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A Coming Coup d’etat

August 1, 2021

The authoritarian perils of Donald Trump’s presidency are aspects of two features in The New York Times for Sunday, August 1, 2021.

The first is an opinion essay by Ross Douthat titled “How Strong is Trump’s Grip on the G.O.P.?” and the second is a podcast featuring a discussion between Ezra Klein and Douthat.

Ross Douthat is an interesting opinion writer much like the Canada-born conservative Marc Steyn is interesting. Steyn never graduated from University but cracked the barrier between the non-degreed and Oxford educated to become successor to the late Christopher Hitchens.

Though he is a Christian believer, Douthat wrote for The Atlantic, and now The New York Times, thus proving that if you have talent, it doesn’t matter if you are not brown, black or go to church.

Donald Trump’s influence is waning, Douthat believes, but his powers of disruption cannot be ignored.

“Trump’s power suggests that the nomination itself will remain within his grasp (and an analysis of his character suggests that he will want it), no matter how many bipartisan bills pass over his objections or how many of his endorsements flop.”

Most Trump followers come from small town America where Trump’s “The Apprentice” made a splash and where travel to the nation’s Capitol whetted appetites for a return. Despite the reality that Trump is out of power, Trump followers who converged on the Ellipse at Trump’s request on January 6 and at Trump’s request marched on the U.S. Capitol, are waiting for another signal.

Trump’s coming out speech at last year’s CPAC sent a message: “I’ll be back.” Hearing that, one member of the audience in a business suit attempted a back-flip and the audience boomed its feelings of delight and joy.

The context in the years leading up 2024 features a race between Federal and New York State prosecutors seeking to convict Trump on charges of tax fraud and Trump’s need to overcome financial peril while preparing the ground for his next move.

I speculate that the next move by Trump will commence with an announcement of his candidacy, attraction of tens of thousands of additional supporters whom he will call to meet him on the streets adjacent to the White House at Lafayette Park and if the winds blow in the right direction, Trump will demand that he be re-seated in the Oval Office.

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