“Is it going to be OK?”

President Joe Biden said this week that European leaders kept asking that question during his recent foreign trip as they struggle to overcome their fears for US democracy following the Trump years. The evidence of recent days is that things are very far from OK.

A flurry of new books painted a frightening picture inside the Donald Trump bunker in the last days of his presidency as a paranoid, vindictive, conspiracy-addled wannabe autocrat desperately tried to cling to power. In “I Alone Can Fix It,” Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker report that the top US military officer, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, feared Trump would try to use the military to stage a coup. The top brass hatched a plan to resign one by one to thwart illegal orders. In other words, the uniformed military was ready to defy a civilian commander in chief — in a reversal of constitutional order — to save the rule of law.

Those who hoped Trump’s tyrannical threat passed when he left the White House on January 20 have been disappointed. Every day, the ex-President propagates lies that the election was stolen. In Arizona, his fans are holding a sham recount in a state he lost. Trump seems to be preparing a new run for president in 2024. And Republican state lawmakers are passing legislation that makes it harder for Democrats to vote and easier to steal elections.