Another day - another bizarre -- and frankly constitution-defying-- tweet from Donald Trump.
At 6:55 yesterday morning -- a time when most Americans were either still sleeping or just getting out of bed -- the man who will in less than two months take over the leadership of the so-called free world sent out this message from his Twitter account:
"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
Not only does Trump think flag-burning should be illegal - he also thinks people who do burn the flag should lose EVERY RIGHT THEY HAVE AS AN AMERICAN.
This might sound like more Trumpian bluster - but it's not.
This is serious stuff.
The only crime currently punishable in America by loss of citizenship is treason - and the President elect of the United States just said we should apply that same punishment to political dissent.
In simpler terms - Donald Trump thinks dissent is treason.
This is literally THE recipe - and virtually the dictionary definition - for authoritarianism.
So where does it all end?
Are our political institutions healthy enough to prevent Donald Trump from becoming an American autocrat?
Will all those checks and balances that we learned about in elementary school do their job?
Or has the modern presidency and the intelligence apparatus it controls become so powerful, so expansive, that it's time to start seriously worrying about a dictator Trump?