Donald Trump is on the warpath. Following his historic felony conviction on hush-money and election interference charges, the ex-president has rapidly escalated his threats of violence and mayhem, along with other forms of cult-leader and dictator rhetoric, in service to his plan for revenge and retribution against those he believes have impeded his ascent to universal worship and glory.

Reality, of course, is simpler: Donald Trump was convicted by a jury of citizens, based on the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence. There is no conspiracy or witch hunt against him. He is, at best, finally being held somewhat responsible for his decades of obvious criminal conduct.

Trump’s escalations, as I have repeatedly warned, offer an example of how the personal is political for someone like him, meaning aspiring autocrats and authoritarians. Donald Trump has already promised to be a dictator on “Day One” of his regime if he defeats Joe Biden in November. Trump and his agents’ threats of violence (and not-infrequent acts of violence) serve their authoritarian political project. Trump’s personality, emotional life and thinking are centered upon violence and other antisocial behavior. His new status as a convicted criminal and the prospect, however unlikely, that he may actually go to prison have created a form of synergy between the personal and political that is potentially, if not likely explosive as seen on Jan. 6.

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