Thomas Homer-Dixon, a Canadian political science professor who is the founding director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University in British Columbia, warns that the United States could be ruled by a "rightwing dictatorship" by 2030.
Homer-Dixon's stark warning came by way an op-ed he wrote in The Globe and Mail. He criticized former President Donald Trump, saying that should Trump decide to run for office again, it would further the "collapse" of American democracy by 2025.
Referring to Trump as a “wrecking ball that demolishes democracy," Homer-Dixon said:
“In 2014, the suggestion that Donald Trump would become president would also have struck nearly everyone as absurd. But today we live in a world where the absurd regularly becomes real and the horrible commonplace."
“By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence. By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship."
“If Trump is re-elected, even under the more optimistic scenarios the economic and political risks to our country will be innumerable.”
Homer-Dixon argued that Trump, who has often been criticized for promoting a deconstruction of the administrative state, would continue to remove the guardrails of American democracy purging the government of his political opponents, including "the bureaucrats, officials and technocrats who oversee the non-partisan functioning of core institutions and abide by the rule of law."
He acknowledged that Trump is not necessarily competent, but noted that these efforts would weaken the United States' ability to ward off an autocratic, "managerially competent" ruler who would "bring order to the chaos he’s created."
He also issued harsh criticisms of high-profile Trump acolytes, including Fox News personality Tucker Carlson and Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who have transformed the Republican Party “into a near-fascist personality cult that’s a perfect instrument for wrecking democracy."
Perhaps most crucially, Homer-Dixon advises that the Prime Minister of his own country–Canada–should convene an all-party parliamentary committee to assess the risks and advise the government on how to respond to that democratic failure.
Many have concurred with Homer-Dixon's assessment–and expressed their own concerns.
Although Trump has not made a formal announcement, most prognosticators believe he will run for office again in 2024.
In November, Trump hinted he would announce a presidential run after next year's midterm elections, which will determine if Democrats manage to retain control of both chambers of the legislature.
Speaking to Fox News, he said "a lot of great people who are thinking about running are waiting for that decision, because they're not going to run if I run."
Trump's advisers have previously instructed him to wait before he makes an official announcement confirming his candidacy.
According to a Washington Post report, which cited individuals familiar with the discussions, advisers who have told the impatient Trump he has to wait before making an announcement are nervous that an early announcement would mobilize Democrats and increase voter turnout.