Donald Trump’s Second-Term Agenda Is More Terrifying Than Ever, Political Analysts Argue

Donald Trump’s Second-Term Agenda Is More Terrifying Than Ever, Political Analysts Argue
Cover Image Source: Getty Image | Photo by James Devaney

Former President Trump has returned to campaigning, and he has laid out a menu of activities he intends to take if re-elected president. A political columnist and analyst argues in the Los Angeles Times that his agenda is extremely scary.

Trump has made several pledges in speeches, interviews, and campaign videos if he is re-elected. These commitments include using the military to conduct the largest deportation of undocumented immigrants in American history. He's using the same racially coded rhetoric as he did in 2016. “They’re criminals, people from mental institutions, terrorists,” he said at a rally in Iowa last week, per Spectrum News. "It's not just countries adjoining us," he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “They’re coming from all over Africa. They're coming from areas of the world that nobody can believe. ... and they're destroying our country."

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He also aims to deploy the National Guard to cities with high crime rates against the consent of municipal authorities. He also promises to prosecute Californians who support kids seeking gender-affirming care. “We will prosecute those involved in this sick California scheme for violating federal laws against kidnapping, sex trafficking [and] child abuse,” Trump said at a meeting with religious conservatives this month.

He also aims to impose a 10% tariff on practically all foreign goods, potentially raising consumer prices by a huge differential. Most economists, even conservatives, believe this is a bad idea, partially because it would increase prices and hence feed inflation. The bipartisan Tax Foundation projected that a 10% tariff would be comparable to a $300 billion tax on consumers because tariff costs are borne by buyers rather than sellers.


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Trump intends to also hire a special prosecutor to launch probes into his political opponents, beginning with Vice President Biden. Finally, he intends to purge the federal civil service of anyone who questions his views or objectives. “I will appoint a real special ‘prosecutor’ to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the USA, Joe Biden, the entire Biden crime family, & all others involved with the destruction of our elections, borders, & country itself!” he wrote in a social media post.

If he follows through on this threat, it will be the most politicized the Justice Department has been since the Watergate incident half a century ago. Many of Trump's pledges sound familiar because they are similar to policies he attempted during his first administration. But there would be two significant distinctions this time.

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While some of such pledges may be illegal or impossible, they are more than just hyperbole. Some of his pledges are repeats from his first term agenda, but this time he and his advisers know how to keep them. During his first term, Trump surrounded himself with advisers who tried to control his impulses: White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, and, on occasion, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Those balancing forces are no longer present.

“Trump 2.0 would be the Delta variant of democracy,” David Axelrod, who acted as a campaign strategist for President Obama, had said in a podcast Persuasion, and it applies very strongly now. “It would be a thousand times more virulent and harder to control.”


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