We don’t have an autocrat; we have an asshole. We have had assholes before and survived. In the 19th century, we had a string of assholes. Granted, by the 2nd half we had a civil war, but we survived that too. I appreciate the concern; maybe we can get through this round with better results if more people are sensitive to the dangers of populism.
Realize, though that our current chief executive is not the first in this run of populists. Remember the guy who’s campaign revolved around hope and change? That was a populist campaign, too. It was an administration rife with emotional language like “common sense” but short on actual facts. The highlight of this time was a law that could only be passed by a lame-duck congress, has tax-elements (despite originating in the Senate), and has done the exact opposite of what it was claimed to do (although, I don’t know what genius thought that mandating demand for a product would somehow reduce the cost of said product…). Our bureaucracy in our various agencies that are shackled to law and funding (as directed by congress) meant we survived that populist. Yes, his constant talk of change did cause some uncertainty in the market, but eventually people realized the extent of Presidential power is fairly limited.
The current asshole, pisses everyone off — including his own party. I see no indication that he is being given nearly the loose reins that his predecessor enjoyed during his first few years. The biggest things that any U.S. President can do involve the military, but especially there the rule-of-law is supreme. Almost nothing in the foreign affairs arena can be done without Congressional notification at a minimum.
So, awesome vigilance! The sky, however, is not falling, yet.