There are countless reasons why Donald Trump should never be allowed to step foot in the White House again, chief among them is his attempt to overturn the results of the last election, his incitement of an insurrection, and his outright refusal to lift a finger to stop the violence he’d set into motion—violence that ultimately left multiple people dead and was recounted in chilling detail by the January 6 committee on Thursday night. (Also: the fact that he struggles to pronounce the word “yesterday.”) Those reasons, though, are based on things Trump has already done, when in fact, it’s his future plans for a would-be second term that should scare the ever-loving shit out of everyone in this country, and then make them shit some more.
In a long, terrifyingly specific article published on Friday, Axios’s Jonathan Swan reports that should Trump win in 2024, he’ll unleash an authoritarian rule that will make his plot to steal a second term look innocent by comparison—which is sort of like saying that for his second act, Jeffrey Dahmer was going to do something worse than eat all those people. The “heart” of Trump’s plan, according to Swan, involves reinstating the “Schedule F” executive order he signed in October 2020. If you can’t remember what that was all about because you were too busy trying not to die from a highly contagious disease the then president had lied to the public about, the order gave Trump the power to take government employees’ jobs that were nonpolitical and protected—from, for instance, a president who doesn‘t believe science is real—and make them “at will.” Put another way, it gave him the power to fire thousands of federal workers who actually knew what they were doing and replace them with people who only knew how to pledge their undying loyalty to the 45th president. The former are the kind of people you want, say, working for the Federal Aviation Administration and deciding if a plane is safe to fly. The latter you want on a no-fly list.
If this all seems really bad to you, know that it really, really is! While Trump had originally signed the “Schedule F” order with the intention of implementing it in a second, consecutive term—and Joe Biden rescinded it after taking office—that plan obviously didn’t pan out. But now, it’s apparently very much at the top of mind should he run a third time and win, and we know this because he literally alluded to it at a rally last March. ”We will pass critical reforms making every executive branch employee fireable by the president of the United States,” he told a crowd in South Carolina. ”The deep state must and will be brought to heel.” And this is not just something Trump is characteristically blathering on about with no one knowing what he’s talking about. No, this is being carefully plotted by Trump allies who want to ensure the government is filled with loyalists, ready to do his bidding, from the get-go.
And if that sounds scary, just wait! According to Swan, Trump is likely considering Jeffrey Clark for his next attorney general. If that name sounds familiar to you but you don’t know why, perhaps it’s because he’s the guy Trump wanted to make head of the Justice Department in a last-ditch attempt to stay in power, as Clark was the only one at the agency willing to help him overturn the election. As a former DOJ official testified last month, Trump was only convinced not to go through with it after being told there would be mass resignations. “Mr. President,” acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told Trump, “you’re talking about putting a man in that seat who has never tried a criminal case, who’s never conducted a criminal investigation. He’s telling you that he’s going to take charge of the department—115,000 employees, including the entire FBI—and turn the place on a dime and conduct nationwide criminal investigations that will produce results in a matter of days. It’s impossible. It’s absurd. It’s not going to happen and it’s going to fail.”