To maintain the support of their base in unfairly gerrymandered communities, Republicans rely on the issues of anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and unrestricted, unregulated gun ownership to win elections. They know the values the majority of Americans hold conflict with their ideology and pursuit of authoritarian power. Hence, they incite the evangelical’s faux concern about aborted fetuses and promise gun owners no restrictions on military assault rifles. Donald Trump does not share a passion for guns or The 2nd Amendment with his supporters. His fake enthusiasm for firearms is what he uses to win votes from the fringe-wing of the radicalized base of the Republican party. The reason why authoritarianism ultimately restricts its citizens’ gun rights is to reduce the success of any attempt by any group to overturn its dictatorial power.
In an October 2020 article, the Daily News reported, “every authoritarian takeover in modern history, enacted restrictive gun ownership laws and regulations were introduced, often with severe penalties for violators.” Trump’s MAGA supporters don’t know what authoritarianism is or what a despot is because they admit to ONLY relying on what the radical-right entertainment journalists on Fox News report. Here is the simplified Oxford Dictionary definition of an authoritarian :
- the enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.
- lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others.
Wikipedia definition of authoritarianism:
Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by the rejection of political plurality, the use of a strong central power to preserve the political status quo, and reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic voting.
Webster’s Dictionary defines an authoritarian political figure “who favors a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people.”
In a November 2018 in The Guardian titled ” Is Donald Trump An Authoritarian?” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history at New York University specializing in fascism said, ” The president was testing his ability to corrupt the results of the 2020 election, but also pursuing “an authoritarian attempt to make our reality uncertain”. Ben- Ghiat added, “So it’s very, very dangerous that he is doing this with regard to the biggest index of democracy, which is free and fair elections. The authoritarian wants us to lose our faith in our ears and our eyes, what we read and what we observe, so that we can be more dependent on him,” Ben-Ghiat said. “‘Reality is what I say it is.”
Ben-Ghiat is describing Trump’s precise messaging strategy. He directly instructs his base to listen only to him and Fox News. He has said many times, ” I alone can fix it” referring to no matter what the issues might be. He has proclaimed he knows more about science than doctors and more about the military than generals, which anyone with half a brain knows that is a lie, hyperbole, or delusional. Before being elected president, he declared ” I could shoot someone on fifth avenue and not lose any voters.” That statement is not only typical of a grandiose, violent-thinking authoritarian, it is an indicator that he sees his voters as weak-minded sheep. Authoritarian’s are not loyal to others, and therefore no promises they made when pursuing power can be counted on being kept.
Trump governed America right out of the authoritarian playbook. However, because his voters followed him blindly without questioning his actions or researching facts, they believed every false, wacky conspiracy he spread. They also believed every promise he made, which he failed to keep. The brainwashing that authoritarians, despots, and dictators perform on their vulnerable electorates results in believing what they say despite facts to the contrary and observable events. When compared to other American presidents, Trump’s view of how America should be governed looks more like Mussolini, Hitler, or Lenin. WHEN REPUBLICANS FALSELY SCREAM “SOCIALISM” ABOUT DEMOCRATS, DEMOCRATS MUST SCREAM “ FASCISM” ABOUT TODAYS REPUBLICAN PARTY AND ITS LEADER.
The Merriam-Websters dictionary defines fascism as;
: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
Trump supporters need to admit they prefer the end of democracy, and because of their love for Trump, agree that it is acceptable for America to elect the first authoritarian president in American history. Because of a DOJ policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president, Trump was allowed to break laws and norms and did so with complete arrogance, disrespect, and disregard for the Constitution. For his supporters, this may sound great; however, what happens when America’s next president isn’t a right-wing conservative. Imagine how an authoritarian president of an opposite ideology could take away guns, ban all Christian media programs, and decide all significant holidays are canceled. By definition, an authoritarian leader has ultimate power and can do whatever they want without opposition.
Trump mimicked authoritarian practices and that fact is documented on video in his own words and actions. Some which are the most threat to democracy were;
- Attacked the free press when he didn’t like their reporting, calling the media “the enemy of the people.”
- Aligned with an alt- right media outlet and routinely lied about provable facts, spread disinformation, and used propaganda to diminish his opponents
- Fired officials who wouldn’t pledge blind loyalty, and hired unqualified people who would do his bidding
- Showed admiration for dictators who held power for life in countries where no fair elections were held
- Saw the presidency as having ultimate power over all branches of government
- Made false proclamations of election fraud when he lost
- Instructed his Vice-President not to approve the decided upon electoral votes in the 2020 election
- Has pressured states to overturn their fairly run elections to his favor
- Exploited the white-Christian identity fear issue to promote a typical one race, one nation ideology
If loving Trump means saying goodbye to democracy, then his supporters will be complicit in that catastrophe and will suffer the same losses to their freedoms as those of us fighting to stop the right-wing from electing dictators. Voting unwisely can destroy the American republic. Trump now calls American norms and laws ” the swamp” and “anti-democracy” as a diversion from their efforts to steal democratic elections and to reinstall an un-elected ex-president back into office. The Jan. 6th Committee is getting close to exposing the corruption that Trump and his loyalist’s practice.