Thank you for your response.

Admittedly, my example of the hypothetical despot from the Democratic Party is an oversimplistic one.

First, I do not think Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama harbors autocratic ambitions. Bernie, in particular, is a very honorable man. And Obama did as well as any president could with the cards he was dealt by the Republicans.

The scenario I fear would probably play out like this:

  • In the 2022 midterms or the 2024 presidential election, the Democrats win and the Republicans again reject the election results without evidence. From this point on, every election result would be contested without evidence.
  • Between 2022 and the next time the Democrats lose an election, the Democratic President would pass a lot of progressive legislatures, ones that are more aligned with Bernie or AOC’s vision.
  • This president loses because of the Electoral College. But he still wins by the popular vote. Moreover, people like me would want him to stay as president. (Just as many were chanting four more years to Obama after the latter’s 8th year).
  • This guy decides: Hey if that’s the way Republicans are playing, I’ll play fire with fire. He does exactly what Trump does, except by now, the mainstream media would support him and so would the populace.
  • But this guy is smarter than Trump. He’s already won over the military generals years before he attempts this coup.
  • Democracy effectively dies. This president can stay on as long as he wants — like the president of Belarus. He’s no longer constrained by the will of the people. And, given this guy would, by definition, not have the honor of the real Bernie Sanders, he could easily turn into a dictator in the worst sense of the word.

I think it’s a bit less likely that such an autocratic could emerge from the right because the Republicans would probably never win the popular vote again and it’d be hard to garner the amount of support to establish a long-term foothold in government. But a Republican autocrat is just as dangerous if he could grease up the military before his coup.

Ultimately, we’re just lucky Trump was so stupid. We’d dodged a bullet by the slimmest of margins.

As for the second part of your question, my answer is we can’t. While I doubt any of them would end up reading this, I’m writing this directly to Republicans and their supporters. THEY HAVE TO STEP UP AND REJECT TRUMP’S LIE NOW, AND THEY HAVE TO DO SO COLLECTIVELY or we’re all doomed.

Shaolin student, Zen practitioner, Agile enthusiast, an atheist who’s nostalgic for his Christian days, losing sleep over the state of democracy