As Trump continues to fill his Cabinet and other top positions, a dangerous trend is emerging: He's not picking the most qualified and experienced people; people that might have a moderating influence on Trump's ignorant recklessness. Instead, he's doing what he always does: Surrounding himself with ass kissing toadies who will do anything he orders them to do, like Sarah Palin and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law:
WASHINGTON — Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald J. Trump, has spoken to a lawyer about the possibility of joining the new administration, a move that could violate federal anti-nepotism law and risk legal challenges and political backlash.
Trump is behaving exactly like a dictator, creating a government that will enable his ego, greed and need for petty vengeance. This is how a country is murdered from the top down. Trump, already a narcissistic sociopath of the highest order, will use the power of the United States government to indulge his every whim and line his pockets.
Once he's in office, the next step will be to purge anyone that won't rubber stamp his agenda, something Trump has been discussing for months. With the IRS, the FBI, the CIA and all of the regulatory bodies under his direct control, Trump will reward his political/economic allies lavishly and crush his enemies.
Matthew Yglesias at Vox describes what this kind of government would look like and it's a truly bleak picture:
To be a successful businessman in a systemically corrupt regime and to be a close supporter of the regime are one and the same thing.
Those who support the regime will receive favorable treatment from regulators, and those who oppose it will not. Because businesses do business with each other, the network becomes self-reinforcing. Regime-friendly banks receive a light regulatory touch while their rivals are crushed. In exchange, they offer friendly lending terms to regime-friendly businesses while choking capital to rivals.
Republicans always rail against the government "picking winners and losers" in their phony pursuit of an unregulated free market. They do this because their corporate masters want less restrictions on their greed. But with Trump's impending Kleptocracy, will Republicans happily stand by while he rewards loyal corporations and punishes others even as he finds ways to loot the Treasury? Will Corporate America be willing to risk their profits betting on an unstable clown with a long history of failed business ventures?
It depends on whether or not they feel they can control the system Trump is putting into place. If they think they can, one of the largest impediments to Trump turning the government into his personal fiefdom will be gone and that should terrify you. Republicans have already seriously weakened the checks and balances put in place by the Constitution and Trump will almost certainly ignore what's left of them.
But that's not the worst part. Yglesias explains that the most dangerous aspect of Trump's agenda is its self-reinforcing nature:
Such a system, once in place, is extremely difficult to dislodge precisely because, unlike a fascist or communist regime, it is glued together by no ideology beyond basic human greed, insecurity, and love of family.
For decades, both the right and the left have complained about how the system is rigged in favor of the elite few. Trump's supporters even pretended that was why they voted for him. Now, thanks to voter apathy and the racism of white voters, we might finally see what a truly rigged system looks like. And once this system is making a small number of people fantastically rich, they will burn the country to the ground before giving up power.