As I recount in my book, throughout the year leading up to the 2020 election, my dad (who was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust and fought heroically with the Partisans) continually warned me that the presidential election polls didn’t mean anything because Trump would never accept the results if he lost. My dad knew this because, having witnessed the slide into authoritarianism firsthand, he had seen this show before. So it was with great interest that we both read Barton Gellman’s article that came out during the September before the election when he predicted what was coming: “Donald Trump may win or lose, but he will never concede. Not under any circumstance. Not during the Interregnum and not afterward. If compelled in the end to vacate his office, Trump will insist from exile, as long as he draws breath, that the contest was rigged. Trump’s invincible commitment to this stance will be the most important fact about the coming Interregnum. It will deform the proceedings from beginning to end. We have not experienced anything like it before.” So I’d say it’s a pretty good idea if we listen to what he’s predicting now. “Technically, the next attempt to overthrow a national election may not qualify as a coup. It will rely on subversion more than violence, although each will have its place. If the plot succeeds, the ballots cast by American voters will not decide the presidency in 2024. Thousands of votes will be thrown away, or millions, to produce the required effect. The winner will be declared the loser. The loser will be certified president-elect. The prospect of this democratic collapse is not remote. People with the motive to make it happen are manufacturing the means. Given the opportunity, they will act. They are acting already.” Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun. “January 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election.”

+ George Packer in the The Atlantic: To head off the next insurrection, we’ll need to practice envisioning the worst. (It makes it easier to envision when we’re seeing the plot roll out right before our eyes.)