Trump is undeniably a polarizing political figure, but for some, he represents more than just an undesirable candidate. Some voters worry a second Trump term could mean chaos for the country and perhaps even the end of democracy. But others are pushing back, saying the fear surrounding Trump is exaggerated.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
“The man tried to overturn a legitimate election because his fragile ego couldn’t stand the thought of losing,” one person explained about why they think Trump is a danger to democracy. “And he’s ready to be renominated by one of two parties that can win the higher office. If that’s not a threat, I’m not sure what is.”
An Absolute Threat
“Trump is absolutely a threat to the rule of law and democratic norms,” another said, going on to point out that he failed even to pretend that he was avoiding conflicts of interest.
“He wants to be President, but he does not care about America,” said another commenter about Trump. “He is dishonest and has no moral compass. We need leadership. He is not a leader. When he looks in the mirror, he only sees himself.”
Can of Worms
Another person noted that Trump fundamentally changed the Republican base. “Because Trump taught his party to not accept any election they don’t win, he is a danger to democracy. He opened something up in his base that I don’t know if we can close again.”
“Sounds like the party that wants to nominate him is the real threat to me,” another person said, noting that perhaps Trump isn’t the real danger.
Win at All Costs
“I am of the mind that Trump specifically is not the problem,” agreed another person. “But the right-wing attitude that winning is so important that criminals are acceptable is. We see this with MTG, DeSantis, etc.”
“The genuine threat is the huge body of citizens who believe democracy does not have to be respected if it doesn’t obey their ideology at the time,” another commenter added. “Trump is, like in everything else, just an excuse for bad actors to be bad actors.”
Don’t Want Change
Yet another person agreed, saying, “Democracy is threatened because Trump has the full weight of nearly a fifth of America behind him, and they want to see Democracy dead because they can’t handle the fact that society is advancing and changing without them.”
Others pushed back on the idea that Trump was truly a threat to the United States. “I don’t think [he’s a threat],” one person said. “The dynamic of alternating parties in power is too strong, and the two-term limit reinforces this.”
Riot vs Insurrection
“The only thing anyone can point to as a Trump threat to democracy was January 6th. I say it was a riot. It was a stupid riot,” another person said, going on to note that the fear many have of Trump is unwarranted.
Symptom vs Disease
Several agreed that Trump couldn’t single-handedly take down the nation’s democracy, though they worried America is still in a dangerous place. “Democracy is indeed threatened, but President Trump is more of a symptom,” one person said.
Look at the History
Many thought that while Trump was the face of a problem, he wasn’t the problem in full. “I think the threat goes back further to the Tea Party movement,” one person said. “That was the start of a takeover of the Republican Party by farther right groups.”
What About the Far Left?
A few noted that progressives within the Democratic party aren’t as dangerous as MAGA Republicans. According to them, progressives are willing to mesh with more moderate Democrats, while far-right Republicans seem unwilling to work with centrists in their party.
Already Under Attack
Some said Trump isn’t just a threat to democracy. In their eyes, the country is already under attack. A second Trump term simply means the battle for democracy is losing.
Indisputable and Direct
“He literally tried to do the opposite of what the people voted for,” one person said about Trump.” That is a direct and indisputable attack on our democracy.”
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