforcement resources therefore we should only focus it on problem areas thereby giving de facto amnesty to millions of people who were in the country illegally.

“In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.” — Barrack Obama

In your case your argument is that we only have a limited amount of enforcement resources therefore we should only focus the I.R.S. on the problem area of inequality thereby giving a de facto tax break to nearly every American.

Politically this has ensured your reelection because you can tell the American public that if they don’t vote for you that your opponent’s government will start going after them!

Once you’ve won reelection we’ll pass a tax bill called the EQUALITY ACT. The bill will hike up taxes on corporations and the wealthiest 1%. Then to gain some republican support you’ll also increase military spending, which will significantly raise the salaries of our military and retirement benefits for our vets. Most people are too ignorant to realize though that you just passed a pseudo universal income because in the drafting of the bill you expanded the meaning of “military” to include anyone indirectly associated with it such as hospital workers, park grounds keepers, and teachers at your new military schools. Your goal is get as many people dependent on you for their sole source of income.

Congratulations, the average American is behind you.

Our master plan is coming along nicely, the economy starts to tank. Businesses shut down. People are losing jobs. Prices are rising. The 1% get the blame because they’re relocating out of the country to avoid paying their “fair share”.

You go before the nation to give your second presidential inauguration address…

We are winning the war on inequality! {applause} And now that we are winning, the corrupt ones are fleeing the battlefield! They are running off with your American dollars, which you earned with your hands! We live in perilous times. We cannot afford to let them take food out of your mouth! I am requesting Congress to freeze the bank accounts of anyone who tries to move more than 1 million dollars out of the country without written approval. We will also hike up the national tariff on all imported goods to further discourage off-shoring.

Your biggest supporters are poor Americans. You need more poor Americans! You pass the OPPORTUNITY ACT. “We are a nation of immigrants” you remind the American public. You frame the debate as either you are for open-border mass immigration or you are an anti-immigrant racist! With this new act the United States sees millions of people from the poorest regions of the world flood into the country. This is fantastic because they’ll vote for you since you’re so pro-immigrant! They are also fleeing from cultures that didn’t have much respect for the rule of law, which means the legalistic constitutional arguments your opponents will bring up in the next debate will fall on relatively deaf ears.

You’re now nearing the end of your 8 years. This is problematic for you because the 22nd Amendment doesn’t allow you to run for a 3rd term. You must repeal the 22nd Amendment.

Ronald Reagan flirted with the idea of trying to repeal it, but decided against it after his health continued to fail and let his Vice President, George H.W. Bush, take the job instead.

You also remind the American Public that Franklin Roosevelt was into his 3rd term when he delivered the famous lines, “A date which will live in infamy” (The 22nd Amendment was passed after F.D.R.’s presidency).

You are still so popular with the American public and have built enough distrust of the moneyed elite that the average American believes you are one of the few powerful people they can still trust.

But if you’re like most tyrants then you’re probably a little paranoid and insecure therefore to increase your chances of getting the 22nd Amendment repealed you start a foreign war…

First you issue an executive order directing the C.I.A. and F.B.I. to focus all its resources on money laundering, drugs, and guns. In doing so you just made the United States more susceptible to a terrorist attack. The intelligence community stops hundreds of terrorist attacks every year. Now that they won’t be actively trying to stop them we just have to wait…

BOOM.

Hundreds of people died in a bombing. You go before the nation and declare a war on some group or ideology and implore the congress to repeal the 22nd Amendment because during a time of war, “It’s not good to switch horses midstream.”

You then pass the SAFETY ACT. As humans we are also often willing to give up freedom for safety. The SAFETY ACT allows you to ramp up national surveillance and restrict the media.

The 22nd Amendment is easily repealed. You run for a third term and win. Congratulations you’re a de facto dictator!

Now that you can hold office for life, congress increasingly gets in line. With each passing year you begin to ramp up state control of people’s income, healthcare, transportation, education, and thoughts. You increasingly use the law to reward your friends and punish your enemies. You appoint more and more judges to the bench who will interpret the law in the broadest way possible, basically using the Commerce Clause and Equal Protection Clause to justify any federal action.

The economy is stagnant, but fortunately due to innovation people aren’t starving as they would have been in the 20th century. Everyone in America gets a small concrete apartment with enough basic income to enjoy their creature comforts. Americans increasingly feel depressed and isolated. You make sure your government-run healthcare system is prescribing enough drugs to sedate their bland existence. You’ve sufficiently squashed the human spirit. And for the few who try to make a little too much noise you’ve got a dozen ways to silence them (get them kicked off social media for hate speech, take away their basic income, make the culture so ignorant and intolerant that they’ll be drowned out by the newest Kardashian story).

Congratulations, the American people’s loyalty firmly belongs to you. In the past spouses, friends, and family depended on each other during tough times, but that’s too unfair because that means people who don’t have spouses, friends, or family can fall threw the cracks. Now everyone depends on you during these tough times! There loyalty belongs with you, the president who has given them everything and who can take it all away.

Due to the advancement of medicine you will also live for a very, very long time winning each new “election” with bigger and bigger margins. Congratulations dictator! It was hard work, but you did it. You deserve a trip to the Cayman Islands.

Thanks for reading! Regardless of your political affiliation we should all be concerned with the growing centralization of power. Clap to save the republic!

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