The Biggest Issue for 2024: Can Humanity Survive Trump & the GOP?

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Every day that goes by, even with yesterday’s newest indictment, looks more and more like Donald Trump will be the GOP’s standard bearer in 2024. After all, his popularity stood at 44 percent when NY DA Alvin Bragg indicted him; it then rose to 49 percent when he was indicted in the documents crime; following his conviction for raping E. Jean Caroll it rose to 54 percent among Republicans.

But even if he’s not the candidate, Republican primary voters will demand a candidate with the same affection for Putin and other dictators; the same disdain for racial, religious, and gender minorities; the same abusive attitude toward women and girls; the same faux embrace of Confederate and hillbilly values and hatred of city-dwellers and college graduates; the same cavalier attitude toward guns and fossil fuels.

There’s also the growing possibility that Trump or another MAGA Republican could win the White House. Yesterday, both the New York Times and CNN reported on polls showing that Trump and Biden are right now at a dead heat.

And even if Trump collapses in the polls as the result of the indictments, which is unlikely (Netanyahu is under indictment for bribery and some pretty terrible stuff and he just got re-elected), there are numerous other Republicans who would love to take his place.

And no matter who it is, if they are MAGA inclined, Trump has shown them where there are levers of power and corruption that are consequential in ways that they never dreamed of before him.

Joe Biden, at 81, faces multiple possible personal scenarios that could pull him out of the race. No Labels and the Green Party’s candidates (presumably Joe Manchin and Cornell West) could pull enough votes from Biden to hand the election to Trump as Jill Stein did in three swing states in 2016 (she pulled more votes in each of those states than Trump’s margin of victory).

The prosecution of Trump (which almost certainly won’t be resolved before the election — and it’s not even remotely possible that appeals would be resolved by then — because of Garland’s dithering for two years) could backfire politically and make him into a popular martyr even with Republicans who disliked him before.

And don’t discount the impact Putin throwing millions of rubles into social media can have: his previous fleet of trolls overwhelming social media helped get Trump elected in 2016 and drove Brits to make the crazy decision to separate from the European Union.

So, it’s important to examine what a second Trump or 2025 MAGA presidency would look like, what effect it would have on America and the world, and how it will impact average Americans.

Forewarned, after all, is forearmed, and all these predictions are based on past behavior and public statements:

Women make up 51 percent of the American populace but they won’t be spared by a MAGA presidency.

MAGA voters celebrate Trump’s “proof of manhood” through his multiple sexual assaults, from his alleged rape of 13-year-old Katie Johnson (with Jeffrey Epstein) to the adult E. Jean Carroll and more than 20 others. He publicly bragged that he just “grabs them by the…” whenever he wants, and Republicans — including more than half of all white women voters — ran to the polls to mark his name on their ballots.

The MAGA base supports bans on abortion: the white nationalist part of that base is fervent about having more white babies (and middle class white women are the most likely to get abortions when they’re legal, according to these people).

Catholics and evangelicals even support bans on birth control, an issue that’s already been floated by Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court and in several state legislatures. Fully 195 Republican members of the House of Representatives voted against protecting birth control from state bans. And all of the Republicans on the Court are conservative Catholics (Gorsuch attends his wife’s church, but was raised Catholic).

Additionally, MAGA Republicans support ending no-fault divorce and limiting alimony, putting women back under husband’s thumbs; lowering the marriage age for girls to as low as 12, as Republicans have already attempted in Idaho, Wyoming, Tennessee, Missouri, and Louisiana; and seizing and monitoring the health and doctor’s records of all childbearing-age women to catch early pregnancies so those women can be detained or surveilled “for their own good” (yes, it’s already happened).

The LGBTQ+ community will come under assault in ways not seen for decades.

Like in Germany in 1933, the trans community will be the first to come under assault, a process that’s already begun as Red state after Red state enacts laws banning gender-affirming healthcare. Drag queens are already criminalized in multiple states.

Gays and lesbians won’t be far behind; Republicans are already trying to outlaw gay marriage and adoption. Three-quarters of all House Republicans voted against a Democratic bill protecting gay marriage; all but one Republican on the House Appropriations Committee voted for a Republican bill that would allow states to ban gay and lesbian parents from adopting.

Stochastic terrorism against the LGBTQ+ community will explode, and, in a throwback to the 1980s (when Reagan refused to say the word “AIDS” for 8 long years as tens of thousands, including close friends of mine, died) and before, rural law enforcement will often yawn when queer people are assaulted or even murdered.

Terror against racial and religious minorities will become routine.

The last time Trump was president and sanctioned a “very fine people on both sides” climate of hate and bigotry, incidents of lone-wolf terrorism exploded. Jews executed at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue; Blacks gunned down in a supermarket in Buffalo and executed at Mother Emmanuel church in Charleston; Hispanics slaughtered in El Paso. All of the killers cited or wrote what were essentially MAGA or MAGA-aligned propaganda instruments as part of their motivation.

When minority communities rise up in indignation and step out into the streets to demand protection from roving bands of street Nazis, armed vigilantes will threaten and even kill them with impunity. As I noted yesterday, Kyle Rittenhouse is now lionized by Republicans and three states have passed into law provisions that hold people who kill protestors with their cars free from prosecution.

American support for democracy around the world will end and Putin will destroy Ukraine.

During his first four years, Trump did everything he could to ridicule and minimize our democratic allies and suck up to strongman dictators around the world.

He tried to blackmail Ukraine’s president and then withheld defensive weapons from that country when Zelenskyy refused to go along.

He told the world that he trusts Putin more than America’s intelligence services. After meeting privately with Putin, he demanded a list of all of America’s spies and their stations around the world; within months, the CIA reported that their assets were being murdered with an unprecedented speed and efficiency.

He or his son-in-law conveyed top-secret documents to the brutal murderer MBS in Saudi Arabia that enabled him to stage a coup and seize control of that nation, a gift for which the Trump family has already received at least $2.5 billion with more coming every day.

Trump has now said that he will end the Ukraine war “in 24 hours.” His strategy? As Mike Pence (who would know) said, “The only way you’d solve this war in a day is if you gave Vladimir Putin what he wanted.”

Putin’s allies, in fact, have told the press that his main strategy for seizing all of Ukraine is to wait for Trump to re-take the White House (and, of course, he’ll do everything he can to make that happen). And just last week, in Erie, Pennsylvania, Trump came right out and said that he’d end all arms support to Ukraine on day one.

Seeing that America will no longer defend democracies, China will take Taiwan and North Korea may well attack South Korea. It could trigger a nuclear World War III, although instead of America being the “bulwark of freedom” as we were in the 1940s, that burden will fall to Europe, Japan, and Australia.

Reagan’s Republican War on Workers will resume and even pick up steam.

The Heritage Foundation already has a 900+ page plan to change the American government, stripping the DOJ, FBI, FCC and the Fed of their independence while ending most union rights and effectively outlawing strikes.

Billionaires will receive more tax cuts, Social Security and Medicare will be fully privatized, and public schools will be replaced with vouchers for private, segregated, religious academies as has already happened under Republican administrations in Arizona and Florida.

The EPA and other regulatory agencies that protect workers, consumers, and the environment will be gutted to the point of impotence in the face of corporate and billionaire assaults.

Efforts to mitigate the climate emergency will be rolled back and fossil fuel extraction and use will explode.

The world just lived through the hottest month in human history; ocean waters off Florida are at the temperature Jacuzzi recommends for their hot tubs; the world’s oceans are dying and winter sea ice isn’t forming in Antarctica.

Right now we humans are adding heat to the atmosphere (because of higher levels of greenhouse gasses) at a rate identical to 345,600 Hiroshima bombs going off in our atmosphere every day: four nuclear bombs per second, every second, minute, and hour of every day.

In response, our planet is screaming at us.

Fossil fuel billionaires and their shills, however, are unconcerned as they continue to fund climate denial nonprofits and Republican politicians who claim it’s all a hoax. They apparently believe their vast wealth will insulate them from the most dire effects.

And they’re probably right: a third of poverty-stricken Bangladesh was underwater this year, as drought, floods, wildfires, heat domes, bomb cyclones, tornadoes, derechos, and typhoons ravaged America with unprecedented ferocity. Increasingly, those without the financial means to withstand weather disasters are killed or wiped out, losing their family homes and often their livelihoods.

Scientists tell us we may have as few as five years, and certainly not more than 20, to end our use of fossil fuels and fully transition to clean renewables. Even within the five-year window it’s technically feasible, but if Trump or another MAGA Republican is elected, civilization-ending weather and the death of much of humanity is virtually assured.

We must wake up America.

So, yeah, let’s take seriously the existential threat a MAGA president represents to our nation, the nations of the world, and all life on Earth. The stakes have literally never been higher.

By Thom Hartmann

Aug 2, 2023

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