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‘The aftermath will be ugly’: Paul Krugman warns that 2018 may be the ‘last chance’ to stop the dark forces of Trumpism

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With the 2018 midterm elections this week, Paul Krugman is hardly optimistic.

In a new column for the New York Times, the economist warned Monday that no matter what the election brings, “the aftermath will be ugly.”

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Nevertheless, one outcome is clearly better than the other. If Democrats fail to win back the U.S. House of Representatives, he warns of a serious blow to American democracy.

“In fact, it’s not hyperbole to say that if the G.O.P. holds the line on Tuesday, it may be the last even halfway fair elections we’ll ever have,” he wrote. With voter suppression the all-but-official policy of the GOP, the party will use any grip on power it has to further marginalize the Democratic electorate and secure its minority rule.

Trump has shown, he argued, a willingness to severely abuse his presidential powers for electoral gain. There’s no rational explanation for his decision to send the military to the border long before of the Central American migrant caravan’s arrival — which, as it happens, poses no real threat to the United States.

“This deployment clearly serves no national interest; it’s a blatant misuse of the power of the presidency for partisan political advantage,” he wrote.

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In this, Krugman sees parallels to authoritarian regimes like Hungary and Poland that have merely a facade of democracy. That fate could be our future, in Krugman’s view, if the GOP’s brazen disregard for democratic norms is even mildly rewarded.

So what will happen if Democrats do win? It’s certainly the only acceptable outcome, Krugman believes. But it will still be a bumpy ride.

“Remember, Donald Trump claimed — falsely, of course — that millions of immigrants voted illegally in an election he won,” he wrote. “Imagine what he’ll say if he loses, and what his supporters will do in response. And if and when a Democratic House tries to exercise its powers, you can be sure it will be met with defiance, never mind what the Constitution says.”

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For evidence of this, just look to what Trump himself said Monday when asked if he fears the Democrats going after his tax returns, assuming they win the House.

“I don’t care,” he said. “They can do whatever they want. And I can do whatever I want.”

The idea that he can do whatever he wants is, of course, belied by the U.S. Constitution. The House has clear authority to subpoena his tax returns, and Trump has no power to stop it. But it’s clear Trump is committed to doing whatever he can to avoid oversight, and the coming months may well be a test of how far he is willing to go.

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Either way the election turns out, those who oppose the president and his agenda should settle in for a long struggle. Because Trump is certainly not going anywhere without a fight, and the GOP as a whole is committed to doing whatever it can to maintain its hold on power.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Trump campaign mocked after unveiling new red hats: ‘Do you have arm bands as well?’

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President Donald Trump's 2016 "Make America Great Again" hats have been replaced with new "Keep America Great" hats.

Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale modeled one of the hats on Twitter.

Here is some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/LazarusLeBaron/status/1165430924093165568

Here I made an arm band design for you pic.twitter.com/inTyqVi2wo

— Christopher Goodwin (@LazarusLeBaron) August 25, 2019

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‘This will not end well’: Far-right extremism expert warns of Trump’s intensifying authoritarianism

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An expert on the far-right in America warned of President Donald Trump's "genuinely dangerous levels" of authoritarianism on Saturday.

Author David Neiwert posted a long Twitter thread on the commander-in-chief's "Social Dominance Orientation" -- and warned it will not end well.

Neiwert is the author of the 2017 book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.

Here is the thread he posted:

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428067138846720

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428524808724480

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165429018486702081

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Ilhan Omar trolls GOP lawmakers ‘losing their minds’ over sharing the House floor with three Muslim Democrats

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One of the first Muslim women elected to Congress trolled her GOP colleagues for "losing their minds" over the existence of three Muslims in the House of Representatives.

The three Muslims in Congress are Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. André Carson (D-IN), with Omar and Tlaib being the first to Muslim women in the body

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) worried about the "growing influence" during an appearance on a local radio station.

Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan posted a link to the interview on Twitter, calling it "open bigotry."

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