Congressman Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina) took to Facebook to warn about the dangers of the Trumpian political climate. He suggested the way Trump changed the body politic can facilitate the rise of radical autocracy and a 21st century Adolf Hitler.
Sanford sought re-election but was defeated by primary challenger Katie Arrington, who in turn lost to Democrat Joe Cunningham.
“I want to be clear and explicit that I am not likening Trump to Hitler, but the forces at play could lead to a future Hitler-like character if we don’t watch out. It must be remembered that another thing that Benjamin Franklin said was that he who trades his freedom for security, deserves neither. Indeed, how true,” wrote Sanford. He also warned that America is “headed for a shipwreck if we don’t change course.”
The remarks Sanford shared on Facebook were originally composed to be his farewell address to be delivered last Thursday, but lawmakers were instead called to deal with the then-looming and now present problem of a partial government shutdown.
Sanford joins a number of outgoing Republicans in speaking critically of Trump and Trumpism more broadly. Notably, Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) who in protest refused to vote for any Trump judiciary appointments and is often mentioned as a possible 2020 challenger for the Republican nomination.
Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) made headlines with his biting Trump rebuke and popular hashtag “#AlertTheDaycareStaff”, but faced some backlash for his history of enabling the behavior that he was comfortable decrying on his way out the door.
As for Sanford, his address warned we were headed “toward the most predictable financial and economic crisis in the history of our republic. If we don’t change course soon, markets will do it for us, and the consequences will be damning with regard to future inflation, the value of the dollar, the worth of our savings, and ultimately our way of life.”
Sanford’s name may sound familiar because he had a brief window of political infamy in June 2009 when, as South Carolina’s governor, he disappeared for six days unable to be found by family, friends or staff. He was said to be hiking the Appalachian trail, but was in fact out of the country having an extramarital affair.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.