‘Dictator’ Trump warnings spook America

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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.

Trump, 77, responded to the warnings in typical style by laughing them off with an edge.

“He says, you’re not going to be a dictator, are you? I said no, no, no — other than day one,” Trump said when asked in a televised Fox News townhall on Tuesday if he would abuse power or seek retribution.

“We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling (for oil). After that I’m not a dictator.”

Some of the most dire forebodings have come from Cheney, the former Republican lawmaker and daughter of ex-vice president Dick Cheney, whose opposition to Trump made her a pariah in the party.

“It’s a very dangerous moment,” she told NBC on Sunday.

There was “no question” Trump would try to stay in office beyond 2028, she said, adding that the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol by supporters trying to overturn Biden’s election win was merely a “practice run.”

For his critics, Trump’s autocratic side has long been in plain sight.

Trump already faces trial for conspiring to upend the 2020 election result, with prosecutors saying on Tuesday that evidence shows he was determined to “remain in power at any cost.”

His language has turned more extreme in recent months, during which he described migrants as “poisoning the blood of our country” and suggested his former military chief should face death for treason.

But in the looking-glass world of Trump and his allies, he is always the victim.

“Joe Biden is the real dictator,” Trump said in a picture posted on his conservative Truth Social network.

Donald Trump,

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