by Shelt Garner
Here are, in order of increasing severity, are a few of the top contenders for the United States’ first truly autocratic leader.
Christie is probably the best of a bad situation because he would definitely be something of a holding pattern. It’s extremely unlikely he would get anywhere near being POTUS, but if he did, he would be an autocrat only because he would flex the powers that Trump TRIED to assert, but couldn’t. So, things would be different, but the New Normal would probably be enough within what we’re used to that we wouldn’t even notice that we weren’t a democracy anymore.
The thing about DeSantis is he definitely would take the next step and begin to do some of the darker things I fear. He would weaponize ICE and probably flirt with purging the media. A MAGA New Right Constitutional Convention would definitely be on the table.
Cruz is a real asshole and he, again, would turn into an autocrat — given the opportunity — simply because he could. He would lurch the country down a dark, extremely conservative path, greatly increasing the actual power of the presidency as he did. He knows how government works and he would be able to do a lot of shit that Trump was simply too lazy and stupid to pull off.
The reason why Trump isn’t that low on this list is he’s really, really stupid and really, really lazy. He talks a good game, but when push comes to shove, not even a Brain Trust of fascists will save him. So, Trump is extremely dangerous for two reasons. One, he is so incompetent and stupid that he could force the issue of a civil war upon us, just by being himself. Second, Trump’s real historical purpose, probably, is who he picks to be his veep should he steal the 2024 election without starting a civil war.
Pompeo is worse than Trump because he’s a lot closer to who Trump think he is, but isn’t. Given the opportunity, Pompeo would swiftly move to turn the United States into a traditional autocracy. He would never leave office peacefully for any reason and after about 20 years, we would see him as an American Putin.
Again, Hawley is what Trump thinks he is. And he’s even more extreme than Pompeo. You could probably count the American transition into autocracy in weeks and months, not years should he ever become POTUS. I would definitely end up being pushed out of a window by an ICE agent, that’s for sure.
It’s easy to imagine Flynn becoming POTUS after being named Trump’s veep. Flynn is the only person more likely to start a civil war just by being himself than Trump. But if he did avoid starting a civil war, things would get very, very dark here, very very quick. Millions of center-Left Americans would leave the country over the course of a generation. That is, of course, unless Flynn made it impossible for the to leave.
If Bannon got any type of real leadership position in the United States, I doubt his title would be “President.” I could see Bannon leading some sort of radical American Taliban that would control a huge swath of Trumplandia. Bannon is on dangerous motherfucker.