America’s leading Republican candidates for president, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, have rabidly loyal grassroots voters. Both men’s supporters viscerally hate the other and use social media to slander and brutalise the other man. Outside the conservative bubble, there is barely a hair’s breadth between Cruz and Trump. One is a religious zealot who makes hay with bigots, the other is a crypto-fascist demagogue who wins favour with self-styled racists. Both are beholden to the extreme right in the Republican party – a loud, quasi-militant, uncompromising mass inspired by complex conspiracy theories, misinformation and old fashioned hatred. The Trump Train and the Cruz Crew are nearly identical in their ideology and demands. And what they demand is a right-wing utopia. So, what will that America look like?
President Trump/Cruz will take office on 20th January 2017 and will abolish Planned Parenthood on day one. Millions of women will lose healthcare, including smear tests, cervical cancer treatment and, of course, abortion. This is a prelude to a constitutional challenge to abortion’s legality, brought by the administration itself. A new conservative majority on the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade, opening the way for an foetal personhood amendment. Medical professionals who have performed or assisted with abortions will be retrospectivelty punished. Many doctors and nurses will be jailed.
The Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency will also be abolished. State governments will have wildly differing standards of education and the Bible will be taught as historical and scientific fact in many jurisdictions. The federal government will finally recognise that the constitution is a Christian document, effectively ending the separation of church and state. This will follow the abolition of same sex marriage and a federal government policy that denies anyone can change their birth sex. Businesses will be free from environmental regulations and federal minimum wage laws. Cases of water poisoning and pollution will increase, while working poverty will steadily rise.
National security will dominate the administration’s agenda. Muslim neighbourhoods will be transformed into ghettoes with a constant police presence. The government will stop short of internment camps because of negative historical connotations, but sporadic violence against Muslim Americans will become commonplace. Congress will pass the Muslim Exclusion Act, banning all Muslims from entering the country except those approved by the State Department, such as ambassadors.
There will be a huge investment in immigration enforcement squads. Private houses will be searched and undocumented immigrants will be put in cattle trucks and driven across the Mexican border. Those from further away will be forced to pay for their flights home. Immigration raids will often be violent and deadly due to the large number of zealous volunteers recruited from the general population. Riots in immigrant neighbourhoods are highly likely and the police response will be heavy handed.
Barack Obama and the members of his administration will face charges for abuse of power and there will be a full investigation into Obama’s early life and origins. Hillary Clinton will be sent to the electric chair for the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Black Lives Matter will be classified as a subversive organisation and its leaders arrested under newly strengthened anti-terror laws.
Abroad, thousands of ground troops will take the fight to Islamic State, forcing the US to become embroiled in the Syrian Civil War. Americans will soon find themselves fighting several groups at once while radical Islam makes gains at home and in the Middle East. Terrorism will strike at America’s homeland yet again. Having repudiated the nuclear deal with Iran, the Revolutionary Guard will become increasingly involved in Syria and the Israeli government will redouble its aggressive foreign policy. Another regional war is the world’s top security concern thanks to the president’s rhetoric on bombing Iranian cities. Russia will extend its influence across eastern Europe, though the increasingly dictatorial Putin government will be cautious in dealing with the newly bellicose US.
The US will withdraw from the United Nations, causing a funding crisis and the potential collapse of that organisation. NATO countries will be asked to pay tribute to the US in exchange for security co-operation. Many will refuse or be unable to pay, effectively emasculating NATO. European nations will condemn the ‘wreckless’ US government as relations deteriorate beyond repair and the world slides into recession.
This world of instutionalised discrimination, regressive social policy, warmongering and religious bigotry is what millions of American voters want. Nor is it an especially extreme version of the country Tea Party conservatives envision. Trump and Cruz have drawn up plans to create just such a dystopian future and crowds have cheered as they describe it. It is white, Christian, straight, belligerent and unreasonable. And in November millions will vote for it.