Canadian political scientist warns his country must face 'horrible' possibility of US becoming a 'right-wing dictatorship' by 2030

Canadian political scientist warns his country must face 'horrible' possibility of US becoming a 'right-wing dictatorship' by 2030

As a political science professor at the Royal Roads University in Colwood, British Columbia, Thomas Homer-Dixon is only about 35 miles from the U.S. border — and in an op-ed published by the Globe and Mail on New Year’s Eve, he grapples with the frightening possibility that Canada’s neighbor to the south could be under a fascist dictatorship only eight years from now.

“By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence,” writes Homer-Dixon, author of the book “Commanding Hope: The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril” and founder of Royal Roads’ Cascade Institute. “By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship. We mustn’t dismiss these possibilities just because they seem ludicrous or too horrible to imagine.”

Homer-Dixon, in his op-ed, warns that if former President Donald Trump returns to the White House in January 2025 — possibly by stealing the 2024 election with the help of the Republican Party — there will be major implications for Canada.

“Returning to office, he’ll be the wrecking ball that demolishes democracy, but the process will produce a political and social shambles,” Homer-Dixon writes. “Still, through targeted harassment and dismissal, he’ll be able to thin the ranks of his movement’s opponents within the state — the bureaucrats, officials and technocrats who oversee the non-partisan functioning of core institutions and abide by the rule of law. Then, the stage will be set for a more managerially competent ruler, after Mr. Trump, to bring order to the chaos he’s created.”

The Canadian government, he warns, is facing an “unfolding crisis” to the south and needs to think long and hard about how it will respond if United States goes full-fledged authoritarian.

“A terrible storm is coming from the south, and Canada is woefully unprepared,” Homer-Dixon explains. “Over the past year, we’ve turned our attention inward, distracted by the challenges of COVID-19, reconciliation and the accelerating effects of climate change. But now, we must focus on the urgent problem of what to do about the likely unraveling of democracy in the United States. We need to start by fully recognizing the magnitude of the danger. If Mr. Trump is reelected, even under the more optimistic scenarios, the economic and political risks to our country will be innumerable.”

Homer-Dixon laments that it isn’t excessive to use the “f word” to describe the political threat facing the U.S. — the “f word” being “fascism.”

“At the heart of the ideological narrative of U.S. right-wing demagogues, from Mr. Trump on down, is the implication that large segments of the country’s population — mainly the non-white, non-Christian, and educated urban ones — aren’t really equal citizens,” Homer-Dixon observes. “They aren’t quite full Americans, or even real Americans. This is why Mr. Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him — a falsehood that nearly 70% of Republicans now accept as true — is such potent anti-democratic poison.”

The United States’ 2024 election, according to Homer-Dixon, will have major consequences for Canada.

“Under the less-optimistic scenarios, the risks to our country in their cumulative effect could easily be existential — far greater than any in our federation’s history,” Homer-Dixon warns. “What happens, for instance, if high-profile political refugees fleeing persecution arrive in our country and the U.S. regime demands them back. Do we comply?”

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