Is America Heading Towards Authoritarianism?
Be it your personal or professional situation, when matters go utterly haywire, you return to the very basics to reflect how far you have traversed from your goals and ideals.
This retrospection is the first step towards remedial action.
The focus in this piece is on the state of democracy in America. We, therefore, go back to what may seem like a lesson in elementary civics in school and compare it with the situation on the ground.
Under the microscope are the government, the media, and the opposition.
Democracy was defined by Lincoln as ‘for the people, by the people and of the people.'
Since it is obviously impossible for all people to govern their state or country simultaneously, they lend power to an individual through their votes. It is essential to emphasize the word ‘lend.’ The elected representative must remember that power does not belong to them, they are merely representing their constituency. Their function is to govern and make laws for citizens and emphatically not rule their subjects.
Now for the reality
The occupant of the White House is possibly senile and certainly incompetent. He cluelessly wades from one crisis to another.
It began with the illegal immigration crisis on the Southern border where there was a mass influx of illegal immigrants. They were then surreptitiously transferred to other states. Recently there was news of 10,000 mostly Haitian migrants living under a flyover in Texas.
The chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan caused the Taliban to take over. A volatile climate engulfed the entire region. There was a suicide bomb attack in Kabul that killed 103 people, including 13 U.S. service members. Women, children, and minorities are being persecuted. There are reports that U.S. residents left behind Afghanistan are hiding out from the Taliban. Recently it was discovered that a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, before the withdrawal, killed 10 innocent people including 7 children.
COVID-19 is being used as an excuse to infringe upon civil liberties, restrict movement, mandate masks, and mandate vaccines. Employees in government and beyond being compelled to be vaccinated to retain employment. School children are compelled to wear masks. Landlords were prevented from evicting tenants during the pandemic. Funding for alternative therapy. i.e. the right to opt for their choice of treatment is blocked. As in communist countries, individual needs or pre-conditions are being ignored in a favor of enforced mass mandates.
The economy is faltering, inflation is high and so is unemployment.
There was news of a top military general attempting to undermine President Trump and warning an adversary.
There are civilians in jail for the Jan. 6 demonstrations on Capitol Hill with reports that they are in Gitmo-like conditions. A top military general wants to understand white rage instead of focusing on national security. This sentiment is echoed across the administration and beyond. This is a coded warning of punitive action towards political opponents -- i.e., Trump supporters.
The revolt among citizenry has begun even in Democrat bastions such as New York.
To summarize, the governing class now believes that they are the ruling class who own the power. They look at the public as subjects who need to be permanently controlled. They see freedom as a luxury they grant to obedient citizens rather than the right of every citizen.
They look at their opposition among the citizenry with disdain as pests who need to be crushed. The encouragement of illegal immigration is a way to shift electoral votes to ensure permanence in power, they have successfully implemented this in New York and California.
The News Media
The Fourth Estate is the press or news media. Since it is impossible for citizens to constantly monitor the policies and activities of their elected representatives, or have access behind closed doors, they rely on the news media to inform them about these occurrences. In addition to providing information, they rely on the media to hold the government accountable.
Now for the reality
Currently the mainstream media functions as an arm of the Democrat party. There is no difference between the Democrats in the media and Democrat politicians. On certain occasions, the Democrats in the media lead, and the Democrats on Capitol Hill follow and on other occasions vice versa. There is perfect synchronicity.
When the Biden administration finds itself in perpetual disarray they merely look the other way. A perfect example is three of the five prominent Sunday morning newscasts avoided the explosive New York Times report about the botched U.S. drone strike the Pentagon finally admitted killed. They covered the Afghanistan fiasco initially but have drastically reduced coverage in the past few weeks.
They fill the vacuum with the irrelevant and the trivial that help the Democrats. They were initially hesitant about the COVID vaccine because it has happened under President Trump, but are dogmatic about it now because Biden is ordering the mandate.
They fanatically cover climate change, spreading paranoia. They feverishly cover ‘domestic terror’ and white supremacy, which is another excuse to demonize and silence whom they consider their opponents.
There is no variety of opinions among the editorials, anchors, and panelists. They speak in unison with even employ identical catchphrases on any given day.
It is said that the function of the media is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The mainstream media in the U.S. are doing the exact opposite comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted.
And with social media supplanting much of traditional media, the monopoly on news gets worse, and there's the added problem of censorship of opponents.
This is the party that failed to secure the public mandate to govern. Their function is as vital as that of the Fourth Estate. They have a duty to keep the government in check. Their job is to be vigilant when there is even a hint that matters be moving in the wrong direction. When the state of affairs descends into chaos, the opposition has a function to beat the drums of warning to inform the nation.
The perpetually blundering Biden has presented the Republicans with a galore of opportunities.
How are the Republicans reacting?
They appear on Fox News to express their outrage and call for Biden and his cabinet to resign. During hearings, they appear incensed as they grill their opponent. Their YouTube clips are captioned ‘Republican ABC destroys/grills Democrat XYZ’. Alas, they are merely preaching to the converted. The Republican Senate Minority leader and House Minority leaders are not even making these perfunctory noises.
The Republicans appear to have no coordinated strategy to carry the message to all people.
They should ideally be going back to their constituency and holding public meetings to highlight the failures of Biden. They should be releasing advertisements and touring the mainstream media to highlight numerous catastrophes under Biden.
In this particular situation, it is not just about politics. The citizens are suffering and matters are likely to get rapidly worse. At such times it is the function of the opposition to be the voice for those people. Alas, the Republicans lack the killer instinct, it is almost as if the Washington establishment neutered them for good.
The government is apathetic and incompetent with a proclivity towards totalitarianism, the mainstream media is in collusion with the government and the opposition is in deep slumber.
The citizen is helpless and is relentlessly being subjected to misinformation, mandates, restrictions, demonization, and intimidation.
This is how modern authoritarianism functions.
Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License
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