Let’s assume that Donald Trump wins a second term in office. Its now October 2024. We are going to spend a day in Donald Trump’s America.
President Trump has consolidated power like no President before him. All significant Federal government positions are now held by Trump loyalists. After the election of 2020, hordes of career civil servants fled all departments of the Executive branch, leaving only true-Trumpers behind. Key positions were filled by political appointees, but many technical line positions have gone unfilled. This is touted by Trump as a positive achievement, but the result is felt by every American in the incompetence and outright ignorance that governs our lives.
Covid is endemic in American society. After the botched rollout of the insufficiently tested initial vaccines in 2021, few American trust or believe in Trump’s CDC or FDA. As soon as the initial vaccine failures started, Trump blamed the scientists and fired the leadership of both the CDC and FDA. His handpicked replacements were quickly discredited by their incompetence and devotion to Trump over truth. New vaccines have been developed, but with public distrust at a high level, few are willing to take them. And because the vaccines only last a year, herd immunity is impossible to achieve. There are no Federal mandates regarding mask wearing, testing, or social distancing, so 100,000 Americans are still catching Covid every day, and over a thousand are dying. Total deaths are over two million. Unemployment is over 15% but the Trump Administration reports it as half of that.
After the Supreme Court wiped out the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare system virtually collapsed. Because of Trump’s manipulation of the Tax code, Social Security has gone bankrupt, resulting in a 50% reduction in benefits for beneficiaries, and Medicare has reduced payouts by an equal amount. Over 50% of the hospitals in the US closed, and most who remain are barely hanging on. A secondary healthcare black market has emerged for the few people who can pay cash, but for everyone else its very hard to get care. The US healthcare system is now ranked lower than most of the undeveloped countries in the world.
Most other Federal agencies have abandoned their stated missions: The Education Department exists solely to funnel Federal dollars to for-profit and religious schools and colleges; the Department of the Interior regularly leases any and all Federal lands to ranchers, loggers, and especially energy companies for mining and drilling; the USEPA has softened its rules and enforcement so much that the air and waterways have become polluted in ways not seen since the 1960s; Departments of Energy, Commerce, and HUD are rife with barely concealed graft and produce reports that bear little resemblance to the truth.
The Department of Defense is a special case. Defense contractors regularly run up huge overruns and are making millions – for them life is good. But given Trump’s continuing and public disdain for their service, the frontline troops are demoralized and military leadership is very unhappy. Trump understands that the military is the one force that threatens his long term plans, so he regularly purges its leadership. New leaders are appointed every three to six months to keep the military in turmoil.
But the biggest change has come about in the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice. They have effectively combined into a superagency that has turned America into a militarized Police state. Most of the Senior leadership of the Democratic Party has been arrested on various charges: Obama on spying, Biden on corruption, Hillary because of her e-mails, and many others on bogus charges. Numerous other Democratic (and a few Republican) leaders have been kidnapped and/or assassinated by various right-wing militia groups. Trump’s Justice Department and FBI, are both now under new, loyal leadership. They are more than willing to arrest and imprison political opponents, and have been so successful at doing so that the GOP loyalists control both the House and Senate. The few Democrats in positions of power are sufficiently cowed or have become Trump supporters to survive. By now, Trump has appointed five members of the Supreme Court, and his court finds a way to approve everything he does.
Militia groups thrive and, in many areas are a defacto police force. Much as the Revolutionary Guards did in Iran, white supremacist militias enforce their own rules with guns and the support of the Homeland Security apparatus. Blacks, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, and non-whites are routinely beaten and killed with no recourse.
Life is especially difficult for women. Positions of leadership in government, industry, academia, and science are now virtually closed off to women. Although laws have not changed significantly, behavior has changed dramatically. Abortion is of course completely illegal nationwide, as are most forms of birth control.
One key change to the law – implementing a position held by Trump as a candidate – was to criminalize all past abortions by declaring them to be first degree murder. Since the records of past abortions were so easy to gather, millions of women have been jailed, decapitating the leadership of the women’s movement.
Although huge numbers of women protested as these changes were occurring, so many were jailed, beaten, and raped that protests died down after a year.
So its been nearly four years since Donald Trump was elected to a second term. The Presidential election of 2024 is in full swing – but its different than any previous election. The Supreme Court agreed with Trump’s assertion that he deserves a third term because of what the Democrats did during his first term, so his name is on the ballot in all 50 states. But, due to Republican challenges and intimidation, no Democrat is running a national campaign, and in many states there is no Democratic candidate on the ballot for President or any other major office. Donald Trump’s third term is about to become a certainty. This time, he has a new Vice Presidential running mate – her name is Ivanka. The dynasty will become reality. The President of the United States will henceforth be a Trump. ______________________________________________
Let’s come back to reality. Its actually October 2020. You have the power to choose your own ending to this story. You can vote for Joe Biden, and Democratic members of the House and Senate, and none of this will come true.