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Saying he’s not ‘optimistic about America’s future’ anymore, Washington Post columnist Max Boot warned Monday that a return of Donald Trump to the presidency could be the final “death knell” for American democracy.
“We need to take seriously the possibility that the United States could become a failed democracy, if only to avert that dire fate,” he wrote in the July 25 piece.
The core of what he claimed imperils the United States is Trump’s continued involvement in American politics even as President Joe Biden has managed a lukewarm and embattled presidency.
“Despite the yeoman work of the Jan. 6 committee, former president Donald Trump remains the leading contender for the 2024 GOP nomination — and on the current trajectory he could defeat President Biden, whose unpopularity continues to plumb new depths,” he wrote. “We need to be clear about what another Trump term would mean: It could be the death knell for our democracy.”
Boot quoted an assessment from The Atlantic that the Republican Party has become “authoritarian to its core,” suggesting himself that “there are two main ways to save America: Either reform the Republican Party or ensure that it never wields power again.”
One chief example he provided was that “Republican legislatures around the country” have been “Unleashed by a right-wing Supreme Court” and are now “repealing or restricting abortion rights.”
Boot warned that this is evidence that “We already live in a ‘backsliding’ democracy, where voting rights are being restricted and freedom is under siege.” He added, “The most severe threat comes from an increasingly authoritarian Republican Party whose maximum leader is an unindicted and unrepentant coup plotter.”
“By reviving Schedule F, Trump could fire career officials and replace them with ultra-MAGA loyalists,” he warned of a plan if Trump returns to power. “‘F’ might as well stand for ‘fascism,’ because that is what we will get if Trump were to appoint his most fanatical acolytes to the most powerful positions in government.”
Boot claimed that while he “used to be an optimist about America’s future,” his assessment now is that people are preparing to leave because “The prognosis is grim.”
“We seem to be sleepwalking to disaster. If we don’t wake up in time, we could lose our democracy,” he concluded.
In early July, Boot called to abolish the Electoral College itself, explaining, “The Founders never envisioned such an imbalance between power and population. It undermines any pretense that we are still a democracy. We should abolish the electoral college and make the election of senators proportional to population.”