To the editor:

We are learning that democracy is fragile. Our own Constitution could not have prepared us for every challenge. This president is challenging our democracy, every day. Here is his playbook: 

Discredit the media. Very important. Create distrust in the media. As soon as you are elected, say “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.” (He did say that in 2016.) That’s all you have to know. It works. If it doesn’t come from Fox, it’s “fake news.”

Silence your dissenters. Call them names, insult them, demean them, tell lies about them. That will keep them quiet. If they do work for you, it’s easy — just fire them. Discredit the entire intelligence branch. Fire all the inspector generals, the government watchdogs and key department personnel who get in your way. Threaten any senators or state governors who don’t support you. Such fun. It will make you feel like a king or maybe get you a TV show.

Isolate from the world. Drop out of the World Health Organization, the Paris Climate Accords, the Iran Nuclear Treaty, UNESCO, the Open Skies Treaty, the TPP, parts of the U.N. Maybe NATO. Don’t be concerned that the free world won’t count on us for leadership anymore. We don’t need them anyhow. And don’t be embarrassed that Ireland “pities” us. You have to stay tough. Remember, we are an island.

Lie, lie, lie. This takes a lot of work, but it is key. Tell 23 lies a day. That would be 18,000 over a 3-1/2 year period. Repeat them often and people will start to believe you. Stick with it. Use Twitter, as it has speed and scale. If Twitter finally decides to call you out, threaten them. People don’t fact-check anyhow.

Control the courts. Then you can hide your tax returns. Exonerate your friends who have already pleaded guilty. Pardon your incarcerated criminal friends. Overturn existing laws and regulations that you don’t like. Now everything gets easier.

Rig the voting. Voters may misunderstand your intentions and start to turn on you. So don’t take any chances. Mess with the ballot box. In heavily Democratic areas, simply make it more difficult. Do everything you can to keep long lines at the polls so people get discouraged. You can simply ignore the complaints, and your party’s state governors will also. Check Georgia’s successful game plan. Ingenious, simple.

Create chaos. In addition to everything above, think big. Find ways to annoy our valued allies. Encourage the Russians and praise dictatorships. Promote home remedies for curing the virus. Resurrect Obamagate. Label all opponents as socialists. Stop all immigrants, as they are all dangerous. North Korea is going to attack us. Tell everyone they are getting terrific tax breaks. Before you get found out, move on to the next outrage. Don’t lead, just confuse.

Rewrite history. Change facts daily and create images of the world as you see it. The fact that history is being recorded daily all over the world should not disturb you. Attorney General Barr will support you because “History is written by the winners.” So, at all costs, don’t lose! Otherwise you won’t get to be the greatest president who ever lived.

Now that you have followed all these steps, Mr. President, you may think you have won. Unfortunately, no. Ultimately you will fail. Truth will prevail. The lies will catch up with you because you don’t know when to stop. You will be exposed for the con man that you are. Even your sycophant supporters will return to their swamps; some with any common sense will start to speak out. You will lose the next election and you will be disgraced. History is on our side, not yours. The Constitution is a stronger document than you think.

(Republican Joe McCarthy tried fear-mongering 70 years ago, whipping almost half of our population into a frenzy. The Russians were coming and Communists were in our midst! He failed dramatically due to a (legitimate) Senate hearing. His chief counsel was Roy Cohn, our current president’s mentor. After a dramatic appeal by Edward R. Murrow on national television, Joe McCarthy disappeared, forever. Yes, history will repeat itself and our nation will survive another attack.)

Dennis McGurk

Gloucester

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