Let This New Decade Bring With it the Demise of Authoritarianism in America

Neither party seems to have much respect for rules, rights, or traditions these days — except, of course, when they’re not the party in power.

“What we’ve been witnessing is a tit-for-tat contest between two power-hungry parties that have both demonstrated a willingness to bypass the safeguards designed to protect the system from unscrupulous politicians.”

President Trump’s leadership has only made matters worse. He talks like an authoritarian, walks like an authoritarian, and behaves like an authoritarian. He is no less shy about trying to use executive power to circumvent Congress than either of his two predecessors, as evidenced by his decision to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval. Rather than doing the hard work of hammering out a comprehensive immigration reform deal with Democrats, he implemented a child separation policy that was needlessly cruel and went around Congress yet again to secure funding for a border wall. He appears to be quite the fan of asset forfeiture as well; he once threatened to “destroy” the career of a Texas state senator who wanted to reform the state’s asset forfeiture program so that police couldn’t seize assets from citizens who hadn’t been convicted of a crime. And even if he has legitimate gripes with certain media outlets — and honestly, I think he does — his characterization of the press as the “enemy of the people” is the kind of rhetoric one would expect from a tyrant, not the duly elected president of the United States.

“As a voter, I’m much less concerned with the advancement of either party’s agenda than I am with the preservation of the built-in limits on federal power.”

For their part, GOP members of Congress have shown no signs of abandoning their own authoritarian inclinations. In February, the Senate passed the Combating BDS Act of 2019 with the support of every Republican except for Rand Paul, who opposed the legislation on constitutional grounds. He was joined by twenty-two Democrats who expressed similar concerns. The purpose of the legislation, which has yet to be brought to a vote in the House, is to provide legal cover to the more than two dozen states that have implemented what are known as anti-BDS laws.

Op-eds from all over the political sphere. Not left, not right - just argumentative. Visit trigtent.com for more news and culture.

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