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The Election Projection When Trump Loses


Donald Trump is plotting to overthrow American democracy. It is not a secret, and he is not subtle. The only question is whether enough people will care enough to stop it.

Trump is not hiding his intentions for a second term. Echoing Hitler’s rise to power, he has called his political enemies “vermin” and promised his supporters that, if elected, he would be their “retribution.”

Trump’s enablers have outlined a plan for him to replace tens of thousands of career civil servants with MAGA loyalists and to take personal control of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute his political rivals. He is almost certain to use an old law — the Insurrection Act — to convert the military into his personal domestic police force.

Since his power comes from a bottomless capacity to lie, he has contempt for the free press, which he calls the “enemy of the people.” He recently suggested that the government should censor or shut down media platforms he dislikes.

His most brazen attacks on democracy manifested in the aftermath of 2020. Since his loss to President Joe Biden, Trump has advocated for discarding lawful ballots, tampering with election certification and throwing out entire states’ results.

He supports voter intimidation and voter suppression, often with a racist dimension. Recently, he unveiled a new “guard the vote” strategy, urging his supporters to monitor the vote-counting process in blue cities like Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia. If Trump regains power, these abuses would just be the beginning.

He would almost certainly pardon all the Jan. 6 insurrectionists. Worse, he would abuse his office to block his own criminal prosecutions.

If all of this sounds terrifying, it is. If this sounds unrealistic, then you have learned little from history of how democracies are replaced by despotic regimes. Hitler did not come to power in a coup, but rather from democratic elections. The same is true with many of the authoritarians today.

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