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Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam

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Opinion

Trump will be hellbent on revenge if he wins again

Jul 13, 2023

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The 2024 election is more than a year away, but former President Trump has given us a sneak peek at what a second term might look like with him in the driver’s seat. In a speech at a conservative conference back in March, Trump said, “I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

While that’s music to the ears of some conservatives, many on the Left — including Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid — worry that if Trump were to win, we’d be in for four long years of revenge politics.

I think we all have a general sense that a second Trump term would be bad.

The first four years weren’t exactly a joyride. And it is a virtual guarantee that a second term wouldn’t just be worse, it would be permanently devastating to our democracy. But it’s important to understand that when I say that, it’s not a guess, or like some generalized fear of a Trump term again. There are specific steps that Trump would almost certainly take in order to effectively install himself as a dictator.

Ex-DHS Chief of Staff Miles Taylor’s new book, “Blowback,” details how a second Trump administration would weaponize our nation’s domestic security apparatus to serve their ends and it is frightening stuff.

See, during Trump’s first term, he was apparently unaware of the existence of a so-called “Doomsday Book.” This book — really just a set of highly classified documents, the location of which is known to only a few people — details the extraordinary powers afforded to the president in the case of, say, a nuclear event or an armed invasion by a foreign country — if Washington, D.C. was destroyed, that kind of thing. These glass-break measures include things like flipping an internet kill switch, censoring the news media, assuming control of social media. 

I think we all have a general sense that a second Trump term would be bad. 

 

The first four years weren’t exactly a joyride. And it is a virtual guarantee that a second term wouldn’t just be worse, it would be permanently devastating to our democracy. But it’s important to understand that when I say that, it’s not a guess, or like some generalized fear of a Trump term again, there are specific steps that Trump would almost certainly take in order to effectively install himself as a dictator. Ex-DHS Chief of Staff Miles Taylor’s new book, “Blowback,” details how a second Trump administration would weaponize our nation’s domestic security apparatus to serve their ends.

 

And it is frightening stuff. See, during Trump’s first term, he was apparently unaware of the existence of a so-called “Doomsday Book.” 

 

This book — really just a set of highly classified documents, the location of which is known to only a few people — details the extraordinary powers afforded to the president in the case of, say, a nuclear event or an armed invasion by a foreign country. If Washington DC was destroyed, that kind of thing. These glass-break measures include things like flipping an internet kill switch, censoring the news media, assuming control of social media. 

 

They’re not the stuff of democracy. They’re the stuff of war. What Taylor alleges in his book is that career officials at NSC were determined to keep Trump loyalists away from these documents out of fear that they might encourage the president to misuse them, perhaps by manufacturing an emergency situation that would permit him to do so.

 

Imagine that a Trump loyalist had been given access to these highly-sensitive documents

during the 2020 election. It’s not a stretch to imagine Trump choosing to use his emergency powers to seize ballot boxes, or nationalize social media in his favor. It’s just what he would do. During Trump’s first term, we saw just how willing he was to use the levers of government to his selective advantage. As an example, he deployed Border Patrol Tactical Unit agents into Portland during the anti-racism protests against the wishes of local and state officials, thereby escalating the situation further, which was the point. In the first Trump go-around, there was admittedly a certain degree of restraint provided by the presence of non-MAGA officials, Jim Mattis, John Kelly. But in a second term, Trump would not make that mistake again. He would purge the career staffers and fill his cabinet with loyalists willing to bend to his cult of personality. It would be an administration hellbent on revenge, and it cannot, must not, be allowed to happen.

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