'Dictator' Donald Trump warnings spook America

2 months ago 49

WASHINGTON: Could a second Donald Trump presidency slide into dictatorship? A sudden spate of dystopian warnings has got America talking about the possibility less than a year before the US elections.

Dark scenarios about what could happen if the twice-impeached Republican former president wins in 2024 have appeared in the space of a few days in major US media outlets that include The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Atlantic.

Grim predictions also came from top Republican Trump critic Liz Cheney, who said that the country is "sleepwalking into dictatorship" and that she is weighing a third-party presidential run of her own to try to stop him.

Together, they paint a bleak picture of an angrier yet more disciplined Trump than during his first spell in the White House, one who would wreak vengeance on his perceived enemies and possibly try to stay in power beyond the two-term US limit.

President Joe Biden, who faces a rematch of his bitter 2020 contest with Trump, said the warnings backed his own claims to be defending US democracy.

"If Trump wasn't running, I'm not sure I'd be running. But we cannot let him win," the 81-year-old Democrat told a campaign event in Massachusetts.

Biden cited Trump's own increasingly violent language on the campaign trail, saying his rival's description of his opponents as "vermin" echoed the language used in Nazi Germany.

"Trump's not even hiding the ball anymore. He's telling us what he's going to do."

"PRESIDENT FOR LIFE"

Trump, 77, and his allies have responded as they usually do, by fighting fire with fire. He accused Biden of himself being a "destroyer of democracy" and even reposted one of the most critical articles on social media.

Conservative Fox News described it as "media panic", while pro-Trump Republican senator and author JD Vance said on X that "everyone needs to take a chill pill".

But the sudden uptick in warnings - against a backdrop of Democratic angst over polls showing Trump now leading Biden despite facing multiple criminal trials - has been striking.

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