I present The Dictator’s Handbook, U.S. edition in honor of Donald Trump’s inauguration. I find myself less pessimistic than Daron Acemoglu, and, I guess, nearly everyone else I talk to or read. I agree that Trump is likely to be a very bad president. But I do not think he will become a dictator or even a watered-down version of a dictator. I do not know whether he will cause lasting damage to U.S. institutions. Nixon tried to damage them, but they retaliated effectively, and then blossomed in his wake. Trump seems more likely to cause harm to the presidency than to the press, the judiciary, or any other institution.
This is a work in progress, in more ways than one; comments welcome.