Would the American republic stand up to a stress test?

For years, I have been urging President Obama and Congress to tyrant-proof the executive branch as best they can, before it’s too late. With an unknown quantity headed for the Oval Office, that project is more vital than ever. Current precedents give Trump the ability to wage war under an Authorization to Use Military Force that’s been stretched to cover half the globe; to order drone killings in a dozen countries; to preside over mass surveillance on American citizens; to indefinitely detain human beings without trail at Guantanamo Bay; and much more.

Many Democrats ignored these dangers when they controlled the White House and the Senate. Even as Trump won the Republican nomination they showed little concern. Now they will more pay attention, as they did when George W. Bush was president, but probably won’t have the power in Congress to stop Trump alone.

That’s why Americans should start thinking about how to thwart attempts at misbehavior by President Trump, whether they find the prospect likely or unlikely.

We’ve just never seen him serve in government before.