December 6, 2023

Trump wins

Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932
If Trump wins
By Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift         
          WASHINGTON — What if Donald Trump wins the election in 2024? For at least half the country, that is a nightmare scenario that means the end of democracy. Trump reelected means Trump unleashed.
          For the many millions of Americans who expect to vote for the twice impeached and four-time criminally indicted president, here is a guide to what Trump is likely to do if he returns to the White House. He is not a Republican, but a party unto himself.
          He boasts he would end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours. The only way to do that is to cede territory to Russia, a concession that most analysts say would embolden Russian President Putin, a murderous dictator Trump openly admires.
          How do you feel about NATO? The Western alliance has kept the peace in Europe for more than 70 years. If elected, Trump is likely to pull out of NATO or to diminish the U.S. stake to the point where the alliance would no longer function as a buffer against Russia. He made this clear as president.
          As right-wing populism spreads across the globe, Trump will deepen his relationships with like-minded figures like Hungary’s Viktor Orban and France’s Marine Le Pen.
          Given his authoritarian tendencies, Trump will govern by executive order, reducing environmental regulations, boosting the oil and gas industry, and severely restricting immigration our labor-stretched country needs with the expectation that a friendly Supreme Court will ratify these moves. He will likely even send troops to the Southwest border to turn back migrants seeking jobs and refuge from political oppression, falsely claiming Democrats want an open border.
          After a summer of wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, are you concerned even a little bit about climate change? Trump says it is a hoax, and if he is returned to the presidency, he would withdraw from the global climate treaty President Biden reentered after winning the 2020 election.
          Trump does not have a plan of action to combat the impact of the rapidly changing climate. He likes to pretend the warming of the planet is a natural phenomenon and nothing to worry about even as it jeopardizes the planet and our way of life.
          Trump and his followers are increasingly isolationist, but you cannot wall off America from the world’s pollution. As one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, America has a responsibility to lead instead of misleading voters about climate change. He will do what he can to erase the gains made by the Biden administration to hasten the shift away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources.
          If Trump wins the presidency in 2024, the Senate will likely flip too, which would allow Trump to push through additional tax relief for the wealthy. After winning passage of his infamous budget-busting tax cut that disproportionately rewarded top earners, Trump flew home to his Florida resort and told wealthy guests, “You all just got a lot richer.”
          Trump presents himself as a politician who cares about the working class of America, but his policies do not help workers whose wages have fallen behind while the economic gap widens between the modern Robber Baron billionaires and everybody else.
          Finally, Trump will use the Justice Department to pursue his political enemies and to vindicate those who stood by him. Dominic Pezzola, a member of the Proud Boys, shouted “Trump won” after being sentenced to 10 years in prison, a cry Trump will certainly heed with a pardon should he win reelection.
          In the end, many citizens may vote for Trump because he is the Republican standard bearer, but they should beware. The only standard he is carrying is a flag emblazoned with his glaring, ominous image. If Trump wins, America loses.
          Eleanor Clift’s latest book Selecting a President, and Douglas Cohn’s latest books The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency and World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers).
          Twitter:  @douglas_cohn
          © 2023 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
          Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.

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