President Donald Trump is obviously feeling the pressure of his office these days. The stock market plummeted, the probe over potential Russian collusion draws ever-closer to his family and the government risks shutting down for the second time in his very short presidency.
No wonder President Trump sounds more demanding than ever before. He’s argumentative, stubborn and even more divisive than usual. But now, even more concerning, he seems to be testing out his own power — and beware anyone who stands in the way.
Here are four signs that President Trump is becoming increasingly dangerous — and putting all Americans at risk:
1. He Wants a “Parade”
Have you heard of the musical “Once Upon a Shoe“? It’s based on children’s nursery rhymes, and once the characters’ problems have been solved, someone suggests that they celebrate by putting on a parade to prove they won. “All the world is your parade route all the world your audience,” one character sings. “They’ll give a cheer and then salute your eminence!”
The play was written in 1988, the height of the Cold War and a surge of American patriotism. And ironically, here we are again — at least in President Trump’s world.
That’s why it’s no surprise that the president wants to throw a parade of his own to show off American military might. But critics suggest that his demand for a military parade suggests he’s a little more tyrant than leader of a democracy.
“[T]his is yet more proof that Trump’s instincts are those of the autocrat. Little wonder that he wants to take the salute at the kind of military display more associated with Moscow or Pyongyang than Washington DC,” writes Johnathan Freedland at The Guardian.
2. He’s Pushing for a Government Shutdown
The president is no longer even trying to negotiate on keeping the government open, claiming he would prefer to see it shut down instead. His line in the sand? Closing off immigration.
“If we don’t change the legislation, if we don’t get rid of these loopholes where killers are allowed to come into our country and continue to kill … if we don’t change it, let’s have a shutdown,” Trump told a law enforcement panel discussing the MS-13 gang at the White House, according to Reuters. “I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of.”
Maybe that’s just an attempt at good old-fashioned hardball business tactics in his world, but real lives lie in the balance — and you don’t get to throw a temper tantrum and risk widespread harm if you don’t get your way.
3. He’s Usin the Word “Treason” Lightly
According to the president, it is now “treason” if you do not enthusiastically embrace his policies. At least, that’s what he claimed when discussing the Democrats who didn’t stand and clap for his State of the Union address.
“They were like death,” Trump said, according to NBC News. “And un-American. Un-American.” He added, “Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
It isn’t treason not to “love the country,” and regardless, the Democrats obviously do love it, or they wouldn’t be so upset by policies dividing the nation and sending the United States into decline. But what’s more disturbing is how lightly the president bandies about the idea of treason — especially as he continues to embrace and elevate police, military and Homeland Security.
4. He’s Stereotyping Undocumented Immigrants as “Dangerous” and Hurting “Real Americans”
The president has long politicized the NFL, criticizing players for taking a knee during the national anthem and protesting racial injustice, pitting them as enemies of the flag and veterans. But he has no issues with using an NFL player to attack immigration by calling out an undocumented immigrant who killed an Indiana Colts player in a car accident.
“So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!” he tweeted after Jackson’s death.
Using one case to represent all undocumented immigrants and push for deportation? That’s xenophobia at its worst.