Timothy Snyder's Dire Speculations on the Next Trumpist CoupHistorians in the News
tags: democracy, Timothy Snyder, Donald Trump, constitutional crisis, Coup
If Trump runs in 2024, he will lose the popular vote. If corrupt GOP state legislators install Trump as President, the United States will quickly and catastrophically cease to exist. That's what Yale history professor Timothy Snyder says in the latest issue of his "Thinking About" newsletter.
In a situation where he is installed as president after losing an election, Mr. Trump would vainly try to control what will quickly cease to be the United States. His allies who wish to destroy the state will be the only winners. The precise scenario of the collapse of the United States is impossible to predict, but some of the following is likely to happen, and quickly.
Tens of millions of people protest. Paramilitaries on both sides emerge. Violence leads to fake and real stories of deaths, and to revenge. Police and armed forces will know neither whom they should obey nor whom they should arrest. With traditional authority broken, those wearing uniforms and bearing arms will become partisans, take sides, and start shooting one another. Governors will look for exit strategies for their states. Americans will rush to parts of the disintegrating country they find safer, in a process that looks increasingly like ethnic cleansing. The stock market and then the economy will crash. The dollar will cease to be the world currency.
Snyder is the author of the short book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Here are some highlights I made when I read it:
- The European history of the twentieth century shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary men can find themselves standing over death pits with guns in their hands.
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