Too many chances – Daily Freeman

Former President Donald Trump speaks outside the courtroom after testifying at New York Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Current polling says that a majority of American voters are willing to give Donald Trump a second chance at the White House.  To a large, apparent minority, that course seems like madness, given his declared plans for a second term: retribution against his perceived enemies, with threats of executions and “annihilation”; dismantling of federal agencies and firing of civil servants who would be replaced by his sycophants; bending the Department of Justice into his personal army of prosecutors and defenders; and putting into place structures that could keep him in office beyond a second term.  If this sounds like a blueprint for dismantling democracy, yes.

To predict a second Trump administration, we can look to the example of Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, another world leader who was given a second chance — actually, a fourth chance. Under the country’s parliamentary system, he returned as prime minister in  2022.  With pressure from far-right parties in his coalition, he immediately pushed judicial “reform” measures that incited huge demonstrations and protests from civil and military leaders who claimed that Israeli democracy would be scuttled, and Netanyahu’s true goal was to protect himself from ongoing investigations of his actions. In the meantime, the country’s enemies would take advantage of the disruption and lack of focus on security.

How has this bargain worked out for Israelis?

Trump and Netanyahu are both leaders who are willing to sacrifice their people’s well-being, rights, and security for their own obsessions with power.  Both are defying their countries’ institutions and relying on extremists to gain and keep power.

If Americans elect Trump in 2024, how will his second chance work out for us? In 2017, lukewarm Trump supporters urged the skeptical public to “give him a chance.” Then came Charlottesville.  Another chance.  And the failed attacks on Obamacare.  Another chance.  And the COVID-19 lies and divisiveness.  And election lies and divisiveness.  And January 6.

How many chances…?

Tom Denton

New Paltz

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