A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending.
-Robert Kagan, Washington Post
(IndieDems note: the redacted highlights below are a bare outline of Kagan’s analysis. In the article, he presents in detail the very plausible scenario that could lead to a Trump dictatorship).
- For many months now, we have been living in a world of self-delusion, rich with imagined possibilities
- When Trump becomes the Republican nominee for president, there will be a swift and dramatic shift in the political power dynamic, in his favor. Republicans will unite behind him
- Trump will use any trial to boost his candidacy and discredit the American justice system as corrupt — and the media outlets, serving their own interests, will help him do it.
- Trump will thus enter the general-election campaign early next year with momentum, backed by growing political and financial resources, and an increasingly unified party.
- Can the same be said of Biden? Is Biden’s power likely to grow over the coming months?
- Large numbers of Americans—Democrats and Republicans—view the political system as dysfunctional. Trump is running against the system. Biden is the living embodiment of the system. Advantage: Trump.
- If Trump wins the election, he will the fewest constraints of any president.
- Career bureaucrats will be gone, replaced by Trump loyalists.
- Trump will give not a damn about a legacy that benefits America. His loyalists will ask only that he triumph over the forces they hate in American society. That will be Trump’s primary mission as president.
- Odds are, his presidency will turn into a dictatorship. He has plainly stated he will “root out” his political opponents, and his words and deeds show he has no regard for the rule of law.
- Will the American people rise up in outrage? Don’t count on it.
“We are closer to that point (of a fascist-type dictatorship) today than we have ever been, yet we continue to drift toward dictatorship, still hoping for some intervention that will allow us to escape the consequences of our collective cowardice, our complacent, willful ignorance and, above all, our lack of any deep commitment to liberal democracy. As the man said, we are going out not with a bang but a whimper.”
My fellow Democrats, Kagan has written our Bible for the 2024 elections. We must heed his words and double down on our efforts to prevent the Trump dictatorship. Whatever we are doing, it’s far from enough. My top list of what we can do the most to rectify:
- Stronger leadership by Biden, both in image and policy proposals. Starting with the immigrant crisis on our southern border.
- Stronger counterattack against those who support a third party candidate.
- Pressure on the media to depict Trump and Republicans for what they are: the gravest threat to democracy in American history. Tell it like it is: the Republican Party has made real our worst nightmare: it has become a proto-fascist party.
- Unrelenting actions to tie the Trump noose around the necks of our Republican U.S. Representatives and local officials. Daily phone calls and emails. Personal visits to their local offices. Use Trump’s own words over and over again. Sample statement: “Are you really going to support a presidential candidate who has stated publicly that he will ‘root out’ his political opponents without regard for the rule of law? Who calls his opponents by the fascist label “vermin?