Let us establish first of all here that, at this point, it is unlikely that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will win on November 8th. Between the current polling and all of the scandals, the Donald is on a sinking ship that’s going down in a raging ball of fire. Nothing can seem to save him now.
Now, let’s imagine for a second if Mr. Trump were to, by some act of God, win the presidency in November. Then say, from the moment that he takes office in January, he goes about enacting the plans that he announced throughout his campaign, such as banning Muslim immigration to the United States, engaging in torture for the sake of torture, and going after the families of terrorists, among other things. Will the American system be able to handle such blatant authoritarian actions? Will it be able to reel back in a madman with little to no regard for the Constitution?
Yascha Mounk of Politico doesn’t have much confidence that it can handle a danger like Mr. Trump. In this piece, “Yes, American Democracy Could Break Down,” the author argues that there is some chance that our American democratic system can ultimately fall apart when put to the test. There are three reasons for this, according to Mounk: 1- the unprecedented nature of a person like Mr. Trump getting so close to winning the White House, let alone taking up residence there; 2- the fact that there are relatively few resources provided by the constitution to stop an authoritarian president; and 3- stopping tyranny in the United States would ultimately be contingent on public opinion. If public opinion were to side with the authoritarian, not much can be done to stop that person’s agenda.
Luckily, for now our nation won’t have to put this to the test. The Donald will most likely not be president. But this is important, theoretical food for thought, as someone with similar authoritarian tendencies in a better package can come along next time and prove to be an even bigger threat.