Can a president who does not instill fear be 'dangerous'?

Long before President Trump got to be President Trump, leftists warned that, in the White House, he would assume dictatorial powers – would be a Mussolini, perhaps even a Hitler.  An early promoter of this bizarre line came from Danielle Allen, in the Washington Post, February 21, 2016.  (Ms. Allen contributes a column to the Post's op-ed page and is director of the Safra Ethics Center at Harvard, a position that seems kind of oxymoronic, to this observer, in view of her anti-Trump rants.)  Her February 21, 2016 Post column opened:

Like any number of us raised in the late 20th century, I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany. Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand. Leave aside whether a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler is accurate. That is not my point. My point rather is about how a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, and accelerating since the inauguration of President Trump, January 20, leftists have been warning that President Trump will be an authoritarian figure who will undermine our democracy (with or without the aid of Russia's President V. Putin).

It came, then, as rather a surprise when Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, had this to say about President Trump on the April 2 program:

He does not instill fear in this town. And he did instill fear in this town before he took the office. He's eroding away. And by the way, a president needs a little bit of that if you want to get something done.

Imagine, now, that Hillary Clinton had been elected president.  Would the Monolithic Media, to alter an observation in March 31 New York Post editorial directed at Trump coverage in the New York Times, print "nonstop anti-Clinton hysteria"?  Would the Monolithic Media dare hold an adversarial posture toward President Hillary Clinton?  Clearly, the media would be as compliant and fawning toward Hillary Clinton in the White House as they were toward former President Obama.

Could it be, however, that President Obama also instilled a sense of fear among reporters – a sense of fear that would have prevented Chuck Todd, for example, from regularly ranting against the former president as he regularly rants against President Trump?  (He usually opens the program with derisive comments aimed at President Trump.)  This observer has no doubt that a President Hillary Clinton would have instilled fear among reporters and, more importantly, among editors and publishers.  (Indeed, it would not surprise me if it turns out that Hillary Clinton was deeply involved in the surveillance operation conducted by the Obama administration on the Trump campaign and transition, to save the nation – as Danielle Allen would likely put it – from the dangerous Donald Trump.)

We should thank God that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.  Her loss was the nation's gain; it protected, you see, the spirit of a vigorous free press.  Had Hillary Clinton won, the Monolithic Media would have been transformed into her pet poodles.

Long before President Trump got to be President Trump, leftists warned that, in the White House, he would assume dictatorial powers – would be a Mussolini, perhaps even a Hitler.  An early promoter of this bizarre line came from Danielle Allen, in the Washington Post, February 21, 2016.  (Ms. Allen contributes a column to the Post's op-ed page and is director of the Safra Ethics Center at Harvard, a position that seems kind of oxymoronic, to this observer, in view of her anti-Trump rants.)  Her February 21, 2016 Post column opened:

Like any number of us raised in the late 20th century, I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany. Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand. Leave aside whether a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler is accurate. That is not my point. My point rather is about how a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, and accelerating since the inauguration of President Trump, January 20, leftists have been warning that President Trump will be an authoritarian figure who will undermine our democracy (with or without the aid of Russia's President V. Putin).

It came, then, as rather a surprise when Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, had this to say about President Trump on the April 2 program:

He does not instill fear in this town. And he did instill fear in this town before he took the office. He's eroding away. And by the way, a president needs a little bit of that if you want to get something done.

Imagine, now, that Hillary Clinton had been elected president.  Would the Monolithic Media, to alter an observation in March 31 New York Post editorial directed at Trump coverage in the New York Times, print "nonstop anti-Clinton hysteria"?  Would the Monolithic Media dare hold an adversarial posture toward President Hillary Clinton?  Clearly, the media would be as compliant and fawning toward Hillary Clinton in the White House as they were toward former President Obama.

Could it be, however, that President Obama also instilled a sense of fear among reporters – a sense of fear that would have prevented Chuck Todd, for example, from regularly ranting against the former president as he regularly rants against President Trump?  (He usually opens the program with derisive comments aimed at President Trump.)  This observer has no doubt that a President Hillary Clinton would have instilled fear among reporters and, more importantly, among editors and publishers.  (Indeed, it would not surprise me if it turns out that Hillary Clinton was deeply involved in the surveillance operation conducted by the Obama administration on the Trump campaign and transition, to save the nation – as Danielle Allen would likely put it – from the dangerous Donald Trump.)

We should thank God that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.  Her loss was the nation's gain; it protected, you see, the spirit of a vigorous free press.  Had Hillary Clinton won, the Monolithic Media would have been transformed into her pet poodles.