We are less than a year away from the next presidential election, and it looks like it will be a rematch between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump. But even if the same two people are on the ballot, voters will be facing a different choice. That is because Donald Trump has made it clear in recent weeks that he is not running to repeat the model from his first term in office. He plans to completely transform the nature of the presidency by following a fascist playbook.
This is neither hyperbole nor conjecture. Trump himself has been explicit about his plans. He thinks fascism is a winning campaign strategy. He told his supporters at a campaign rally in Iowa that he plans to use the military to deal with what he called “crime dens,” which he defined as places like New York and Chicago. Never mind that the homicide rate in both cities has dramatically dropped from last year, and that crime rates in America have repeatedly dropped from their peak in the 1990s. Facts are beside the point because Trump does not care about reality. His plan is not about stopping crime, but about taking power away from democratically-elected local leaders.
You might think this could never happen because there are laws and checks against Trump’s schemes, but unfortunately Trump and his team have found a loophole. There is a way to get around the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the military in civilian law enforcement and which Congress passed precisely because military enforcement of civil laws would be a threat to America’s republican form of government.