John Dean was Richard Nixon’s White House attorney, and he went to jail for his role in the Watergate scandal. That is the affair that ended the Nixon presidency.
Now, Dean is sounding the alarm about Donald Trump. He took to Twitter on Thursday morning to issue a dire warning to the nation:
“I am embarrassed for our country that Trump is president. I fear for our country if he is re-elected. American democracy will end with a second term of this wannabe strongman. He is a corrupt nitwit who seeks what he can never have — legitimate greatness and true adoration.”
I am embarrassed for our country that Trump is president. I fear for our country if he is re-elected. American democracy will end with a second term of this wannabe strongman. He is a corrupt nitwit who seeks what he can never have — legitimate greatness and true adoration.
— John W. Dean (@JohnWDean) May 16, 2019
This is coming from the man who did all he could to save the Nixon presidency, which is objectively the most corrupt in modern American history. Nixon’s own Republican Party turned on him and told him that he had to resign. The general public was on board with impeachment. 2019 is a different story, though.
The current incarnation of the Republican Party is still on board with Donald Trump, seemingly regardless of what he or those around him say or do. This could be out of political fear; after all, Trump still enjoys a decent approval rating among rank and file GOP voters. However, there are reports that his support is slipping somewhat in his own corner of the political spectrum.
The point is, though, that Congress should be a check on the Executive Branch regardless of political considerations. John Dean would know better than most people what it looks like when the President is a threat to democracy. Such a person would not issue such a warning lightly. It remains to be seen as to whether or not the nation heeds him.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.