From Jail to National Power

Chapter 2 of The Age of the Strongman: How the Cult of the Leader Threatens Democracy Around the World is about Turkey’s Erdogan.

Apparently, while Erdogan was mayor of Istanbul, he was forced to step down “for reciting a poem that judges said had incited religious hatred.”

The lines in question:

The mosques are our barracks
the domes our helmets,
the minarets our bayonets
and the faithful our soldiers.

Rather than ending his political career as Turkey’s secular establishment had intended, Erdogan’s four and a half months behind bars in 1999 helped to catapult him to national power.

The Age of the Strongman, p. 43

I wonder if there is the possibility of something like this happening to Trump if he were arrested? Would he, like Erdogan, become regarded as a martyr? Since Joe is no slouch, does this enter into his thinking at all? Might there be a point after all to Merrick Garland’s deliberate plodding? You see how easy it is for my thinking to get tied up in knots?

Stay tuned.


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