On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks commented on President Trump’s feud with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts by saying the president only recognizes personal power, not the power of institutions, and that devolving institutional power into personal power is something that happens in almost every instance where democracies fall into authoritarianism.
Brooks stated, “It’s of a piece, which is that the only kind of power he acknowledges is personal power, not institutional power. And the idea that the attorney general or a judge has some independent mandate to do a constitutional role, that’s not really part of his mental vocabulary. And so it’s all, are you loyal to me or are you not loyal to me?”
He continued, “And this, by the way, if you look at how — I don’t want to get hysterical here, but if you look at the way regimes decay all across the world from democracy toward authoritarianism, this is a classic thing that happens in almost every case, where the institutional power gets devolved back into personal power, and you return towards the rule of the clan.”
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