'Dictator' Trump warnings spook America [View all]
Could a second Donald Trump presidency slide into dictatorship? A sudden spate of dystopian warnings has got America talking about the possibility less than a year before the US elections. Dark scenarios about what could happen if the twice-impeached Republican former president wins in 2024 have appeared in the space of a few days in major US media outlets that include The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Atlantic.
Grim predictions also came from top Republican Trump critic Liz Cheney, who said that the country is "sleepwalking into dictatorship" and that she is weighing a third-party presidential run of her own to try to stop him.Together, they paint a bleak picture of an angrier yet more disciplined Trump than during his first spell in the White House, one who would wreak vengeance on his perceived enemies and possibly try to stay in power beyond the two-term US limit.
Trump, 77, responded to the warnings in typical style by laughing them off -- with an edge. "He says, you're not going to be a dictator, are you? I said no, no, no -- other than day one," Trump said when asked in a televised Fox News town hall on Tuesday if he would abuse power or seek retribution.
The most eye-opening piece appeared in The Washington Post by conservative commentator Robert Kagan, with the headline: "A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending." Kagan wrote that if Trump survives the trials he faces over trying to upend the 2020 election and cling to power illegally, and wins the next election, he will in effect feel he is above the law and can get away with anything.