Der Führer Trump’s Radical Second-Term Agenda; Promises To Wield Executive Power In Unprecedented Ways; An Imperial Presidency Reflecting American Fascism  

On April 30, Time Magazine published an exhaustive and very alarming report where former President Donald Trump outlined his second term agenda should he win.  The article was written by TIME’s staff reporter Eric Cortellessa with contributing  reporting from TIME reporters Leslie Dickstein, Simmone Shah, and Julia Zorthian.

What emerges from review of Trump’s second term agenda is an imperial presidency, some would say an American version of fascism, “where the outlines of an imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world.”  Trump was very specific what he will do if he again elected President:

  • Trump would let red states monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans.
  • Trump would be willing to build migrant detention camps and deploy the U.S. military, both at the border and inland to carry out a deportation operation designed to remove more than 11 million people from the country,
  • Trump would be willing to fire a U.S. Attorney who doesn’t carry out his order to prosecute someone, breaking with a tradition of independent law enforcement that dates from America’s founding.
  • Trump said he might not come to the aid of an attacked ally in Europe or Asia if he felt that country wasn’t paying enough for its own defense.
  • Trump said he would gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit to combat crime, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.
  • Trump is weighing pardons for every one of his supporters accused of attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, more than 800 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury.
  • Trump would enter a second term bringing with loyalists who have drawn up detailed plans in service of his agenda, which would concentrate the powers of the state in the hands of a man whose appetite for power appears all but insatiable.
  • Trump would not commit to accepting the results of the 2024 election and even went to far as to suggest the possibility of political violence around the election if he is not elected.

Highlights of the TIME report, editing out reporter subjective observations for brevity, and emphasizing Trump’s second term agenda are as follows:


As President, Trump nominated three Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and he claims credit for his role in ending a constitutional right to an abortion. At the same time, he has sought to defuse a potent campaign issue for the Democrats by saying he wouldn’t sign a federal ban. … [Trump] declines to commit to vetoing any additional federal restrictions if they came to his desk. More than 20 states now have full or partial abortion bans, and Trump says those policies should be left to the states to do what they want, including monitoring women’s pregnancies. “I think they might do that,” he says.  When … ask whether he would be comfortable with states prosecuting women for having abortions beyond the point the laws permit, he said this “It’s irrelevant whether I’m comfortable or not. It’s totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions.”

Trump’s allies don’t plan to be passive on abortion if he returns to power. The Heritage Foundation has called for enforcement of a 19th century statute that would outlaw the mailing of abortion pills. The Republican Study Committee (RSC), which includes more than 80% of the House GOP conference, included in its 2025 budget proposal the Life at Conception Act, which says the right to life extends to “the moment of fertilization.”  TIME  asked  Trump if he would veto that bill if it came to his desk. Trump said “I don’t have to do anything about vetoes because we now have it back in the states.”


Trump’s radical designs for presidential power would be felt throughout the country. A main focus is the southern border. Trump says he plans to sign orders to reinstall many of the same policies from his first term, such as the “Remain in Mexico Program” which requires that non-Mexican asylum seekers be sent south of the border until their court dates, and Title 42, which allows border officials to expel migrants without letting them apply for asylum. Advisers say he plans to cite record border crossings and fentanyl- and child-trafficking as justification for reimposing the emergency measures.

Trump would direct federal funding to resume construction of the border wall, likely by allocating money from the military budget without congressional approval. The capstone of this program, advisers say, would be a massive deportation operation that would target millions of people. Trump made similar pledges in his first term, but says he plans to be more aggressive in a second. “People need to be deported,” says Tom Homan, a top Trump adviser and former acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “No one should be off the table.”

For an operation of that scale, Trump says he would rely mostly on the National Guard to round up and remove undocumented migrants throughout the country. “If they weren’t able to, then I’d use [other parts of] the military,” he says. When I ask if that means he would override the Posse Comitatus Act—an 1878 law that prohibits the use of military force on civilians—Trump seems unmoved by the weight of the statute. Trump says this  “Well, these aren’t civilians. … These are people that aren’t legally in our country.” He would also seek help from local police and says he would deny funding for jurisdictions that decline to adopt his policies. Trump says, “There’s a possibility that some won’t want to participate and they won’t partake in the riches.”


“… Since its founding, the U.S. has sought to build and sustain alliances based on the shared values of political and economic freedom. Trump takes a much more transactional approach to international relations than his predecessors, expressing disdain for what he views as ”free-riding friends”  and appreciation for authoritarian leaders like President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, or former President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.

That’s one reason America’s traditional allies were horrified when Trump recently said at a campaign rally that Russia could “do whatever the hell they want” to a NATO country he believes doesn’t spend enough on collective defense. That wasn’t idle bluster.  [Trump said this] “If you’re not going to pay, then you’re on your own.” Trump has long said the alliance is ripping the U.S. off. Former NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg credited Trump’s first-term threat to pull out of the alliance with spurring other members to add more than $100 billion to their defense budgets.

But an insecure NATO is as likely to accrue to Russia’s benefit as it is to America’s. President Vladimir Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine looks to many in Europe and the U.S. like a test of his broader vision to reconstruct the Soviet empire. Under Biden and a bipartisan Congress, the U.S. has sent more than $100 billion to Ukraine to defend itself. It’s unlikely Trump would extend the same support to Kyiv.  [Trump said]  in March he “wouldn’t give a penny” to Ukraine [and said]  “I wouldn’t give unless Europe starts equalizing. … If Europe is not going to pay, why should we pay? They’re much more greatly affected. We have an ocean in between us. They don’t.””

Trump has historically been reluctant to criticize or confront Putin. He sided with the Russian autocrat over his own intelligence community when it asserted that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Even now, Trump uses Putin as a foil for his own political purposes. When …  Trump [was asked]  why he has not called for the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been unjustly held on spurious charges in a Moscow prison for a year, Trump said, “I guess because I have so many other things I’m working on.” Gershkovich should be freed, he adds, but he doubts it will happen before the election. “The reporter should be released and he will be released. … I don’t know if he’s going to be released under Biden. I would get him released.”

America’s Asian allies, like its European ones, may be on their own under Trump. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister recently said aid to Ukraine was critical in deterring Xi from invading the island. Communist China’s leaders “have to understand that things like that can’t come easy,” Trump says, but he declines to say whether he would come to Taiwan’s defense. 

 Trump is less cryptic on current U.S. troop deployments in Asia. If South Korea doesn’t pay more to support U.S. troops there to deter Kim Jong Un’s increasingly belligerent regime to the north, Trump suggests the U.S. could withdraw its forces. “We have 40,000 troops that are in a precarious position,” he tells TIME. (The number is actually 28,500.) “Which doesn’t make any sense. Why would we defend somebody? And we’re talking about a very wealthy country.”

“Transactional isolationism”  may be the main strain of Trump’s foreign policy, but there are limits. Trump says he would join Israel’s side in a confrontation with Iran. “If they attack Israel, yes, we would be there.”  He says he has come around to the now widespread belief in Israel that a Palestinian state existing side by side in peace is increasingly unlikely. “There was a time when I thought two-state could work,” he says. “Now I think two-state is going to be very, very tough.”

Yet even his support for Israel is not absolute. He’s criticized Israel’s handling of its war against Hamas, which has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza, and has called for the nation to “get it over with.” When I ask whether he would consider withholding U.S. military aid to Israel to push it toward winding down the war, he doesn’t say yes, but he doesn’t rule it out, either. Trump  is sharply critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, once a close ally. “I had a bad experience with Bibi,” Trump says. In his telling, a January 2020 U.S. operation to assassinate a top Iranian general was supposed to be a joint attack until Netanyahu backed out at the last moment. “That was something I never forgot,” he says. He blames Netanyahu for failing to prevent the Oct. 7 attack, when Hamas militants infiltrated southern Israel and killed nearly 1,200 people amid acts of brutality including burning entire families alive and raping women and girls. “It happened on his watch,” Trump says.


“On the campaign trail, Trump uses crime as a cudgel, painting urban America as a savage hell-scape even though violent crime has declined in recent years, with homicides sinking 6% in 2022 and 13% in 2023, according to the FBI.  [When the declines are pointed out, Trump said]  he thinks the data, which is collected by state and local police departments, is rigged. “It’s a lie” he says. He has pledged to send the National Guard into cities struggling with crime in a second term, possibly without the request of governors, and plans to approve Justice Department grants only to cities that adopt his preferred policing methods like stop-and-frisk.

To critics, Trump’s preoccupation with crime is a racial dog whistle. In polls, large numbers of his supporters have expressed the view that “antiwhite racism” now represents a greater problem in the U.S. than the systemic racism that has long afflicted Black Americans. When asked if he agrees, Trump does not dispute this position. “There is a definite antiwhite feeling in the country … and that can’t be allowed either.” In a second term, advisers say, a Trump Administration would rescind Biden’s Executive Orders designed to boost diversity and racial equity.


In a second term, Trump’s influence on American democracy would extend far beyond pardoning powers. Allies are laying the groundwork to restructure the presidency in line with a doctrine called the “UNITARY EXECUTIVE THEORY”, which holds that many of the constraints imposed on the White House by legislators and the courts should be swept away in favor of a more powerful Commander in Chief.

Nowhere would that power be more momentous than at the Department of Justice. Since the nation’s earliest days, Presidents have generally kept a respectful distance from Senate-confirmed law-enforcement officials to avoid exploiting for personal ends their enormous ability to curtail Americans’ freedoms. But Trump, burned in his first term by multiple investigations directed by his own appointees, is ever more vocal about imposing his will directly on the department and its far-flung investigators and prosecutors.

Trump said he might fire U.S. Attorneys who refuse his orders to prosecute someone: “It would depend on the situation.” He’s told supporters he would seek retribution against his enemies in a second term. Would that include Fani Willis, the Atlanta-area district attorney who charged him with election interference, or Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan DA in the Stormy Daniels case, who Trump has previously said should be prosecuted? Trump demurs but offers no promises. No, I don’t want to do that,” he says, before adding, “We’re gonna look at a lot of things. What they’ve done is a terrible thing.”

“Trump has also vowed to appoint a “real special prosecutor” to go after Biden. [Trump says] “I wouldn’t want to hurt Biden. … I have too much respect for the office.” Seconds later, though, he suggests Biden’s fate may be tied to an upcoming Supreme Court ruling on whether Presidents can face criminal prosecution for acts committed in office. “If they said that a President doesn’t get immunity, then Biden, I am sure, will be prosecuted for all of his crimes.” Biden has not been charged with any crimes, and a House Republican effort to impeach him has failed to unearth evidence of any crimes or misdemeanors.”


“The courts, the Constitution, and a Congress of unknown composition would all have a say in whether Trump’s objectives come to pass. The machinery of Washington has a range of defenses: leaks to a free press, whistle-blower protections, the oversight of inspectors general. The same deficiencies of temperament and judgment that hindered Trump  in the past remain present.

If he wins, Trump would be a lame duck—contrary to the suggestions of some supporters, he told TIME he would not seek to overturn or ignore the Constitution’s prohibition on a third term. Public opinion would also be a powerful check. Amid a popular outcry, Trump was forced to scale back some of his most draconian first-term initiatives, including the policy of separating migrant families.”

“Trump has sought to recast [the January 6]  insurrectionist riot as an act of patriotism. “I call them the J-6 patriots,” he says. When I ask whether he would consider pardoning every one of them, he says, ‘Yes, absolutely.’


Policy groups are creating a government-in-waiting full of true believers. The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 has drawn up plans for legislation and Executive Orders as it trains prospective personnel for a second Trump term. The Center for Renewing America, led by Russell Vought, Trump’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, is dedicated to disempowering the so-called administrative state, the collection of bureaucrats with the power to control everything from drug-safety determinations to the contents of school lunches. The America First Policy Institute is a research haven of pro-Trump right-wing populists. America First Legal, led by Trump’s immigration adviser Stephen Miller, is mounting court battles against the Biden Administration. 

The goal of these groups is to put Trump’s vision into action on day one. “The President never had a policy process that was designed to give him what he actually wanted and campaigned on,” says Vought. “[We are] sorting through the legal authorities, the mechanics, and providing the momentum for a future Administration.” That includes a litany of boundary-pushing right-wing policies, including slashing Department of Justice funding and cutting climate and environmental regulations.

Trump’s campaign says he would be the final decision-maker on which policies suggested by these organizations would get implemented. But at the least, these advisers could form the front lines of a planned march against what Trump dubs the Deep State, marrying bureaucratic savvy to their leader’s anti-bureaucratic zeal.


Trump does not dismiss the possibility of political violence around the election [nor if he will accept the election results.]   Trump said this: “If we don’t win, you know, it depends. … It always depends on the fairness of the election.” When asked what he meant when he baselessly claimed on Truth Social that a stolen election “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” Trump responded by denying he had said it. He then complained about the “Biden-inspired” court case he faces in New York and suggested that the “fascists” in America’s government were its greatest threat. “I think the enemy from within, in many cases, is much more dangerous for our country than the outside enemies of China, Russia, and various others.”

Trump was asked to explain another troubling comment he made: that he wants to be dictator for a day. It came during a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity, who gave Trump an opportunity to allay concerns that he would abuse power in office or seek retribution against political opponents. Trump said he would not be a dictator—“except for day one” and  added. “I want to close the border, and I want to drill, drill, drill.”

Trump says that the remark “was said in fun, in jest, sarcastically.” He compares it to an infamous moment from the 2016 campaign, when he encouraged the Russians to hack and leak Hillary Clinton’s emails. In Trump’s mind, the media sensationalized those remarks too. But the Russians weren’t joking: among many other efforts to influence the core exercise of American democracy that year, they hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers and disseminated its emails through WikiLeaks.

 Whether or not he was kidding about bringing a tyrannical end to our 248-year experiment in democracy, Trump was asked if he did not  see why many Americans see such talk of dictatorship as contrary to our most cherished principles? Trump says no. Quite the opposite, he insists. “I think a lot of people like it.”

The link to the full, unedited TIME news article with photos is here:


It was on November 12, 2023 that Associated Press National Political Reporter JILL COLVIN with the  Associated Press reported on Trump’s second term agenda giving  insight on what Trump intends to do in areas not reported on in the TIME article. Following are excerpts from the Associated Press Article “Trump’s Radical Second-term Agenda Would Wield Executive Power In Unprecedented Ways”:


“Trump says he will institute a system of tariffs of perhaps 10% on most foreign goods. Penalties would increase if trade partners manipulate their currencies or engage in other unfair trading practices.

He will urge that Congress pass a “Trump Reciprocal Trade Act,” giving the president authority to impose a reciprocal tariff on any country that imposes one on the U.S.

Much of the agenda focuses on China. Trump has proposed a four-year plan to phase out Chinese imports of essential goods, including electronics, steel and pharmaceuticals. He wants to ban Chinese companies from owning vital U.S. infrastructure in sectors such as energy, technology and agriculture, and says he will force Chinese owners to sell any holdings “that jeopardize America’s national security.”


“Trump claims that even before he is inaugurated, he will have settled the war between Russia and Ukraine. That includes, he says, ending the “endless flow of American treasure to Ukraine” and asking European allies to reimburse the U.S. for the cost of rebuilding stockpiles.

It is unclear whether he would insist that Russia withdraw from territory in Ukraine it seized in the war that it launched in February 2022.

Trump has said he will stand with Israel in its war with Hamas and support Israel’s efforts to “destroy” the militant group. He says he will continue to “fundamentally reevaluate” NATO’s purpose and mission.”


“Trump says he will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing that “only two genders,” as determined at birth, are recognized by the United States.

As part of his crackdown on gender-affirming care, he will declare that hospitals and health care providers that offer transitional hormones or surgery no longer meet federal health and safety standards and will be blocked from receiving federal funds, including Medicaid and Medicare dollars.

He would push Congress to prohibit hormonal or surgical intervention for transgender minors in all 50 states.

Doctors typically guide kids toward therapy before medical intervention. At that point, hormone treatments such as puberty blockers are far more common than surgery. They have been available in the U.S. for more than a decade and are standard treatments backed by major doctors’ organizations, including the American Medical Association.”


“Trump’s goal, he says, is for the U.S. to have the lowest-cost energy and electricity of any nation in the world, including China.

Under the mantra “DRILL, BABY, DRILL,” he says he would ramp up oil drilling on public lands and offer tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal producers. He would roll back Biden administration efforts to encourage the adoption of electric cars and reverse proposed new pollution limits that would require at least 54% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2030.

And again, he says, he will exit the Paris Climate Accords, end wind subsidies and eliminate regulations imposed and proposed by the Biden admiration targeting incandescent lightbulbs, gas stoves, dishwashers and shower heads.”


“Trump has pledged to terminate the Department of Education, but he also wants to exert enormous influence over local school districts and colleges.

He would push the federal government to give funding preference to states and school districts that abolish teacher tenure, adopt merit pay to reward good teachers and allow the direct election of school principals by parents.

He has said he would cut funding for any school that has a vaccine or mask mandate and will promote prayer in public schools.

Trump also wants a say in school curricula, vowing to fight for “patriotic education.” He says that under his administration, schools will “teach students to love their country, not to hate their country like they’re taught right now” and will promote “the nuclear family” including “the roles of mothers and fathers” and the “things that make men and women different and unique.”

To protect students, he says he will support school districts that allow trained teachers to carry concealed weapons. He would provide federal funding so schools can hire veterans, retired police officers, and other trained gun owners as armed school guards.”


“Trump wants to force the homeless off city streets by building tent cities on large open parcels of inexpensive land. At the same time, he says he will work with states to ban urban camping, giving violators the choice between being arrested or receiving treatment.

He also wants to bring back large mental institutions to reinstitutionalize those who are “severely mentally ill” or “dangerously deranged.”


“Trump would again push to send the National Guard to cities such as Chicago that are struggling with violence. He would use the federal government’s funding and prosecution authorities to strong-arm local governments.

He says he will require local law enforcement agencies that receive Justice Department grants to use controversial policing measures such as stop-and-frisk. As a deterrent, he says local police should be empowered to shoot suspected shoplifters in the act. “Very simply, if you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store,” he said in one recent speech.

Trump has called for the death penalty for drug smugglers and those who traffic women and children. He has also pledged a federal takeover of the nation’s capital, calling Washington a “dirty, crime-ridden death trap” unbefitting of the country.”

The link to the full unedited AP News report is here:

The link to a related CNN report on  Trumps Second Term Agenda is here:


One remarkable paragraph in the TIME article captured succinctly what is at stake in the 2025  election:

“Every election is billed as a national turning point. This time that rings true. To supporters, the prospect of Trump 2.0, unconstrained and backed by a disciplined movement of true believers, offers revolutionary promise.  To much of the rest of the nation and the world, it represents an alarming risk. A second Trump term could bring “the end of our democracy,” says presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, “and the birth of a new kind of authoritarian presidential order.”

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.