Former President Donald Trump, who earlier this month twice stated his desire to become a dictator, shared an image on social media Tuesday that seemed to indicate, once again, his aspirations to become an autocrat if he wins the 2024 presidential election.
The graphic Trump shared is a word cloud that originated from a Daily Mail survey in which 1,000 voters were asked to state one word that they think describes what Trump wants out of a second term in the White House, if he wins next fall’s presidential contest (the publication also produced a similar word cloud for President Joe Biden).
Within the image, words like “dictator,” “dictatorship” and “autocrat” were featured, as were words like “power” and “control.” “Money” and “corruption” were also among the words used to describe Trump. Centered in the image in bold, red letters, indicating it was the most common response, was the word “revenge.”
While words like these might otherwise be avoided by politicians when describing themselves, Trump appeared to be proud of the outcome, prominently displaying it on his Truth Social account on Tuesday after it had been published online.
Earlier in December, Trump also indicated his desire to be a dictator, at least temporarily, in order to pass draconian and xenophobic laws without question or process on his first day as president, should he win the election in 2024. Trump first expressed that wish during a town hall on Fox News, then reiterated it during a conservative group’s event in New York City.
At the latter event, Trump quibbled with the media’s reporting of his saying he wanted to be a dictator. Still, he did not indicate that the reporting was wrong, just slightly off. “I didn’t say that, I said I want to be a dictator for one day,” he said.
Critics at the time rightly noted, however, that dictatorships, including those with promises of being short-term, are rarely if ever temporary. Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, tried to dismiss concerns about Trump’s rhetoric, seeking to normalize his fascistic calls to become an autocrat.
Some of those same critics of Trump chastised him and warned against taking this new social media post lightly.
“Trump keeps telling us he wants to be a dictator. If he wins, he’ll claim that’s his mandate,” said Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy.