Garry Kasparov's comparison of Trump to Putin is a worthy read, the last two paragraphs of which are below:
... It is painful to admit, but Putin was elected in a relatively fair election in 2000. He steadily dismantled Russia’s fragile democracy and succeeded in turning Russians against each other and against the world. It turns out you can go quite far in a democracy by convincing a majority that they are threatened by a minority, and that only you can protect them.
The final and most worrying similarity between Putin and Trump is that so many are unwilling to believe that someone like Trump could ever become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed to great jubilation, we never would have believed that a former KGB agent would become the president of Russia just nine years later. The moral: Be careful whom you vote for, it could be the last election you ever have.Well, we might say, even if he were elected, the Constitution, with its separation of powers, makes it impossible for him to become a strongman like Putin or those other tyrants he's praised.
I'm not so sure. Trump is a vengeful bully, so unable to take criticism, so unable and unwilling to think beyond the simplistic, that he's gone after any and all who disagree with him. In his recent meeting with R senators he overtly threatened a senator who'd not endorsed him. He's promised to use the IRS as a weapon as well, exactly the transgression of which the RWS™ falsely accused President Obama. I'm waiting to hear any of them speak out against what Trump actually promised.
And what of the press, the Fourth Estate, charged with keeping our leaders honest?
How many in Congress, especially on the right, have shown the courage to resist threats (or munificent favors)? With the power of the presidency, a nasty megalomaniac like Trump could easily cow, with threats and actions, those most able to stand up to him; i.e., elected representatives and, eventually, voters. Would they resist? I don't care to find out, because I'm pretty the answer is no. If nothing else, the Republican convention showed us that.