An autocracy is a "government by a single person having unlimited power." The U.S. democracy has been a model to the world for the prevention of autocratic rule for hundreds of years. A robust press, free speech and an educated citizenry have been central to our resilience and influence, but so have countless Americans who gave their lives to further the refinement and adoption of democratic ideals.

Before the election in 2016, we constantly heard from Trump that the election was rigged. Until he won.

Little did we know how quickly Donald Trump could push our democracy toward an autocracy. How has he done it? Twitter, rallies and complicit nods from the Republican party. He has implored us to ignore and disparage an extraordinary range of our country’s most trusted and valued citizens:

• Don’t listen to the press.

• Don’t listen to scientists.

• Don’t listen to the NFL.

• Don’t listen to his former cabinet members.

• Don’t listen to his former lawyers.

• Don’t listen to the NBA.

• Don’t listen to women who have shared their experiences of his sexual aggression.

• Don’t listen to the FBI.

• Don’t listen to inspectors general.

• Don’t listen to whistle blowers.

• Don’t listen to the CIA..

• Don’t listen to black or brown people

• Don’t listen to top military commanders.

• Don’t listen to Democrats.

• Don’t listen to Republicans who have criticized, much less disagreed with Trump.

On Nov. 3, will you vote democracy or autocracy?

Tim and Sarah Crews, Salina