American democracy is resilient. Trump never represented any real threat - to democracy.

For anyone to actually become a dictator in the US, would require cooperation of the cabinet, military, police - a whole range of people - just for starters, nearly all of whom are far more principled than to let any such thing come close to happening.

The far bigger danger, is to put excessive trust into an establishment-approved President, an establishment whom are totally loyal to the oligarch class, including the incoming cabinet, which contains former executives of the very tech companies who are now normalizing censorship, in the name of protecting against alleged "insurrections", which stand exactly zero chance of success.

The bigger risk by far, is the steady erosion of our civil liberties, in response to overblown "existential threats", whether foreign or domestic, making any legitimate political challenge to the status quo, no longer possible.

And of course, all done opaquely, behind closed doors, with laws and policies written by lobbyists, neocons, and neoliberals.  All of whom, who would have no qualms at all about giving a president dictatorial powers  - so long as it is the "right" president.

Cancelling, false claims of racism, arbitrary censorship by tech oligarchs, expanding powers against terrorists - combined with the ability to label one a terrorist simply by accusation - these are far more likely to lead to totalitarianism, than a single, incompetent demagogue, who has arrayed against him, the full might of our institutions, oligarchy, big tech, Wall Street, and half of the nations voters - and whom would indeed have nearly the entirety of the nation's voters against him, should he actually do anything remotely dictatorial.

The whole narrative of Trump as potential dictator, was always ridiculous hyperbole, but will continue to be used - likely to further erode our norms and rights, in the name of "protecting" us.

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As a classical liberal - a paleoliberal if you will - I have been arguing for a while that the threat of authoritarianism was increasingly not from the GOP but the powerful neoliberals who have coopted classic liberalism as a cover for their corruption and power.

They have become experts in gaslighting and twisting language around so that it’s barely recognizable without even caring about being hypocrites since when you have all the power you don’t have to answer to anyone.

For example, if what an excited, unorganized mob did (along with many who were clearly invited in by the police) is “insurrection”, then what was all the tremendous violence done by Antifa and a minority of BLM protestors including attacking federal courthouses? What about those who went into the Senate chambers to protest/intimidate Senators against voting for Kavanaugh?

The biggest hypocrisy is this: for 4 years, Hilary Clinton refused to accept the results of the 2016 election was fair and accused everyone from the Russians to the FBI to Bernie Sanders for her loss. She instigated “The Resistance” who refused to accept Donald Trump as POTUS. She and the entire Dem leadership encouraged completely baseless conspiracy theories about Trump being a Russian agent. Not just Trump but even Bernie (until he prostrated to the Dem establishment) and Tulsi Gabbard (who being a classic liberal is verboten in the Dem establishment).

None of this was deemed an “insurrection” but a shining example of Democracy. As apparently were the largest riots, violence in decades and intimidation of ordinary citizens going about their lives by Antifa and a minority of BLM supporters.

Meanwhile the senseless death of George Floyd - condemned by all right thinking people - elevated him to Sainthood (ignoring his serious criminal record) but the senseless death of black ex-police officer David Dorn protecting a shop against rioters was ignored. Black Lives Matter became a political project where only certain Black Lives mattered in certain situations.

And that it wasn’t against police brutality or the quick use of deadly weapons by police - a classic liberal theme - was made clear by the killing of Ashli Babbit who was clearly unarmed when shot. Neoliberals cheered her death and stories about her beliefs were splashed all over. Many blacks shot by the police that BLM rioted over had serious criminal records and they were shot after the police arrived after they were called by *other* black people. Breanna Taylor was a drug mule. None of this should matter to the issue of police brutality - which classic liberals would champion but now they do.

Essentially, only the *right* type of victim is to be mourned, elevated to sainthood, their pasts scrubbed. The *wrong* type of victims need to either ignored (eg Dorn) or be further demonized (eg Babbit).

And the last few days have been the darkest yet: using the Capitol Mob violence as an excuse Pelosi has dangerously and unconstitutionally abrogated to herself the powers of a POTUS and even his deputy to talk to the Pentagon about nuclear codes and such. While ostensibly it was about ensuring Trump not use them, there was subtext: she’s - nominally second in line - is in charge now. Is that not an “insurrection”?

And to cap off a crazy week, we have Big Tech monopolies censoring and muzzling speech including a sitting POTUS and thousands of his followers and threatening to cut off all other avenues of communication. So not only can you not post on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube but Google and Apple demand apps like Parler censor users as well. Meanwhile a senior Microsoft employee is leading a charge to get Parler removed from using Amazon’s servers. CNN - which pushed various hoaxes most prominently Russiagate - is lobbying with the 6 TV cable providers to deplatform FOX news for “fake news.”

This is the official beginning of Neoliberal Authoritarianism where deeply corrupt politicians, who now control 2 branches of Government, allied with unaccountable corporate media and Big Tech (Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and other ancillary tech like Reddit, PayPal, Shopify etc) and backed by intelligence agencies - note where “retired” CIA officials most appear to call for more censorship of wrongthink and push various conspiracy theories - are going to impact what information the everyday citizen has access to, how to think, who to support, what to do under penalty of not just being deplatformed but losing your livelihood to being hounded.

It’s the end of the American experiment as we know it.

PS: I’d suggest everyone re-read Orwell’s Animal Farm and of course 1984.

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This was a great piece Glenn. It just rapes my mind that 500,000 dead Iraqis and millions driven from their homes is —at least to liberals —considered a lesser evil than Trump’s mean tweets. It’s amazing that propagandists like David Frum and other Neocons are lauded by liberals who once stood for civil liberties. Think about this. People are outraged by a Trump mean tweet and NOT outraged by George W Bush’s crimes (500,0000 dead Iraqis, millions Iraqis driven from their homes, a country recked and sacked by Gringolandia, etc). Sorry, but Trump is a microscopic insect compared to the Neocon criminal enterprise.

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I’ve stopped reading the traditional news outlets and read Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi instead. I don’t always agree but these two are the only journalists and/or commentators that don’t need to take anti-psychotics before I’ll consider reading them again.

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Once again Glenn hits a homerun with this, honestly he is such an amazing writer, amazing how he clearly articulates the flawed logic and makes many on the left look utterly clueless. Thank you Glenn!!! I may not agree with all your political views but absolutely love your ability to write.

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Thank you Glenn -- I see this outstanding piece for the 2nd time -- you have probably opened it to all (non-subscribers) as a reason.

If Trump would be prudent in these last few days of his presidency -- he would promptly give pardon to both Julian and Edward. Media's TOTAL silence on persecution of Assange, the most important publisher in a century -- tells it all whom US (and UK) media serves and what is its role.

The incoming administration and its DNC cabal will try to destroy Julian. They are mortally afraid that the scam of the century -- their Russia-gate hoax will be further exposed and will do anything to hide their leading role. The entire Russia-gate hoax and Ukraine-impeachment “entertainment” was concocted by Obama/Hillary/Biden/Pelosi, Schumer, etc. and their intelligence and DNC executives on behalf of their Wall Street and military industry donors, i.e., the imperial War party/ Kamala Harris (and her sister) are Hillary's protégés..

United States is by now a failed state - a state that is completely failing both its "right" and "left" population. Exhibitionists in Congress (all by now vaccinated (except Tulsi) regardless of their age) are competing in blabbering how to punish Trump in his last days in office. Yet, while 4,000++ people die daily from what should be called "Trump virus" because complete mishandling and resulting human and economic catastrophe he caused (compare four time larger China 5,000 dead versus our 350,000+ so far - now our daily deaths are approaching China's ten month total !?) -- in our immense tragedy -- there is no data available to public: by SPECIFIC county and city

-- How many vaccination sets were distributed

-- How many people are vaccinated by day and by dates

-- How many professionals are deployed giving vaccinations, etc.

Instead, Congress first action was apparently to ban use of words mother and father - "as too gender specific" so - better use word parent.

Let's hope Trump will find focus, wisdom and compassion to pardon Julian and Edward !! A real danger to our democracy is not incompetent Trump and his pathetic tweets -- it is is only coming now. It is very possible that FB and Tweeter will forbid any mention of Russia-gate fraud and/or Hunter's laptops and Biden family or DNC corruption.

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"Yesterday’s invasion of the Capitol by a Trump-supporting mob..."

I truly appreciate your journalism, but framing the unfortunate event at the Capitol like this is prejudiced and premature of evidence. There was clearly a small number of angry Trump supporters who will justifiably be prosecuted. There was clearly a small number of infiltrators/agitators who will hopefully be prosecuted along with them. There was clearly a larger number of Trump supporters who were invited in through the front door and weren't sure what was going on. There was a massive number of people who stayed on the steps and some shouted at violent instigators who were breaking windows. And, there were likely near a million folks who decided not to go to the Capitol at all.

Your framing would be more accurate if you'd said, "Yesterday's fiasco at the Capitol involving a mob of Trump supporters...".

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I keep having this recurring thought that if the SCOTUS had any desire to help a nation heal, they would have taken on the topic of possible vote corruption, and issued some wise words that would have helped diffuse the situation before it happened. Maybe I am just dreaming, but I feel if they had done that hey would have been heroes. As of today, I hold them somewhat culpable - and I have little confidence that they will help to reign in any of the excesses that result from an over-reaction to the events that have taken place.

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Eh, we just witnessed big tech let us know very clearly, they running the show now. No dissent allowed. And Ashli Trumpster, from the responses I've seen regarding her death, I see now exactly how and why normal people turned Jewish people over to the Gestapo.

I love my country, don't want to abandon it, but this isn't a Democratic Republic world power. It's a Technocratic Fascism State in decline.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are not attainable in this political climate unless you are a psychopath.

There's nowhere to run to either, same people ruining humanity everywhere. Twitter really let China tweet about re-education camps positively, and censored the sitting President after he explicitly told his followers not to riot or fight, claiming he said the exact opposite of what he said. Just, what is going on? Yes, Trump is a clown. Yes, Biden is a creepy uncle. But now unelected robot Zuckerberg and Twatter Jack are cashing the shots? The mainstream mockingbird media just fakes whatever they want, ok viking dude in the capitol. This political theater is incredibly poorly cast, the script is like a 4th grader wrote it. It gets by only on monopolizing the audience and production. 5 stars for Production but the rest is Bollywood fanfic on a budget.

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Anybody can wear a red baseball hat or carry a confederate flag, etc....ANYBODY. What happened to common sense? There were a zillion cameras on those people who can easily be identified though drivers licenses. All of this is theater.

I'm so ashamed of my country's government.

Why the left is shaking with such fear is another big question...they are losing it completely.

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Although this overreach due to emotion, fear, and opportunism has a long history... I use the Covington Kids incident as the template of predictable leftist reaction to any and all events in the Trump era. Absolute unhinged histrionics and melodramatics... immediately! The difference here is after 12 to 24 hours...even some of the most bloodshot and spittle TDS people in my feed mildly conceded that they jumped the gun on a teenager. But, the end times prophecies, pearl clutching, and sky is falling lunacy here is close to unparalleled. Intentions of the loudest voices are clear: More power...More surveillance, More speech suppression, and a creepy Soviet/Chinese styled disappearing of any and all dissent. Thank You for being clear eyed and clarion in your calling out of this nonsense...wherever it appears, Glen. You, Matt Taibbi, and Black Conservatives have been making the most sense to me. The outliers are usually on to something....and way more interesting and fun than the groupthinkers.

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Excellent piece. Although(and because) I disagree with some of your positions, I have followed your writing and analyses for years. In an effort to keep sane in this crazy time, I needed to hear more from you. Today, I joined Substack. Support for journalists like you at a time like this is critical. I am afraid the cliff is approaching again and the mainstream media, government establishment types and the Tech industry are about to march many people off it one more time. Let's all take a deep breath.

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and so the chickens come home to roost...

A verse from Peter Gabriel's 1980 song " Biko" comes to mind:

"You can blow out a candle

But you can't blow out a fire

Once the flames begin to catch

The wind will blow it higher"

It is my belief that the political and media response to storming the Capitol will only fan the flames of an awakening by a people who cherish not only their own freedom of speech, but the freedom of others' speech as well.

From our first history lessons in school, we were taught that this country was founded on having a voice, and it was first among all other rights enshrined in our Constitution. We celebrated the violence of farmers rising up against the most powerful army in the world, demanding a voice, or in the alternative, independence. This is the soul of us as a people, and the riots from Portland to DC won't be placated by banning Trump's voice (or hanging him in the public square), caricaturing the rioters, or invoking "terrorism", "hate", and patriotism.

Publishers like twitter, facebook, and google (and yes, if they censor, they are publishers, not platforms) represent a threat to our freedoms and to the republic that is more pernicious than any Congressperson, President, or mob.

Don't tread on me

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So long as one remembers that, as HL Mencken said:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."

it is sure far easier to remain calm!

We need to keep in mind that this big old barge of a country is designed to be difficult to steer, hard to speed up or slow down too much and cranky when pushed the wrong way and the whole change of regime thing won't seem so scary. In the end, how much will Trump or Obama have changed anything? Going to be the same way after Biden. Get off social media, quit watching the fake news, enjoy your family and you'll be so much happier!

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To what extent was the outcome foreseeable? Every time I’ve been in DC since 9/11, security when any threat was perceived has been highly visible and intimidating, including imposing vehicles and heavily armed guards. Yet, those in charge of security showed no such preparation. One has to ask who was responsible for and who ultimately benefited enormously from this lack of preparation. Such questions are not proof of anything but they are reasonable questions that must nonetheless be asked.

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I can't believe what an idiot I was for thinking (way back 4 years ago) that Greenwald was just another scribe of the Marxist aristocracy. He is indeed one of the brightest and most serious minds in journalism today.

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