Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin is blasting Donald Trump in a new op-ed, calling the president-elect’s actions “consistent with the authoritarian playbook he uses.”
From The Hill
In the piece published Monday in The New York Times, McMullin slammed Trump for his lack of knowledge about the Constitution and said the president-elect’s campaign rhetoric “had demonstrated authoritarian tendencies.”
McMullin pointed to comments made by Trump, such as threatening the freedom of the press and promising the use of torture.
“There is little indication that anything has changed since Election Day. Last week, Mr. Trump commented on Twitter that flag-burning should be punished by jailing and revocation of citizenship,” McMullin wrote.
“As someone who has served this country, I carry no brief for flag-burners, but I defend their free-speech right to protest — a right guaranteed under the First Amendment. Although I suspect that Mr. Trump’s chief purpose was to provoke his opponents, his action was consistent with the authoritarian playbook he uses.”
McMullin also criticized the president-elect for his claim that he would have won the popular vote if “you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
“This, too, is nothing new. Authoritarians often exaggerate their popular support to increase the perception of their legitimacy,” McMullin wrote.
“But the deeper objective is to weaken the democratic institutions that limit their power. Eroding confidence in voting, elections and representative bodies gives them a freer hand to wield more power.”
McMullin, a former CIA officer, said he had seen authoritarians around the world use similar tactics.
“In our nation, power is shared, checked and balanced precisely to thwart would-be autocrats,” McMullin wrote.
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