The Authoritarian Playbook in 2025

The advocacy group Protect Democracy last month issued an updated version of its report entitled, “The Authoritarian Playbook.” The new report is called, “The Authoritarian Playbook for 2025: How an authoritarian president will dismantle our democracy and what we can do to protect it.” It is a fascinating compilation of things that Donald Trump has promised to do and how they could likely be expected to affect American democracy if he is elected to a second term in office. 

To discuss the report, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes spoke with two of its authors: Genevieve Nadeau and Erica Newland, both of Protect Democracy. They talked about what's new in the report, how much of it is speculation and how much of it is simply taking Donald Trump's words seriously, opportunities to mitigate the most dire consequences of which the report warns, and whether this is just baked into the American presidency when occupied by a truly authoritarian personality. 

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