Credit: Gage Skidmore-Flickr

Donald Trump took to Twitter on this New Year’s Eve to taunt his American opponents as “enemies”:

Baiting and trolling one’s opponents on a holiday after losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes is just another sign of Trump’s narcissistic insecurity. No one lost “badly” to Trump; he won a very slim victory by virtue of a rigged and archaic electoral college system. The man is a sore loser, a sore winner and a terrible human being.

But he didn’t just taunt Americans who oppose him. He labeled them as “enemies”, which is unusual and alarming from a man who is about to control America’s surveillance and law enforcement apparatus. American presidents usually shy away from calling their domestic opponents “enemies” because that sort of rhetoric is the realm of dictators, not presidents who anticipate having to work with their opposition to pass legislation. It is reminiscent of Nixon’s “enemies lists” and other dark times in American history, and a very far cry from President Obama’s unifying rhetoric.

It’s even worse, though. Trump is using this language on his domestic opponents while simultaneously praising a foreign nuclear-armed dictator who allegedly committed a malicious electronic burglary of the private communications of Trump’s political opposition. This is beyond unprecedented to the point of surrealism. It’s not technically treason, but it’s definitely subversion of American democracy and the national interest.

As Trump inches closer to the inauguration he is already becoming giddy with his approaching power. It’s hard to imagine the havoc he will unleash once he actually sits in the Oval Office. History will judge it incredibly harshly, as will the legions of liberal-leaning Millennial voters who will dominate the electorate in the years to come.

The biggest question now is whether the Republican Party will allow Trump’s hubris to define them going forward, or whether they will put resistance to the coming horror.

David Atkins

Follow David on Twitter @DavidOAtkins. David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.