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Riots, deportations headline spoof 'President Trump' front page
[WASHINGTON] Mass deportations, riots and a looming trade war: The Boston Globe on Sunday ran a fake front page imagining the state of America under a Donald Trump presidency - and denouncing his "deeply disturbing" vision.
Posted in the US newspaper's idea section alongside an op-ed with the title "The GOP must stop Trump," the mockup appeared three months before the Republican Party convention confirms its White House nominee.
"Deportations to begin," ran the Globe's fictitious headline, dated April 9, 2017, above a spoof article about Trump's push to expel more than 11 million undocumented immigrants - sparking nationwide riots and curfews.
"This is Donald Trump's America," read a note from the editor at the foot of the page. "What you read on this page is what might happen if the GOP frontrunner can put his ideas into practice, his words into action."
A number of mainstream US newspapers, from The New York Times to The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post have taken strong positions in their editorial pages against Mr Trump's election bid, urging Republicans to reject the populist rhetoric against migrants, Muslims or women that has fueled his campaign.
But the Globe's satire marked the most spectacular example to date.
"Markets sink as trade war looms," read the headline of a make-believe piece detailing the meltdown of US commercial relations with China and Mexico.
Back on the real-life campaign trail, Mr Trump hit back, telling supporters the newspaper was "stupid." "It's worthless. Sold for a dollar," he said at a rally in Rochester, New York, ahead of the crucial April 19 primary in the state.
One mockup article features US soldiers refusing to obey orders to kill the families of Islamic State fighters, another has a Republican-controlled Congress passing a libel law targeting "absolute scum" in the press - both riffs on campaign pronouncements by Mr Trump.
A separate "story" reports how Mr Trump prompted a diplomatic crisis with China after naming his dog, a Shar-Pei, after Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan.
"I don't know why she's so offended, I love cute puppies and I love women! It's not like I tweeted out a photo of a Rottweiler named (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel," he was supposedly quoted as saying.
Although Mr Trump leads the Republican primary race, he is projected to lose in a landslide in a general election matchup against the likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
But the paper's editorial warned that the prospect - however slim - of the billionaire real estate mogul winning the highest office in the land "demands an active and engaged opposition."
"Donald J. Trump's vision for the future of our nation is as deeply disturbing as it is profoundly un-American," it said, warning that Mr Trump could be one of the world's next "demagogic strongmen."
The satirical front page "is an exercise in taking a man at his word. And his vision of America promises to be as appalling in real life as it is in black and white on the page," the editorial said.
"It requires an opposition as focused on denying Trump the White House as the candidate is flippant and reckless about securing it."
The Globe's editors pointed to Mr Trump's "winks and nods at political violence at his rallies," among other controversies.
"If Trump were a politician running such a campaign in a foreign country right now, the US State Department would probably be condemning him," it added.
"For now, Republicans ought to focus on doing the right thing: putting up every legitimate roadblock to Trump that they can."
The Globe's editorial urged Republican leaders to pick an alternative nominee, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan or businessman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, should Mr Trump fail to secure a majority of delegates before the convention in July.
"It is better to lose with principle than to accept a dangerous deal from a demagogue," it said.