Week 9: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
Amy Siskind has been running a series of articles on Medium that provide advice for when you live under an authoritarian government. This particular entry begins:
This was not a good week for our country: this is the longest, and most troubling list. I want to note that the purpose of the authoritarian list is to highlight subtle changes, and so business as usual, as upsetting as it may be — like the GOP’s attempt to repeal the ACA — are not covered. Again, this is a list that is not meant to be partisan, but rather to capture changes in the fabric of our country, so we can refer back, and recall what used to be normal and acceptable.
1. The Office of Government Ethics director publicly lamented, “we seem to have lost contact with the Trump-Pence transition since the election.”
2. Three vendors have placed liens on the Trump hotel in DC for unpaid bills of over $5 million, in total.
4. Sean Hannity endorsed a tweet which said “Make Russia Great Again” with the word, “Amen.” Hannity later deleted his tweet.
5. Meryl Streep used her Golden Globes lifetime of notable work speech to eloquently attack Trump, without mentioning his name.
6. Trump responded via a tweet that Streep is an “over-rated” actress, and denied he had mocked a disabled reporter.
8. Trump appointed Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to a top WH post, possibly violating the 1967 federal anti-nepotism statute.
9. Trump told the NYT that all the dress shops in DC are sold out for his inauguration. This was a lie.
10. Trump team dismissed the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy, responsible for maintaining our nuclear arsenal, as of January 20. Trump also dismissed the commanding general of the DC national guard.
11. Cory Booker became the first US Senator to speak out against a fellowsitting senator at a confirmation hearing (Sessions for AG).
12. CNN reported a bombshell — Intelligence chiefs had briefed Trump that Russia had gathered information to blackmail him (the dossier).
13. Same day, BuzzFeed published contents of the dossier, which apparently had been in the hands of the FBI and some in the media since the summer. Contents include the infamous golden shower.
14. Trump denied having been briefed, and said the contents of the dossier were confirmed by intelligence to be fake. DNI Clapper issued a public statement indicating the dossier’s contents are still being verified (not fake), and media reported that Comey met with Trump one-on-one to review the dossier the prior Friday.
15. Trump held his first press conference since July. Trump packed the room with paid employees, who applauded him, and jeered at reporters.
16. At presser, Trump said he had no plans to release his tax returns, or resolve conflicts of interest, saying, “I have no-conflict situation because I’m president.”
17. . . .
Continue reading. That particular list has 36 entries.