Donald Trump’s recent rant that the U.S. Constitution should be “terminated” so that he can be installed as president for life merits no response, given the Orange one-man crime wave’s tenuous connection to reality. Laughter is the appropriate riposte as Trump’s futile attempts at becoming the fascist dictator he clearly aspires to be become ever more futile.
But is his latest childish tantrum really something to be laughed off? Having skipped the “tragedy” phase and gone straight to “farce,” Trump is facing what is likely to become a politically terminal case of irrelevancy as new contenders for Mussolini’s crown, most notably but not only Ron DeSantis, emerge. The nascent fascist movement that has coalesced around Trump, and the varieties of extreme right menace that shade into it that are now expressed through the Republican Party, are no laughing matter. And while embarrassed silence or a quick change of subject might be Republicans’ default position when asked to comment on Trump’s increasing irrationality due to their fear of the Frankenstein monster they have let loose, eviscerating the Constitution is actually on their agenda.