Donald Trump is promising a second presidency that would be an aberration in American history.

The former and possibly future commander in chief aspires to strongman power if he wins back the White House next year. He believes his authority would be absolute. He wants vengeance against his political enemies. He’d pose the greatest challenge to the rule of law and the Constitution in modern times, seek to crush press freedoms and gut the machinery of government.

None of this is speculation. Trump is saying and showing exactly what he would do in his rallies, social media posts, interviews, lawyers’ filings and even appearances in court that he uses to stigmatize the legal system. And Trump’s ambitions should be taken seriously because one year from the election, President Joe Biden’s reelection hopes are far from secure.