California Governor Jerry Brown, speaking Sunday on the news show, "Meet the Press," had some harsh criticism for President Donald Trump, who, among other things, has recently made massive cuts to the Meals on Wheels Program that provides food to millions of disabled and elderly people nationwide who are unable to shop and/or cook for themselves. Brown's criticism of Trump centered around his policy calling for the construction of a 30-foot wall along America's border with Mexico.

California's 'foreign-born' people

Brown pointed out that at least 25% of the people residing in California are "foreign born." As Brown put it, "You don't treat human beings like that," according to Yahoo.

The Berlin Wall

As Brown sees it, Trump's wall is "ominous" and reminds him of the Berlin Wall. He described the presence of "the odor of a strongman" and described the wall as not only keeping some people out, but also as keeping some people in. This point is very critical to this discussion and serves as the very crux of the argument: As the government infringes more and more on people's freedoms, and sets up racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual orientation barriers between people, some people are going to want to leave and seek a new life elsewhere. And to the extent that the same government that is putting up a wall to keep people out, puts up barriers to make it difficult for some people to leave; it is, in effect, putting up a wall to keep people in.

This is precisely what Jerry Brown was referring to in his comments and this is a real possibility in the age of Trump. Once the antecedent for a dictatorship has been planted, the dictatorship self-replicates on its own. It appears that this is what is happening with Trump's wall. The wall itself appears to be the antecedent to the entity that is going to keep people in and out of the country; in other words, the dictatorship.

The groundwork has been laid. The only question is: Can it happen in this country?

Checks and Balances

The underlying question is whether or not the institutions in this country, with the Constitutionally-guaranteed "checks and balances," are strong enough to prevent a dictatorship. Let's see, the Congress is supposed to put a check on what the Executive Branch does.

The Supreme Court is supposed to put a check on what the Congress does and what the Executive Branch does. And the Congress is supposed to put a check on what the Supreme Court does. And the Constitution is supposed to put a check on what they all do with the Supreme Court interpreting it all. Now, of course, that is an extremely simplified version of our "Checks and Balances" system; but it will do for now.

It would appear to this observer that with the onset of Executive Orders, which did not exist when the Constitution was written, that, yes, it is possible for a President to assume dictatorial powers in this country. This seems especially so when you factor in the almost imperial powers that a President enjoys as Commander-in-Chief.

And so, yes, it would appear that Jerry Brown had a very legitimate point when he hinted at a possible Trump dictatorship as he uses his wall to keep people in as well as to keep people out. Remember that dictators, like wounded animals, attack when they are weak and cornered. It appears that this is exactly the position in which Trump and his GOP Congress have placed themselves after their healthcare bill failure. Be mindful of a splurge of executive orders and over-zealousness to build the wall in a hurry. The cornered animal is waiting to strike and to keep you in.