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If Trump was such a dictator, Donny Deutsch would be in prison


Donald Trump has the capacity to drive people crazy. Donny Deutsch, a regular on MSNBC, is proof of that.

On Bill Maher’s HBO show recently, once again the subject was Donald Trump the dictator. Maher started the conversation reciting evidence, as he sees it, that Donald Trump is a dictator because he “appoints family members,” because he holds “scary rallies,” because he tells his supporters to “lock up my opponents,” because he’s “in it for personal financial gain,” and because he “loves other dictators.”

That’s par for the course on Maher’s show, where bashing the president is not just good for an occasional laugh but is actually heartfelt by Maher, who once said that he’s hoping for a recession because “We have survived many recessions. We can’t survive another Donald Trump term.”

But Deutsch went even further, saying: “You know, we use the term ‘authoritative tendencies.’ Let stop with that. He is an all-out dictator.”

Donald Trump is many things, and many of them are nothing to brag about. But calling him “an all-out dictator” was just an opening salvo; the heavy artillery was on its way.

“I’ve known Donald Trump for 20 years,” Deutsch said. “He’s a sociopath, and whatever the worst tyrants in history were capable of doing, he is capable of doing. We all keep saying it can’t happen here. It can’t happen here. It is happening here. And people need to be frightened.” 

I usually comment only on important people who have some influence on politics and our culture. But I’ll make an exception in Donny Deutsch’s case.

Let’s start with his “whatever the worst tyrants in history were capable of doing, he [President Trump] is capable of doing.”

Hitler was one of the worst tyrants in history, right? He was capable of murdering 6 million Jews. He tried to wipe out an entire people based on their religion. 

Does Deutsch really think that Donald Trump is capable of perpetrating a holocaust? In the past, Deutsch has made specious arguments about supposed similarities between Nazi Germany in the 1930s and America today under Donald Trump — before carefully adding (after a lot of blowback) that he doesn’t believe the president would actually slaughter 6 million Jews.

That’s generous of Donny, but then what does “whatever the worst tyrants in history were capable of doing, he is capable of doing” actually mean?

Stalin was another tyrant who would make the “worst dictators in history” list. He killed tens of millions of his fellow Russians. Many of them rotted away in his gulags.

Does Donny Deutsch believe that Donald Trump is capable of doing that?

Or how about Pol Pot, the dictator responsible for the Cambodian genocide, which resulted in the deaths of as many as 2 million people, or one-quarter of his country’s entire population.

Does Donny Deutsch actually think Donald Trump is that kind of monster?

“We all keep saying it can’t happen here,” Deutsch said. “It is happening here.”

Really? Where?

But here’s something a Trump critic with even a modicum of intelligence would have noticed: If Donald Trump really were the evil dictator Deutsch and Maher claim he is, they’d never be allowed to say a bad word about him — certainly not on national TV, not more than once anyway. After the first time, they’d be hauled off to the gulag or the gas chamber or sent at gunpoint to a re-education camp. Or maybe President Trump would just round them up and send them to jail. 

Crazy? Not to Donny Deutsch. He told Maher, “You and I could end up in jail really easily. We’re not that far from that. I’m not a doom-and-gloom guy, but I really believe it’s this bad.”

Disliking the president is one thing. He does many things reasonable people on the right and the left don’t like. He’s a narcissist, vulgar, petty, nasty and dishonest. And on some days, those are his good points. But it’s deranged to believe that he’s “capable” of the kinds of atrocities that “the worst tyrants in history” actually committed.

Bill Maher is a bright guy who, on occasion, comes up with intelligent insights. Donny Deutsch, on the other hand, comes off as living proof that Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing.

Bernard Goldberg, an Emmy and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award-winning writer and journalist, is a correspondent with HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” He previously worked as a reporter for CBS News and analyst for Fox New. He is the author of five books, including “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News” (2001) and “A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media” (2009). Find more of his columns at and follow on Twitter @BernardGoldberg.

Tags anti-Trump Bill Maher Donald Trump Donny Deutsch Left-wing politics Trump Derangement Syndrome Trump haters

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