Opinion | Checks and balances are for losers

Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten a good idea of ​​what Donald Trump would do if he were given a second chance at the White House. It’s no exaggeration to say that this looks an awful lot like a set of proposals designed to give the former president the power and unchecked strongman authority he deserves.

Trump will purge as many civil servants from the federal government as possible.Instead, he will Install An army of political and ideological loyalists who fear Trump’s interests far more than their commitment to the rule of law or the Constitution.

With the help of these unscrupulous allies, Trump plans to use the Justice Department to take on his political opponents and prosecute his critics and opponents. He will use the military to quell protests under the Insurrection Act — which he hopes to do by the summer of 2020 — and turn federal power toward his perceived enemies. “If I happened to be president and I saw someone doing a great job and beating me up badly, I would say, ‘Go down and sue them.’ They would be out of the race.” “They would be out of the election.” Trump said in a recent interview on the Spanish-language network Univision.

As the former president wrote in a troubling and authoritarian message to supporters (which itself echoed his speech to supporters in New Hampshire that day): “We offer you Pledge that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and radical left thugs who are living like vermin within the confines of our country, lying, stealing and cheating in our elections and will do whatever it takes, whether legally Still illegal, destroying America and the American dream.”

Trump has other plans.Like several of my New York Times colleagues reported last weekHe wants a plan to mass detain and deport undocumented immigrants. His aides have laid out plans to build new detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border, where anyone suspected of entering the country illegally would be held until authorities determine their immigration status. Remarks on welcoming groups (e.g. homeless people) – Trump once said The government should “deport” homeless Americans and place them in tents “on large swaths of cheap land on the outskirts of cities” — and no doubt some American citizens will find themselves in these sprawling, sprawling camps .

The effort to rid the United States of as many immigrants as possible includes a proposal to target legitimate targets, such as green card holders or those on student visas, who harbor so-called “jihadi sympathies” or Support views seen as anti-American. Also intended to circumvent the Fourteenth Amendment in order to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

In the past, Trump has said he would seek a third term after completing his second four-year term in the White House. “We will win another four years.” Trump said during the 2020 campaign“Then we’re going to do another four years because they spied on my campaign. We should redo four years.” That would also be unconstitutional, but in a world where Trump has his own way, his authoritarian agenda, the Constitution — and The rule of law has become a dead letter.

It might be easy to dismiss the former president’s words and plans as a joke or the ramblings of a madman who could end up in jail. But to borrow an overused phrase, it’s important to take the words of the president and presidential candidates seriously and literally.

They may fail—indeed, they often fail—but presidents strive to keep their campaign promises and act on their campaign plans. In 2016, we saw Trump trying to do what he wanted to do as a way to condemn those who urged us not to take him literally. He said he would do so during his first term. He said he would “build a wall” and he tried to build a wall. He said he would try to keep Muslims out, and he tried to keep Muslims out. He said he would do everything he could to restrict immigration from Mexico, and he did everything he could and more to restrict immigration from Mexico.

He even stated on the eve of the 2016 presidential election that he would reject electoral defeat. Four years later, he lost his re-election bid. We all know what happened next.

In addition to Trump’s rhetoric, which we should regard as a reliable guide to his actions, desires, and concerns, we have his allies who share Trump’s open disdain for democracy. The institute noted that Trump’s political and ideological allies have made no secret of their desire to install a reactionary Caesar as head of state.As Damon Linker writes in his articles On these numbers in the opinion section, they exist to “allow and encourage Republican elites to do things that would have been considered unthinkable just a few years ago.”

Americans are obsessed with hidden meanings and secret revelations. That’s why many of us are fascinated by historical sources like memoirs of political figures or the Nixon tapes. We often focus most on things that are hidden from view. But the secular truth of American politics is that much of what we want to know is obvious. You don’t have to look for it or seek it; you just have to listen.

Donald Trump has told us loud and clear that he wants to end American democracy as we know it.

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