Together, they paint a grim picture of a Trump angrier but more disciplined than during his first term in the White House, a man who would take revenge on his perceived enemies and perhaps attempt to stay in power beyond the US two-term limit.
President Joe Biden, who is facing revenge for his bitter 2020 clash with Trump, said the warnings supported his own claims that he was defending American democracy.
“If Trump wasn’t a candidate, I’m not sure I would be. But we can’t let him win,” the 81-year-old Democrat said at a campaign event in Massachusetts.
Biden cited Trump’s increasingly violent language on the campaign trail, saying his rival’s description of his opponents as “vermin” echoed language used in Nazi Germany.
“Trump doesn’t even hide the ball anymore. He tells us what he is going to do.
Trump, 77, and his allies responded as they usually do, fighting fire with fire. He accused Biden of being a “destroyer of democracy” and even reposted one of the most critical articles on social media.
Conservative Fox News described it as a “media panic,” while pro-Trump Republican senator and author JD Vance said on X that “everyone needs to take a pill to relax.”
But the sudden increase in warnings — amid Democratic angst over polls showing Trump now leading Biden despite multiple criminal trials — was striking.
The most revealing article was published in the Washington Post by conservative commentator Robert Kagan, with the headline: “A Trump Dictatorship Is Increasingly Inevitable.” We have to stop pretending. »
Comparing him to the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, who seized power, the lengthy article argues that neither the U.S. Constitution nor the Supreme Court could prevent Trump from being “president for life” if he wanted to be.
Kagan wrote that if Trump survives the trials he faces for trying to overturn the 2020 election and illegally cling to power, and he wins the next election, he will effectively feel above the law and can get away with anything.
The New York Times analyzed how a “second term could unleash a darker President Trump” than his chaotic first presidency from 2017 to 2021.
Trump “has spoken admiringly of autocrats for decades” and would likely follow their lead by filling public office with loyalists and using the Justice Department to suppress opponents, he said.
In scenes reminiscent of a dystopian film, it is said that Trump would also establish migrant detention camps and use the military against protesters under the US Insurrection Act.
The Atlantic magazine devotes its entire January-February 2024 issue to what a Trump presidency would look like, with an editor’s note titled simply: “A warning.”
Some of the most dire forebodings came from Cheney, a former Republican lawmaker and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose opposition to Trump made her a party pariah.
“It’s a very dangerous moment,” she said on NBC on Sunday.
There was “no doubt” that Trump would try to stay in power beyond 2028, she said, adding that the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by supporters trying to overturn the election victory of Biden was just an “exercise”.
For his critics, Trump’s autocratic side has long been clearly visible.
Trump already faces trial on charges of conspiring to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election, with prosecutors saying Tuesday that evidence shows he was determined to “remain in power at all costs.”
But in the mirror world of Trump and his allies, he is still the victim.
“Joe Biden is the real dictator,” Trump said in a photo posted on his conservative network Truth Social.