In this essay, I ask the question, Could a 2nd Trump Term Bring Fascism to the USA? As we consider the possibility of Trump’s 2nd term as President of the United States, We face choices. Is it crucial to analyze the characteristics of fascism in light of his first-term actions and rhetoric?

Examining examples from his presidency reveals signs that a Trump 2nd term could pose a serious threat to democracy.

As of this writing, the 2024 election is a bit more than a year away. As we tumble toward that day it benefits each voter to weigh the potential damage. Will permanent damage to the Constitution or accepting the cult of personality Trump demands?

2nd Trump Term: Authoritarianism

During his first term, Donald Trump displayed a troubling authoritarian streak. His relentless attacks on the media as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” represent a dangerous disregard for a free press. Because it is a cornerstone of democracy. This rhetoric, aimed at undermining the credibility of reputable news outlets, such as CNN and The New York Times, by painting them as unreliable sources of information.

Additionally, Trump’s attempts to delegitimize institutions that serve as checks and balances on the executive branch were evident. He frequently questioned the integrity of federal judges, especially when they ruled against his policies. For example, he referred to Judge Gonzalo Curiel as biased due to his Mexican heritage while presiding over the Trump University case. These actions threaten the separation of powers fundamental to our democracy.

2nd Trump Term: Ultra-Nationalism

Throughout his first term, Trump championed an “America First” agenda that often delved into divisive nationalism. His immigration policies exemplify this, as seen in the controversial travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim countries. While framed as a security measure, it faced broad criticism for its discriminatory nature and potential violation of religious freedom.

Additionally, Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border resulted in the separation of thousands of families, causing national and international outrage. This harsh approach to immigration reflects a dangerous form of nationalism that prioritizes the exclusion of others over American values of inclusivity and diversity.

2nd Trump Term: Suppression of Dissent

Fascist regimes rely on suppressing dissent, and Trump’s first term witnessed relentless attacks on political opponents and critics. His labeling of those who disagreed with him as “traitors” or “enemies of the people” created a hostile environment. For instance, he repeatedly targeted Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Adam Schiff and accused them of treason during his first impeachment trial.

Furthermore, Trump’s administration employed heavy-handed tactics to quell protests, notably the forceful dispersal of peaceful demonstrators in Lafayette Square for a photo opportunity. These actions raised concerns about the erosion of the right to assemble and protest in a democracy.

2nd Trump Term: Erosion of the Constitution

Perhaps the most alarming aspect is the potential for further undermining the Constitution of the United States. During his first term, Trump displayed a willingness to bypass Congress through executive orders. One notable example is the travel ban: enacted without proper legislative process and raised concerns about religious discrimination.

His first impeachment trial highlighted his willingness to obstruct Congress and abuse power. Trump appeared to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, and obstruct Congress’s inquiry of other accusations against him. The Senate’s acquittal on these charges raised concerns about the accountability of the executive branch.

2nd Trump Term: Militarism

While Trump did not initiate major wars during his first term, his foreign policy decisions were unpredictable and risked destabilizing global relations. His withdrawal from international agreements and alliances, such as the Paris Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, disrupted international cooperation.

These decisions put the nation on a precarious path toward militarization and strained relationships with key allies. The potential for international conflicts and instability became a pressing concern, reflecting the unpredictable nature of Trump’s foreign policy.

2nd Trump Term: Cult of Personality

Fascist leaders often cultivate a cult of personality, and Trump’s unwavering support base suggests that he could further consolidate power around his personality in a second term. His ability to maintain a dedicated following despite controversy and divisive policies raises concerns about bypassing democratic norms.

For instance, his insistence on loyalty within his administration led to high turnover rates in key positions, potentially undermining the institutional stability essential to a functioning democracy. Additionally, his refusal to accept the 2020 election results and claims of widespread voter fraud underscored his willingness to challenge the democratic process.

In conclusion

The characteristics of fascism, as seen through specific examples from Trump’s first term, warrant serious consideration. While it is essential to respect democratic values and institutions, it is equally important to remain vigilant and critically assess the actions and policies of any leader, including Donald Trump. A second term could pose a grave threat to the Constitution of the United States and the democratic principles basic to Constitutional Government. Safeguarding our democracy requires informed and thoughtful engagement in the democratic process and a commitment to upholding the rule of law.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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