Donald Trump winning in 2024 would be a 'death knell for our democracy': Max Boot
Conservative columnist Max Boot published an editorial in Monday's Washington Post warning of the existential dangers to the survivability of the United States if former President Donald Trump pulls off a return to the White House in 2024.
"We need to take seriously the possibility that the United States could become a failed democracy, if only to avert that dire fate," Boot wrote. "There’s a good reason that 85 percent of respondents in a recent survey said the country is headed in the wrong direction."
According to Boot, the greatest harbinger of how Trump and the Republican Party could upend more than two centuries of the American experiment was the right-wing Supreme Court's 6-3 June 24th decision in Dobbs versus Jackson Women's Health Clinic, which eliminated the constitutional right to abortion that was established in the landmark Roe versus Wade ruling in 1973.
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"This is producing horror stories that I never thought I would see in the United States. A woman in Texas had to carry a dead fetus for two weeks because removing it would have required a procedure that is also used in abortions. A woman in Wisconsin bled for more than 10 days after an incomplete miscarriage because medical staff would not remove fetal tissue. A 10-year-old girl was raped in Ohio and had to travel to Indiana to get an abortion," Boot noted.
He added that "these are the kinds of human rights violations we would be protesting if they occurred in other countries. That they are happening in the United States is an ominous sign of what lies ahead, because other countries in recent years that have taken away abortion rights — Poland and Nicaragua — have also taken away political rights."
Voting rights, free speech, and press freedom have also been targeted by the GOP, further eroding the foundations of American civil liberties. And Boot foresees the entanglement with Trump's thirst for dictatorial power as a formula for disaster.
"The most severe threat comes from an increasingly authoritarian Republican Party whose maximum leader is an unindicted and unrepentant coup plotter," Boot said. "Trump remains the leading contender for the 2024 GOP nomination — and on the current trajectory he could defeat President [Joe] Biden, whose unpopularity continues to plumb new depths. We need to be clear about what another Trump term would mean: It could be the death knell for our democracy."
Trump has been unambiguous in his ambitions. Last week, Axios reported that “sources close to the former president said that he will — as a matter of top priority – go after the national security apparatus, ‘clean house’ in the intelligence community and the State Department, target the ‘woke generals’ at the Defense Department, and remove the top layers of the Justice Department and FBI.”
Codenamed "Schedule F," Trump's blueprint for autocracy means that he "could fire career officials and replace them with ultra-MAGA loyalists," Boot explained. "'F' might as well stand for 'fascism,' because that is what we will get if Trump were to appoint his most fanatical acolytes to the most powerful positions in government."
In his closing, Boot lamented that the momentum is behind the forces of democratic destruction.
"I wish I could say that such a scenario is implausible, but it is all too realistic. I used to be an optimist about America’s future. Not anymore. There’s a good reason that so many people I know are acquiring foreign passports and talking about moving somewhere else: The prognosis is grim," he opined, stressing that only two options remain if the fabric of American society is to remain intact.
The first is to "either reform the Republican Party" and the second is to "ensure that it never wields power again. But a MAGA-fied GOP is likely to gain control of at least one chamber of Congress in the fall and could win complete power in 2024," Boot predicted.
"We seem to be sleepwalking to disaster," he concluded. "If we don’t wake up in time, we could lose our democracy. Just because we’ve avoided a breakdown in the past doesn’t mean we will stave it off in the future."
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