As Plato noted more than 2,500 years ago, the end-point of democracy is always tyranny. This is because a great many people are simple-minded, and it’s easy to gull them. All that’s required is a blustering lying demagogue who feeds the dull-eyed mob simple sound-bites and empty promises. Trump and Brexit and Bolsonaro and Orban and Babic and all the others we see today are merely the inevitable consequence of the idea that people who know nothing and think little should be permitted to have a say in the important matter of governance. It is absolutely astonishing that whereas we require proofs of competence in every other area of our lives we continue to pretend that proof of competence in order to have the right to vote is magically different from every other aspect of modern life. This delusion, along with its absurd “once a long time ago someone abused the idea of testing to discriminate against others” defense (which, logically, means we can never test anyone for anything and therefore should abandon pilot certification, surgeon certification, dentist certification, electrician certification etc. etc.) just keeps us firmly on the road to tyranny.
Trump is too stupid and infantile to be a true tyrant. But someone out there has learned the lesson he’s taught, which is that democracy has no defenses provided you get the dull-eyed drooling howling mob behind you. That person, who is far more intelligent and self-controlled than Trump (which, admittedly, is a bar any 2-year-old can surpass) will be the true tyrant. And he’s coming soon.