Yascha Mounk, a political scientist who teaches at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced Studies, has written a disturbing essay for The Atlantic about the dangers posed by President Donald Trump winning a second term.
Mounk looks at the history of right-wing populists who have won second terms in office and has found that they almost always grow "more radical and more dangerous" after their second electoral victories.
In particular, Mounk looks at the example of India's Narendra Modi, whose government this year passed citizenship laws that are baldly discriminatory against Muslims.
"After Modi won reelection with an even larger majority in the spring of this year, his government began to take radical action to unwind the secularism of India’s constitution, arguably doing more damage in the first months of its second term than it had in the previous five years," Mounk writes. "Some of the concerns about Modi that seemed exaggerated at the conclusion of his first term in office are now starting to look prescient."
Mounk has found a similar pattern among right-wing populist leaders in Poland, Hungary, and Turkey, and he believes it would hold true for a second Trump term as well.
"Current events in India and Poland should shock Americans out of this complacency," he writes. "Trump’s first term is at best an imperfect guide to the horrors that would await us if he manages to win a second one. When they are reelected, populists nearly always become more radical and more dangerous."