I don’t often publish, verbatim, an article from somewhere else, but a Time Magazine article this week is so poignant and direct that it needs as wide a coverage as possible. It may sound a little melodramatic but the future of the United States, as we think we know it, is at stake, and this Time Magazine article describes the threat to that future perfectly. The piece was reported by Heather Cox Richardson so, in fact, I am plagiarizing double-time. It’s worth it.

      “This morning, Time magazine published a cover story by Eric Cortellessa about what Trump is planning for a second term. Based on two interviews with Trump and conversations with more than a dozen of his closest advisors, the story lays out Trump’s conviction that he was “too nice” in his first term and that he would not make such a mistake again. 

      Cortellessa writes that Trump intends to establish “an imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world.” 

      He plans to use the military to round up, put in camps, and deport more than 11 million people. He is willing to permit Republican-dominated states to monitor pregnancies and prosecute people who violate abortion bans. He will shape the laws by refusing to release funds appropriated by Congress (as he did in 2019 to try to get Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to smear Hunter Biden). He would like to bring the Department of Justice under his own control, pardoning those convicted of attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and ending the U.S. system of an independent judiciary.

      In a second Trump presidency, the U.S. might not come to the aid of a European or Asian ally that Trump thinks isn’t paying enough for its own defense. Trump would, Cortelessa wrote, “gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.”

      To that list, former political director of the AFL-CIO Michael Podhorzer added on social media that if Trump wins, “he could replace [Supreme Court justices Clarence] Thomas, [Samuel] Alito, and 40+ federal judges over 75 with young zealots.” 

      “I ask him, don’t you see why many Americans see such talk of dictatorship as contrary to our most cherished principles?” Cortellessa wrote. No, Trump said. “‘I think a lot of people like it.” 

      Time included the full transcripts, and a piece fact-checking Trump’s assertions. The transcripts reflect the former president’s scattershot language that makes little logical sense but conveys impressions by repeating key phrases and advancing a narrative of grievance. The fact-checking reveals that that narrative is based largely on fantasy. 

      Trump’s own words prove the truth of what careful observers have been saying about his plans based on their examination of MAGA Republicans’ speeches, interviews, Project 2025, and so on, often to find themselves accused of a liberal bias that makes them exaggerate the dangers of a second Trump presidency. 

      In 2023, FNC had to pay almost $800 million to settle defamation claims made by Dominion Voting Systems after FNC hosts pushed the lie that Dominion machines had changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, and it has since tried to retreat from the more egregious parts of its false narrative. 

      News broke yesterday that Hunter Biden’s lawyer had threatened to sue FNC for “conspiracy and subsequent actions to defame Mr. Biden and paint him in a false light, the unlicensed commercial exploitation of his image, name, and likeness, and the unlawful publication of hacked intimate images of him.” Today, FNC quietly took down from its streaming service its six-part “mock trial” of Hunter Biden, as well as a video promoting the series. 

      Also today, Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over Trump’s criminal trial for election fraud, found Trump in contempt of court for attacking witnesses and jurors. Merchan also fined Trump $1,000 per offense, required him to take down the nine social media posts at the heart of the decision, and warned him that future violations could bring jail time. This afternoon, Trump’s team deleted the social media posts. 

      For the first time in history, a former U.S. president has been found in contempt of court. We know who he is, and today, Trump himself validated the truth of what observers who deal in facts have been saying about what a second Trump term would mean for the United States.

      Reacting to the Time magazine piece, James Singer, the spokesperson for the Biden-Harris campaign, released a statement saying: “Not since the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault at home as they are today—because of Donald Trump. Trump is willing to throw away the very idea of America to put himself in power…. Trump is a danger to the Constitution and a threat to democracy.” 

      May 1, is “Law Day,” established in 1958 by Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower as a national recognition of the importance of the rule of law. In proclaiming the holiday today, Biden said: “America can and should be a Nation that defends democracy, protects our rights and freedoms, and pioneers a future of possibilities for all Americans. History and common sense show us that this can only come to pass in a democracy, and we must be its keepers.” 

      We have become numb to the daily rantings, faithfully reported by the irresponsible media, of Trump’ deranged mind but, occasionally, he hits on something that is closer to the truth than we might like to think. His comment to Time that “I think a lot of people like it,” referring to his goal of a dictatorship, does represent what many people think.

      I hate to admit it, but the majority of the population isn’t interested in the responsibility of participating in decisions for their country. They want someone else to do it for them, as long as they can criticize afterwards. The fallacy of that approach is that, if they allow a dictator to come to power, because they are too damn lazy to participate, they are also relinquishing their ability to criticize. Dictators do not take kindly to criticism, as Trump has already demonstrated.

      The obvious answer to the quest for the best form of government is a benevolent dictator, which several pundits have suggested is the ideal form of government bar none. The problem is finding one, and keeping that one on the benevolent path. Once in a while, a king/queen has managed to come close, but a regular person….never, so that idea is a lost cause.

      This Time Magazine article is yet another wakeup call to America. Its message cannot be repeated often enough, particularly in the next few months before the November elections. Dictator Trump is alive and coming. Only the electorate, it appears, can stop him. The media, which always claims it is the guardian of the country’s best interests, is AWOL.

      I hate the thought of the idea that I might be forced, this time next year, to write a blog entitled “I told you so”.

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