Authoritarianism, Dictatorship, Donald Trump, Fascism, Fascists, Insurrection


The world didn’t pay attention when Hitler, who admired other dictators like Mussolini and Stalin, strategically planned alliances with these and other dictators to take over the Earth. Of course, Hitler, who was sure he would win, prepared to throw all the other dictators under the bus as soon as he achieved his goals.

Humanity’s not paying attention to history, so we are doomed to repeat it. Trump’s a modern-day Hitler who “admires” and cozies up to Putin, Xi, Kim Jong, etc., just like Hitler did in his time. Trump is now so encouraged by the popularity and success of his Hitler and Roy Cohn strategies that he and the MAGAs make no secret of the Trumpism agenda, spouting “Project 2025” as his plan for America and world domination.

To continue living in a democracy, you must pay attention and vote blue. I know Dems are not perfect. But everyone loses under fascism, and we’re heading to it in 2025 if Trumpism wins and Trump and his people start arresting and shooting anyone Trump deems as his enemy.

Trump’s Recipe for a Shockingly Raw Power Grab

The former president and his allies are reportedly planning to lay siege to the rule of law.

Former President Donald Trump points during a rally.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Apr. 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio. | Joe Maiorana/AP


Jack Shafer is Politico’s senior media writer. He has written commentary about the media industry and politics for decades and was previously a columnist for Reuters and Slate.

You can’t say Donald Trump didn’t warn us.

Trump and his think tank loyalists are collecting the ingredients and refining the recipe for an authoritarian regime should he win the 2024 presidential election. According to a page one story in The Washington Post Monday, Trump plans on the first day of his new administration to invoke the Insurrection Act so he can dispatch the military to counter any demonstrations that might resist his policies.

Why might he need the Insurrection Act? Well, the piece also notes Trump intends to turbo-politicize the Department of Justice and order prosecutions of his former aides and officials who have criticized him. Perhaps he thinks the country won’t let him go buck wild on the rule of law without a stink, so he wants to be ready to sic troops on the inevitable protestors. Fingered by Trump for legal beat-downs, the Post reports, are one-time Trump stalwarts and staffers like former chief of staff John F. Kelly, former attorney general William Barr, his ex-attorney Ty Cobb, and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mark A. Milley. Trump has singled out other officials at the FBI and the Department of Justice for prosecution, the piece adds, as well as President Joe Biden and his family.

Leading Trump’s Insurrection Act initiative is Jeffrey Clark, a Trump-era Department of Justice official currently being prosecuted for his part in an alleged scheme to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results. According to the Post piece, Trump intends to leaven the entire federal bureaucracy with appointees like Clark who are willing to do his bidding. (Told by a colleague that there would be riots in the streets if Trump sought to stay in office despite losing the 2020 election, Clark is said to have responded, “That’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.”)

How much of this Trump power lust is new? Recall that he called for the Constitution’s termination in December 2022 so he could return to the presidency. Also, he’s always loved to entertain himself and his followers by talking about throwing opponents in jail. Over the summer, ABC News compiled a list of plenty of people he wanted indicted or jailed for their crimes, including ex-FBI Director James Comey, former special counsel Robert Mueller, Steele dossier author Christopher Steele, Bill and Hillary Clinton, former national security adviser John Bolton. You may recall that locking up Hillary Clinton was elemental to his 2016 campaign. As for testing the limits of presidential power, that’s old hat, too. During his first administration, he banned Muslim visitors, issued an emergency declaration to build a border wall after Congress refused to pay for it, and sought to overturn the 2020 election results.

But this new round of bombast and threats is not just a matter of Trump being Trump. What’s different this time is that Trump’s building an extra-legal foundation of declarations and appointments to make his 2017-2021 aspirations, which sounded like off-the-cuff ravings at the time, come true. Recall the scary preview of his ambitions he gave in a March 2023 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which he promised his “wronged and betrayed” supporters that he would be their “justice” and “retribution.”

However critically you think of the team Trump assembled in his first administration, he could never convince them to conduct prosecutions of either his political opponents or officials who defied him. The next time around we won’t be lucky if he succeeds in peppering the Department of Justice and other agencies with his yes-men. Can he get away with it? It’s not illegal for a president to instruct an attorney general on how to do his job as long as those instructions are consistent with the law. But lining up presidential critics for prosecution, as Trump appears ready to do, makes a mockery of that consistency — especially when no laws appear to have been broken!

By putting us on notice that he plans to punish his past foes — and presumably his future foes — with the justice system, Trump has given us a head start in blocking his future lawlessness. These promises — call them campaign promises — deserve full scrutiny from the press.

Starting today, political reporters have a duty to grill Trump’s primary opponents, especially the “Trump Lite” candidates Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott and Vivek Ramaswamy, on whether or not they support Trump’s plans for political prosecutions and the imposition of military power over the citizenry, essentially the rapid dismantling of our democratic system of governance. No caviling answers to these questions should be accepted. Instead, reporters should push candidates to give the sort of unequivocal answers that will either qualify them for cabinet positions in the Trump regime (“Yes, it’s OK for a president to jail his opponents and for the military to occupy cities”) or earn them a Trump indictment should he win (“No, everything about the reported Trump plans for trials and military control stinks”).

Reporters should serve the same queries to Trump wherever he goes — on TV, in radio call-ins, while eating campaign hot dogs and cotton candy, when sitting down with newspaper editorial boards.

If The Washington Post has accurately captured the style of government Trump intends to deploy should he win, there is no bigger issue on the plate than Trump’s reported plans. If he has totalitarian designs for mass political trials in storage and plans to release them in 2025, the press and his political opponents, including Joe Biden, should escalate their criticism of him pronto to make it the leading political issue. Biden can’t pretend to be an advocate of constitutional self-governance unless he presses Trump hard here.

Trump, ever the master of evasion, can’t be allowed to fudge who he intends to prosecute nor should we allow him to make such threats without describing in detail what crimes he thinks have been committed and what evidence exists. The same questions should be directed at Trump supporters and his donors. Trump, after all, has put them on notice, too, with his plans. They are as complicit in the plot to throttle our civil liberties as Trump is believed to be.

Trump claims that his current promises of prosecution are a matter of payback. Prosecutors in Georgia and New York and in the federal government prosecuted him for what he considers political reasons, so he thinks that frees him to return the favor to his foes. But the Trump equation doesn’t balance. Remember, it was his style to call for the jailing of his foes long before any indictment landed on his doorstep. Also, Trump’s alleged crimes have been named, delineated with supporting evidence, accepted for trial by an independent judiciary. Any counter-claim by Trump, such as the recent one where he insisted he’s an American Nelson Mandela is complete fantasy.

Again, we’ve been warned. Trump doesn’t just want to be president. He wants to be prosecutor, judge, jury and jailer, too. Why doesn’t he just come clean and announce his campaign for dictator?


See Damon Linker’s recent piece on the intellectual foundation for a Trump dictatorship. The Dictators were an influential band but who listens to them anymore? I’m sure fans will send email to No new email alert subscriptions are being honored at this time. My X feed and Bluesky accounts were heavily influenced by the Dictators. My RSS feed is in jail.


  1. Democrats romp, Youngkin flops: 4 takeaways from Tuesday’s election
  2. ‘Is the fat lady warming up? Yes’: Trump chokes off his rivals’ last lines of attack
  3. New Jersey Democrats notch big legislative wins after bracing for losses
  4. Feds charge 3 with running high-end brothels allegedly frequented by politicians
  5. Losers, scumbags and policy, too. The third GOP debate got testy, quick.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply