On election night, almost as soon as it was clear that the unthinkable had become a cold reality, Paul Krugman asked in the New York Times whether the US was now a failed state. Political scientists who normally study American democracy in splendid isolation are starting to turn their attention to Africa and Latin America. They want to know what happens when authoritarians win elections and democracy morphs into something else. The demagogue who promised to kill terrorists along with their families is moving his own family into the presidential palace. Even before he has taken up occupation his children are being seeded into positions of power. There he is on television, shiny and golden, his wife beside him and three of his children lined up behind, ready to take up what daddy has to offer. Here he is back on Twitter, unshackled by victory, rounding on his opponents in the free press. His ten-year-old son is still too young to join in, but he was by his father’s side on election night, looking hardly less bemused than the rest of us, as Trump delivered his notably conciliatory victory speech. Words of conciliation followed by the ruthless personal appropriation of the machinery of government, children in tow. Isn’t this how democracy ends?