History shows us that it is very much possible to have democratically elected federal executive and legislative bodies that can also be autocratic.
History has also shown us that even when it comes down to a US autocratic President vs the SCOTUS the President can simply tell SCOTUS to call in their army while he will call his as in Wochester v. Georgia and Ex parte Merryman where the President simply ignored a Supreme Court Decision.
Hitler was very popular for a long time and had support not just from within Germany but even in the US. Henry Ford and Lindberg and Joseph Kennedy and Lady Astor and Father Charles Coughlin as well as US companies like Ford and General Motors and Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola and Kodak and IBM all worked with and profited from the Nazi Regime.
Mussolini was popular both at home and abroad with vast support from the major European and US companies and Governments.
It's unlikely that there would be a US Civil War again BUT the likelihood of a Fascist Autocratic Government or a Military Coup are far, far higher. The question is rather will the transition to the Autocratic Fascist State be a relatively peaceful transition as happened in Japan, Italy and Germany rather than the Civil War scenario as in Spain?
And if as is most likely the transition to the Autocratic Fascist State is peaceful will the Military stand by and simply accept the status change from Democracy to Autocracy as happened in Germany, and Italy? In Japan it was the Military that instigated and created the transition to the Fascist Autocratic State by foreign intervention but again the transition was relatively peaceful with only a few key players being assassinated. Such Foreign intervention does not seem likely in the current US situation, so Germany and Italy are more likely scenarios.
An autocratic command economy has many advantages for business. Troublesome things like fair labor practices or unions or worker safety laws or environmental laws can simply be forgotten when convenient. There would be no messy things like demonstrations or strikes or slowdowns.
Elections would be far less disruptive and things like January 6th. would simply not be allowed.
There is absolutely no reason Trump or another proto autocrat would or needs to instigate a civil war. Again, look at the history of Germany, Italy the USSR or Japan.
Nazi Germany was the world leader in implementing the 40-hour work week, guaranteed retirement and pension, annual paid vacations with government created and supported vacation locations. Germany was a world leader in youth education and entitlement.
There would be no reparations and lots of new jobs and lower fuel prices and for those who were party members a great life and future.
The US under an Autocratic Dictatorship would be Nazi Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s, prosperous, peaceful, full of hope.
But the lesson of the Night of the Long Knives as well as the Japanese political assassinations of the early 1930s should also be remembered. Potential challengers to the autocrat take heed.
It's very unlikely that a coup similar to January 6th. though would have any chance unless and until the conditions can be close enough to possibly be called Constitutional.
First the legal means to change from our current messy democratic republic to an autocratic fascist state are already in place or being put in place.
The tool is simply the Constitutionally Created Electoral College.
The individual States can decide who is a member of their Electoral College Delegation and there is no requirement that the popular vote even be considered.From Article2 US Constitution.
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.
The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
Currently the effort in many States is to curtail the popular vote and to design districts to maintain control of voting.
If successful, the two-prong assault of limiting the popular vote and control of the Electoral Delegation means that in 2024 the outcome of the Presidential Election will be determined by the will of the individual State Legislatures rather than the votes.
But wait, there's more.
The same States that are involved above are also modifying both who gets to vote and who gets to count the votes.
So far it is all legal and Constitutional and so the most likely outcome would be a Legal, Constitutional coup.
The question then is if it does meet the Constitutional challenge, will the Military that has sworn to uphold the US Constitution oppose the coup?
If the US Military decides to take-sides then no civilian group has the capability to oppose them. If the Military decides to not intervene then the US will simply become an autocratic fascist State.
And business will simply prosper.