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US election: how Trump and his followers use offensive humour to make prejudice acceptable



Fox News anchor Sean Hannity interviewed Donald Trump in front of a studio audience in Iowa in December 2023. Hannity asked Trump to guarantee he would not abuse his power or seek retribution if he was reelected in 2024. Trump nodded and replied: “Except for day one.” The audience laughed at Trump’s answer.


Trump is obviously joking. The image of being a dictator for a single day is absurd – after all, a despot tends to rule for a lifetime. But evidence suggests that Trump may, in fact, abuse power and seek retribution if he regains the presidency.


For example, Trump hinted that he will use the Department of Justice to persecute his political adversaries. He is also planning to install loyalists in federal agencies. So Trump’s jokey response may tell the truth, or at least a distorted version of the truth.





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