Donald Trump will do anything to be re-elected. His opponents are limited because they believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t.

Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps:

1. Declare yourself above the law.

2. Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs,” “lowlifes” and “rioters and looters.” Describe COVID-19 as “Kung-Flu.” Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.

3. Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.

4. Fire U.S. attorneys who are investigating you.

5. Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.

6. Demean and ignore the intelligence community. Appoint a director of national intelligence more loyal to you than to America. Demand that the head of the FBI pledge loyalty to you.

7. Pack the federal courts with judges and justices more loyal to you than to the Constitution.

8. Politicize the Department of Defense so generals will back whatever you order. Refer to them as “my generals.” Have them help clear out protesters. Order the military to surveil protesters. Tell governors you’ll bring in the military to stop protesters.

9. Purge your party of anyone disloyal to you and turn it into a mindless, brainless, spineless cult.

10. Get rid of accumulated experience and expertise in government. Demean career public servants. Hollow out the State Department, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

11. Reward donors and cronies with bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, government contracts, regulatory rollbacks and plum jobs. Put their lobbyists in charge of your agencies. Distribute $500 billion in pandemic assistance to corporations in secret, without any oversight.

12. Coddle dictators. Don’t criticize their human rights abuses. Refuse to work with the leaders of other democracies. Withdraw from international treaties.

13. Create scapegoats. Demonize migrants and lock up asylum-seekers at the border even if they’re children. Put a white nationalist in charge of immigration policy. Blame Muslims, Mexicans and Chinese.

14. Denigrate and ridicule all critics. Describe opponents as “human scum.” Attack the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people.”

15. Conjure up conspiracies against yourself supposedly led by your predecessor and your opponent in the last election. Without any evidence, accuse your predecessor of “treason.” Fabricate a “deep state” out to get you.

16. Downplay real threats to the nation, such as a rapidly spreading pandemic. Lie about your utter failure to contain it. Muzzle public health experts. Urge people to go back to work even as the pandemic worsens in parts of the country.

17. Encourage armed supporters to “liberate” states from elected officials who disagree with you.

18. Bribe other nations to investigate your electoral opponent and flood social media with lies about him.

19. Use right-wing propaganda machines like Fox News and conspiracy-theory-peddling One America News to inundate the country with your lies. Ensure that the morally bankrupt chief executive of Facebook allows you to spread your lies on the biggest media machine in the world.

20. Suppress the votes of people likely to vote against you. Encourage Republican governors to purge voter rolls, demand voter ID and close polling places.

21. Seek to prevent mail-in ballots during the pandemic. Claim they will cause voter fraud, without evidence. Threaten to close the U.S. Postal Service.

22. Get Vladimir Putin to hack into U.S. election machines, as he did in 2016 but can now do with more experience and deftness. Promise him that in return you’ll further destabilize America as well as NATO. Allow him to put a bounty on killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

23. If it still looks like you’ll be voted out, try to postpone the election.

24. If you’re voted out of office notwithstanding all this, refuse to leave. Contest the election, claim massive fraud, say it’s a conspiracy, get your cult of a political party to support your lies, get your propaganda machine to repeat them, get your Justice Department to back you, get your judges and justices to affirm you, get your generals to suppress any subsequent rebellion.

25. Declare victory.

Memo to America: Beware Trump’s playbook. Spread the truth. Stay vigilant. Fight for our democracy.

Robert Reich’s new book, “The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It,” is now on sale)

(25) comments

jerseygrl42

WONDER WHAT THIS WRITER IS SNIFFING..."TRUMP'S OPPONENTS BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY"...THEY ARE SOCIALISTS LOOKING TO TAKE THIS COUNTRY DOWN AND THEY OFFER NOTHING TO THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY

Hayduke2

The professional Troll does another drive by posting.

DickD

If ignorance is bliss, Jersey girl is very happy.

bosco

First hayduke2 sez "Can't wait for all the die hard supporters to play the victim and try to spin this." .....and then when someone does post hayduke2 calls them a professional Troll. That's precious hayduke2 and an example of the cancel culture at work. Think about it. [wink][ninja]

Hayduke2

So what term would you use to describe jersey's comment Bosco? Think about it.

threecents

OK Jersey, but it would be nice if you confined your comments to what the column is about.

Prot34rd

[thumbup]

gary4books

There is more to Mr. Trump's opposition that Socialism or even being sociable nd we do need better leadership and even better people in positions of trust and responsibility in the Federal Government. Many current jobs are vacant.

Dwasserba

Oh, as if he could organize his thoughts this well. If only!

veritas

More same-old-same-old from the little feller. His redundant list of grievances is longer than he is. Hopefully when Biden is president, the diminutive dude will dummy up.

Hayduke2

What parts are not accurate?

veritas

You seem like a nice enough guy, but you have an annoying habit of missing the point.

Hayduke2

If your point was clear and accurate...

threecents

His main point seems to be that the columnist is short.

DickD

AMERICA OR TRUMP!

Hayduke2

Can't wait for all the die hard supporters to play the victim and try to spin this.

matts853

Trump has ushered in a neo-fascist period in American history. Let’s make sure it only lasts 4 painful years.

threecents

Matt - not only Trump but also the people who voted for him and plan to vote for him in November.

des21

[yawn]

gary4books

Mr. Trump has his limits, too. He will never fool all the people all the time. Without voters, he is nothing. Plans do not make it work. He needs votes.

Riptide262

Sadly, he has a great many votes and those votes are as dependable as gravity. Too many Americans vote the party line to the detriment of the country. We are doomed unless voters turn on their brains and vote the best candidate regardless of party. Sadly, too many smart Americans have signed over their political power of attorney to the republicans or democrats. Neither party has your best interest in mind (unless you have a multi-million dollar lobbying budget).

matts853

Trump won last time because Hillary was disliked by so many voters. Biden doesn’t have that problem so he’ll get the anti-Hillary votes that went to Trump (like mine but MD doesn’t matter anyway). On top of that, Trump has a serious like ability problem that he didn’t have in 2016. Biden wins easily.

jerseygrl42

Biden has a worse problem if you've been watching and listening ,,and he may be in an institution before the election and maybe thats best for all, he is a crook and bragged about using tax payer money to bribe a Ukraine official

Hayduke2

Jersey/ girlpoltic- you do provide humor in your silly posts. Too bad it is such a sad a sad attempt At commenting

des21

From your lips to the DNC's ears Matt. They're following the HRC '16 playbook so far- no campaign rallies because no one will show, no campaigning in battleground states, let the MSM make your case for you, rely on polls and over-confidence to carry us to another popular vote vito----oh wait.

I've seen this movie before......haven't you?

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