Summary List Placement
“I know you’re disappointed, but I want you to know that our incredible journey is just beginning,” President Trump told his followers via video on January 7, finally acknowledging his loss to Joe Biden in the November 3 election. While his speechwriters put in language condemning the armed assault on the Capitol Building one day earlier, it was these final words of his announcement that caught my attention — and not in a good way.
The events of January 6 may have ended Trump’s two-month quest to stay in office illegally, but they may also mark the start of a new danger for America.
Once unleashed from the White House, Trump will be free to act as an outside agitator and work freely with extremists within and outside of the Republican party to further destabilize American democracy.
Having researched how strongmen leaders from the fascists onward have destroyed democracies around the world, I immediately perceived the threat Trump’s lies, corruption, and incitements to violence presented to the health of our republic when he came into office.
That same expertise led me to forecast just after the election that Trump would not leave office quietly, but would engage in desperate measures to hold onto power.
Read more: The Capitol siege proves it’s finally time to take Trump and other politicians’ violent rhetoric both seriously and literally.
We should pay close attention to these attempts, which draw on anti-democratic actions across a century.
Given that hundreds of Republican politicians supported Trump’s attempts to hold onto power — some even after the January 6 assault — these dangerous actions could be normalized in the future. They could become part of the way the GOP conducts its business as a far-right party.
This is already how authoritarianism already operates under Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan — two leaders Trump admires. Election results that don’t go your way become just another piece of information to be denied and replaced with a fabrication that suits the false reality you need to maintain to stay in power.
Trump set a precedent in saying he won the election and then attempting to manipulate votes to make that claim “true.”
So let’s break down what he tried.
First, Trump evoked the age of military coups in exploring a military intervention — until General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, quashed that idea. Then he attempted to pull off the favorite 21st century despot trick of electoral manipulation, pressuring officials in Georgia to “find votes.” That didn’t work in this instance, but with the “right” players, the game could have had a different outcome.
Read more: Trump reportedly asked a Georgia elections investigator to ‘find the fraud’ in the 2020 election in lengthy phone call in December
Finally, Trump channeled early fascism in calling on the extremist paramilitary groups he’d played like a violin since he retweeted a neo-Nazi meme early in his presidential campaign. For four years, he has posed as “their man” to …read more
Source:: Business Insider