Donald Trump is grappling with the end of the Mueller investigation, and it’s getting scary. One minute Trump is insisting that he was completely exonerated by the Mueller report, and the next he’s showing just how terrified he is of Robert Mueller testifying before Congress. But the really worrying part is when Trump suggests he should get two extra years in the White House to make up for the time he was under investigation. Because “Oh, just give me a couple of extra unconstitutional years and then I’ll go peacefully” is pretty much the script for an aspiring dictator.
The “two more years” idea originated with Jerry Falwell Jr., who described it as “reparations,” but Trump took it up enthusiastically, retweeting Falwell and then himself tweeting about the “stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back…..”
Almost as disturbing as Trump embracing this idea is The Washington Post as “perhaps tongue-in-cheek” and “raised playfully.” Donald Trump does not have a playful bone in his body. Any time Donald Trump attempts to appear playful, you know he is running the bully’s gambit of testing what he can get away with. Remember that Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer and fixer, told Congress that “I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”
Even if Trump is not actively laying plans for a military coup in November 2020, he is sending a strong message to his supporters about how they should respond if and when he loses. And don’t expect Trump’s message on that front to get any more friendly to democracy between now and then, let alone in the moment of loss. Trump is—again—telling us who he is, and we should believe him, not downplay his wannabe-dictator moves as “playful.”