On Saturday morning, Donald Trump – who, you’re reminded, is still the President of the United States – took to Twitter to reveal what he’d do to Amazon and the Washington Post if America had already completed its hideous metamorphosis from fledgling dictatorship to full blown authoritarian hell.

You can read our full take on the President’s Saturday morning diatribe (to the extent you can describe 280 character bursts as “diatribes”) here, but what’s important to note about this particular exercise in windmill tilting is that it’s in many ways just as unnerving as Trump’s attempts to commandeer the nation’s law enforcement apparatus. As The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson put it:

I know we’re all numb, but this is very serious. This is not just a comment. It is an important economic act that is restructuring our economy. Trump is making clear that companies that publicly praise him can get billion dollar deals from government agencies. Companies that don’t will face billion dollar charges and costly regulation. This is an open negotiation and a clear message. Trump will transfer wealth to those who praise him and take it from those who don’t. He will do this in macro economically significant amounts.

Let that sink in.

And once it has, recall the following piece penned for Harper’s by Owen Davis more than a year ago – we think you’ll appreciate how it’s even more relevant now than it was when it was originally published on March 2, 2017.

Via Owen Davis for Harper’s

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