A recent article at the Washington Post breathlessly makes the case that Donald Trump is sure to become a full blown dictator if elected to another term next year. People can (and are) arguing all day long about whether or not hysterical predictions like that are true, but most Trump supporters don’t see what an incredible self-own the left has made here.
If Trump is really going to be the next Hitler, would they really want people who work for the government to be the only ones with guns?
The Argument For Looming Dictatorship
Before I get into more on how Kagan’s overwrought article also slays the anti-gun argument, let’s take a quick look at why the Post’s “editor at large” thinks this time a Trump dictatorship will really happen. Like all shaky premises, it has to be based on at least a sliver of actual truth, even if it veers off later in the argument.
One thing he’s probably right about is that Trump is going to be the Republican Party’s nominee. Democrats and never-Trumpers have been hoping that a more moderate candidate would emerge to challenge him, but we’re only three months from Super Tuesday and Trump is polling over 47% ahead of anyone else in the GOP race. That’s a lead that probably won’t shrink much unless Trump literally shoots someone in cold blood and, as he’s posited before, even that might not be enough to take him down.
As for the general election, he’ll likely be going up against one of the lamest horses the Democrat Party could have run. With the economy in trouble, lack of action on key issues the Democratic base cares deeply about, and serious divide over the Israel-Gaza war — not to mention his ever-diminishing cognitive ability — Biden isn’t doing well. His numbers against Trump continue to slide. It’s also worth noting that both candidates are sort of incumbents, so Biden doesn’t get much help there either.
Democrats who were counting on the courts to take Trump down for them are also frustrated. The strategy has largely backfired bigly so far. Normally, indicting and prosecuting the proverbial ham sandwich is enough to the target’s reputation and knock them out of political contention. But despite (because of?) too many legal attacks on the former President to keep track of, Trump’s support has only increased. It also appears that the typically glacial pace of the court system will keep most, if not all of the actions against him from taking place until after the election.
Kagan dives deeply into the realm of speculation about what Trump’s next term as president would look like. Unlike his first term, he claims there’s a solid plan this time to begin a policy blitzkrieg that he wasn’t able to accomplish in his first term due to being mired down by bureaucratic politics (a.k.a. the Russia “collusion” hoax). This proposed policy agenda is laid out well at the Project 2025 website.
Kagan claims the courts, wouldn’t be able to do much to stop him, either. It could even lead to the old “How many divisions?” question cropping up if courts were to confront Trump over anything significant that he does.
With a zealous executive branch, impotent courts, and the unitary executive theory in full swing, Trump might not need a friendly Congress to do anything he wants, Kagan claims. He could go after political rivals (some of whom had prosecuted him), dismiss disloyal bureaucrats in the executive branch (which Kagan seems to be unaware is fully within his power as President), re-arrange federal funding as he sees fit, and make life generally hard for blue states in a variety of ways.
It’s also been reported that Trump could use the Insurrection Act if there is any widespread rioting or other violent resistance following his election, literally sending in the troops.
Let’s Assume This Is All True (And That It’s Bad)
Before you scroll down to the comments to tell me why Kagan is wrong or that you think what he predicts would be an incredibly “based” outcome if true, let’s put that aside and get straight to why this is a self-own for most Democrats. Even if all of Kagans worst fears come true and are allegedly catastrophic for a free republic, he still loses the big picture debate.
It’s pretty simple: if the Nazis really are coming to take over as so much of the overheated political rhetoric claims, do you really want the Nazis to be the only ones with guns?
Against all odds, that question is finally starting to sink in with at least a few on the left . . .
But most on the establishment left still don’t get it, or aren’t self-aware enough to understand that screaming, “The Nazis are coming” at the same time as they shout, “ITS THE GUNS, ITS THE GUNS” won’t work well for them in practice.
As for the pro-gun rights side, instead of wasting our time trying to convince them that Trump won’t actually become a dictator, it might be more effective to use their irrational fear of Trump to undermine the civilian disarmament argument. As politely as you can, ask them why they think gun control, banning “assault weapons,” or any other limits on an armed populace is a good idea when another literal Hitler is about to take power?
If they cling to the ludicrous “You can’t fight F-15s and nukes with an AR-15!” argument, mention groups like the Bielski Partisans, a group of Jews who fought off an army of Nazis for years. Remind them of insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan who fought the very same military they claim is unbeatable today and now control both countries.
If they’re of the opinion that MLK’s non-violence or Gandhi-like civil disobedience is the way, tell them about the Deacons for Defense and Justice, a group of armed blacks who fought off bigots and even helped provide security for MLK. Or remind them about Harriet Tubman’s revolver. As for Gandhi, remind them that he was dealing with the British government, and that they had to deal with democracy at home and the pressure of public opinion.
The hysteria of Kagan’s claims is noxious. It’s not hard to argue that it’s actually a sotto voce call for violence. After all, if you truly believe Trump is another Hitler, literally nothing — including violence — would be out of bounds to keep him from coming to power.
None of this is new, of course. Democrats have been likening their opponents to Hitler and warning of a descent into fascism if they lose ever since World War II. Kagan’s hysterics is only one of the most recent example.
At the end of the day, there’s simply no way to reconcile an argument for more gun control with the idea that murderous totalitarianism is looming on the horizon. Logic dictates that they choose one argument or the other. Not that logic has ever played much of a role in the push for gun control in America.