An illustration of President Trump's face, superimposed on an image of the American flag.

I have been to many countries and studied history, geography and the politics of past civilizations, and it seems to me that the world’s greatest superpower might have a scary super baby dictator in the incubator, developing at a fast and alarming rate. 

The characteristics exhibited by this president fall in line with the leadership tone of dictators and authoritarian rulers of the past. They share the same stripes and, like a tiger, they never change. It is sad that the United States is slowly crawling back to the past century, just to fulfill one person’s ego. 

Typically, dictators surround themselves with people from their immediate family and circle of friends, disregarding experience or expertise in politics as long as they feel they have their loyalty. That is what we are currently witnessing with this White House. 

Dictators crave power and ego. They need to feel liked by the masses; they hold huge rallies to instill fear both in their opponents and in the people working for them. They like to brag to their cabinet ministers or secretaries about being loved by the people. They use this tactic to instill fear into their subordinates in order to create the feeling that the “Boss” is always right, never wrong. They want to make their staff and high-ranking officials — all the way up to Cabinet members — live and work in fear. The feeling is deeply instilled that the “Boss” was voted into office by millions of people because the “Boss” is smarter than the rest of the administration.

So who are you to question the “Boss” when he or she is much better, bigger and more loved than the rest of the peasants working at his mercy? You can be replaced in a heartbeat for insubordination. 

This kind of manipulation can make some cabinet secretaries or ministers afraid to correct the “Boss,” even when it is clear that the “Boss” is wrong. It can lead to wrong decisions, bad judgments and poor laws. It can lead a whole nation into a crisis: a trillion dollar debt, a recession or depression or unnecessary wars worldwide. 

Adolf Hitler’s quotes are still used to this day, like this one: ”The victor will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not.” Does that sound familiar? Maybe it should. The truth doesn’t exist anymore because of the lies that the White House spews every single day. 

Another Hitler quote: “Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.” Maybe that’s why little kids and babies are being caged and separated from their parents. Does that seem familiar? In the last century, people were put into camps, starved and gassed to death, only for someone 60 years later to say Nazi Germany was all a hoax. Yes, there are people in the present day who believe the whole thing was a hoax. 

All dictators seem to have the same style. Military power is their bread and butter. Without a strong, powerful military and intelligence officers who can intimidate and instill fear into opposition leaders — or anyone standing up for the civil rights of the general public — they feel naked. 

Their tones of communication are the same, though times have changed and social media — Twitter, Facebook, etc. — have taken over. There is less need for a press secretary when a strong man armed with a cheap cell phone can reach much larger masses and audiences than ever before. 

The scariest part of it is that the greatest power on the planet is on the fast track to the top of the list of dictatorships. Is that an exaggeration? I honestly don’t know, but history will judge. 

It is chilling that so many past dictators expressed the same views as the current U.S. president. For insistence, Idi Amin Dada expelled all Asians from Uganda. That decision was taken in the context that it was for the “national economic interests of Uganda.”  Now, in our new, modern world, the current administration is viciously forcing immigrants out of the country, regardless of all the contributions immigrants have made to the country.  

Some agendas and ideologies are built out of spite, hate or a feeling that some people don’t belong here. Human beings are going back to a time in the 20th century when life was not a right but a privilege. Young immigrant children have been put in cages, and we might not have heard of them for years but for the determination of some lawmakers who put the issue into national headlines. That’s the way the world got to know about these horrific acts that are happening in the modern world. 

Threatening cabinet officials and administrators is not the right way to govern. Ensuring that officials work in fear throughout the entire day is not the right way to lead. The only results you will get will be disaster and disarray among staff like we are witnessing now. 

It’s starting to feel as though this current administration is bringing yellow journalism back into the mainstream, with some media reporting different facts to appease their audience. Anyone familiar with that part of history knows how that ended.   

Colly Dennis is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.