‘There Will Be Camps’ if Trump Wins Columbia Lecturer Warns

Tom Watson, a Columbia University lecturer, has argued in his latest The Liberal newsletter that the re-election of Donald Trump as president could mean an authoritarian regime, comparing it to “Spain under Franco.”

Looking ahead

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Watson, also an author, journalist, and columnist for Forbes, listed the “existential storms” that the U.S. has faced over the years—terrorist gangs, foreign attacks, and economic crashes—then asked the question, “Will it survive 2024?”

A bleak future

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“If we lose – we lose it all,” he wrote. “There will be camps. We will be Spain under Franco. Or worse. The country will be permanently re-ordered (at least for the lifetimes of those capable of reading these words).”

Widespread suffering

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The post continued, “Ethnic and religious minorities will suffer. Millions will be targeted because of sexual orientation. Immigrants will suffer. Public benefits will be destroyed. Criminal gangs will run the Federal government.”

Silver lining

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Despite his fears, Watson expressed his “strong” belief that this wouldn’t happen—because Trump wouldn’t win. He threw his support to Biden, stating, “Biden’s strengths are the kind that win elections.”

A fighting chance

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Watson argued that the liberal party is financially well-supported, efficiently organized, and mobilized. He then encouraged readers to recall the Democrats’ impressive performance in swing states during the 2022 midterm elections.

Battles to come

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However, Watson went on to acknowledge impending challenges in the months ahead, including issues such as voter suppression, bigotry, the lingering influence of Trump, concerns about Vladimir Putin, and the sluggish pace of the criminal court system.

Best foot forward

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Despite the challenges, Watson finished off the post by urging readers to face the upcoming harsh realities, writing, “History books are filled with existential moments for both states and entire societies. We need to face ours squarely. And win.”

Widespread concerns

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Watson isn’t the only person who has expressed fears. Last year, Ammar Moussa, a Biden campaign spokesperson, shared in a statement, “Mass detention camps, attempts to deny children born here citizenship, uprooting families with mass deportations—this is the horrifying reality that awaits the American people if Donald Trump is allowed anywhere near the Oval Office again.”

Ruled by fear

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He continued, “These extreme, racist, cruel policies dreamed up by him and his henchman Stephen Miller are meant to stoke fear and divide us, betting a scared and divided nation is how he wins this election.”

Trump’s inspiration

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In the wake of Trump’s anti-immigrant comments, which have been likened to those of authoritarian leaders, a 1990 interview with Vanity Fair has resurfaced, in which Ivana Trump revealed that the former president had kept a book of Hitler’s speeches in a cabinet by his bed.

No hiding it

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Tom Nichols, a columnist for The Atlantic, also shared his view that Trump had turned to authoritarianism. He wrote, “The former president, after years of espousing authoritarian beliefs, has fully embraced the language of fascism.”

A terrifying truth

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In an impactful statement, Nichols claimed that Trump, “Whether from intention or stupidity or fear, has identified himself as a fascist under almost any reasonable definition of the word…. he has abandoned any democratic pretenses, and lost any benefit of the doubt about who and what he is.”

Long road ahead

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The 2024 general election will take place in November, and so far, it looks to be a rematch between current president Biden and former president Trump. Trump is currently facing several legal challenges, however, and has been removed from the primary ballot in both Colorado and Maine.


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