Never Mind Hiding It Anymore: The Next Step is Open Embrace of Authoritarianism
We need to talk about Trump's fascism, the fact that things are accelerating, and the important thing about Project 2025 that everyone seems to be missing
Watching Hannity is hardly my idea of a good time. And yet, in the past week, I’ve had to spend way too much of my time on this buffoon. It began with the debate between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom, which I covered for patrons of The Muckrake Podcast (spoiler: Newsom, who isn’t my favorite politician, performed incredibly well despite Sean Hannity and Fox News basically conspiring with DeSantis to rig the thing) and finished with the host’s tongue-washing of Donald Trump’s boots.
For those who only want the relevant bit, here’s this:
And for those who can’t bear to watch, a summation: asked if he had plans to be a dictator, Trump answers, “Only on day one.” The response is cheers among the crowd and a bit of obvious worry for Hannity. Prior to this, when the host asked the same thing and whether he planned on abusing powers, Trump’s response was “you mean, like they’re using right now?” Which is, for anyone paying attention, exactly the type of rhetoric and reasoning that legitimizes these actions for those carrying them out and those supporting them.
It has been a wild couple of months. The reveal of Project 2025, a donor-funded, think-tank designed plan to remake the federal government and effectively create an authoritarian administration, only made obvious what so many of us have been warning about for years. Additionally, the screening process and transition plans are already moving at incredible speed thanks to a move from buffoons like Rudy Giuliani to professionals and operators champing at the bit to terraform the government to their wildest desires. Meanwhile, authoritarian plans designed in Stephen Miller’s fever-dreams have been rolled out to serve less as a warning than an advertisement to Republicans dying to dive headfirst to the dictatorial action.
There has been a divide within the Republican Party for awhile now. I’ve been discussing it for the last few years as the line between MAGA and traditional Republicans has only grown more definitive and less deniable. Traditional analysis - the type you find on cable news or in the mainstream press - missed this for the most part until recently it exploded into the public with the Kevin McCarthy and House debacle, but it’s been playing for awhile now. As I predicted last month, the forming rivalry between the Trump Wing of the party and the coalition coalescing behind Nikki Haley is going to ramp up radicalization even more.
So there has to be a partition. Haley, backed by the likes of the Koch Machine and other donor luminaries, offers Right Wing militarism and a more-coded antidemocratic message with a sheen of respectability. This has already appealed to the donor class and a whole host of anti-Trump Republicans who have spent the last seven years telling Democrats to ignore their mistakes and move to the Right.
Trump does not have that respectability in any way, shape, or form, and already displayed, in one of the most chaotic and disastrous terms in the history of the country, that he lacks competence as well.
So what exactly is Trump offering at this point?
Why is it becoming more and more obvious about harboring dictatorial intent?
What is he and the people around him signalling to the GOP and the country at large, and, as a result, what is it that should we expect from a hypothetical Trump second term?
What is it about Project 2025 that should worry us and how we have largely been kept in the dark regarding its consequences?
And the truth is, it’s not exactly what you think and it is actually a lot worse than what anyone is speculating it could be.