American Decline

A dream of power, an awakening to destruction

By  Timothy Snyder

As we reach the first anniversary of Trump’s failed coup attempt, the former president and his supporters are indulging in a pleasant dream of his return to power in 2025.  An electoral victory seems unlikely: he lost last time as an incumbent by seven million votes.  But the dream rests more on resentment than on procedures.  If Trump is installed rather than elected in January 2025, it seems unlikely that he would lead the country we know now, since the United States would fall apart.  That is where the pleasant dream becomes a real tragedy, for everyone, including the dreamers.

This pleasant dream takes shape within a big lie: that Trump won last time.  This conviction suppresses the fact that he lost by rather a lot.  The claim that the Democrats manipulated procedures overcomes the (still mounting) evidence that Mr. Trump conspired to destroy them.  The big lie reverses perpetrator and victim, which makes plans to do evil a second time feel like justified revenge.  The big lie enables a purge of the Republican Party and nourishes the safe space known as right-wing media.  And it justifies legislation.  It allows Republican state legislators who pass laws to subvert the next election to talk about how they only mean to secure it.


1 reply »

  1. I can’t get past the first sentence without disregarding anything this man has to say. He should commit suicide so he can enter whatever fantasy world his mind dwells in, like those anime incels who want to be with their waifus in anime world.

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