The possibility of Donald Trump winning the 2024 presidential election and the potential consequences for American democracy are becoming more alarming, according to experts and former officials.
A recent poll by the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Ipsos showed that Trump would beat Joe Biden by 50 to 46 percent in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, with Trump leading in key states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The poll also found that 78 percent of Republicans believe that Trump is the rightful president and that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Trump has not officially announced his candidacy for 2024, but he has been holding rallies and fundraising events across the country, where he repeats his false claims of election fraud and attacks his political opponents. He also testified in a fraud case in New York on November 8, 2023, where he was accused of running a fraudulent business that promised to teach students the secrets of his real-estate success. He denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he was the victim of a political witch hunt.
Former members of the House select committee that investigated the January 6th attack on the Capitol, such as Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, warned that Trump would use his power to pardon the rioters, himself, and his allies, and to undermine the rule of law and the electoral system if he returned to the White House.
“If he gets back in, I think he will pardon everybody involved in anything, and then he will work to only pass laws that benefit him and his in-group. And he’ll punish his enemies,” Kinzinger said in an interview with CBS News.
Cheney, who was ousted from her leadership position in the Republican Party for criticizing Trump, said that “we have to make sure that we protect and strengthen our democracy and that we do not back down to the insurrectionists, the bullies, and the liars.”
A group of conservative lawyers and activists, known as the Article III Project, have been working to reshape the federal judiciary by supporting Trump’s nominees, challenging Biden’s nominees, and advocating for judicial reforms that would benefit the Republican Party. The group’s founder, Mike Davis, said that “the Article III Project is the most important organization in America that you’ve never heard of. They are the shock troops of the conservative legal movement, and they have a clear agenda: to pack the courts with Trump judges and block Biden judges.”
Trump and his allies have also been spreading false claims of election fraud and promoting the idea of state legislatures overriding the popular vote and appointing their own electors, which could lead to a constitutional crisis and violence in 2024. David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and a critic of Trump, wrote in The Atlantic that “the most dangerous scenario is not that Trump overturns the outcome of the 2024 election, but that he convinces a critical mass of his supporters that he did. That could spark a legitimacy crisis that makes 2020 look tame by comparison.”
Many observers have expressed concern that Trump’s defiance of the norms and institutions of American public life poses a serious threat to the republic. His contempt for the rule of law, his disdain for the truth, and his willingness to incite violence have not diminished since he left office.
“Trump’s defiance of the norms and institutions of American public life poses a serious threat to the republic. His contempt for the rule of law, his disdain for the truth, and his willingness to incite violence have not diminished since he left office,” The New Yorker reported.
– The Warnings About Trump in 2024 Are Getting Louder, The New Yorker, November 9, 2023
– A year after 2022 elections, former House Jan. 6 panel members warn of Trump and 2024 danger, CBS News, November 6, 2023
– The biggest risk to US democracy? You’ve probably never heard of them, FT Magazine, November 10, 2023
– How Donald Trump Could Subvert the 2024 Election, The Atlantic, December 6, 2021