Thursday, January 5, 2017

Conservatives Should Not Trust in Safeguards against Authoritarianism If They Are Unwilling to Use Them

           Some conservatives who are focused on those issues with which they believe Donald J. Trump agrees with them are ignoring the warning signs of authoritarianism by rationalizing that he would be held in check by various safeguards after he is sworn into office as the President of the United States.  Such safeguards against authoritarianism are necessary for the protection of liberty, but the political will necessary for their effectiveness has been lacking, even among many conservatives and Republicans.

These conservatives’ trust in moral, ethical, political and even constitutional safeguards is misplaced, not only because Trump respects none of these, but because these safeguards are only effective if those with the authority to hold the Chief Executive accountable are courageous enough to make use of these safeguards.  However, these same conservatives heretofore have opposed every safeguard out of ignorance, expedience, or cowardice.  Now, as I detailed in my last post, there is only one constitutional safeguard remaining before Inauguration Day on January 20, that of Congressional objection on January 6 to the counting of the electoral votes for Trump because of their fraudulent election through deception, intimidation, ballot access denial and foreign influence.

Many conservatives and Republicans who supported Trump, or at least acquiesced to him, opposed a contested Republican Convention or freeing the Convention Delegates to exercise their judgment and to vote their consciences.  They opposed the imposition of requirements such as the disclosure by candidates to release their federal tax returns or to pledge to eliminate the appearance of conflicts of interest by divesting themselves adequately in order to be nominated for President.  The proposal to allow the Delegates to choose the vice presidential nominee themselves was similarly rejected.  After the Convention, these same conservatives and Republicans opposed replacing the presidential nominee and the independent Republican presidential candidacy.  After the General Election for the presidential and vice presidential Electors, they opposed freeing the Electoral College to fulfill its constitutional duty to exercise its best judgment in good conscience. 

Each of these safeguards were dismissed by these conservatives and Republicans who supported Trump, oftentimes as if these safeguards were novel or radical even though several were common practices or at least have been used when necessary.  These protections against populism and demagoguery were opposed on the grounds that they would be anti-democratic, despite the opposition of the Founding Fathers of the Republic and of the Republican Party to democracy precisely because of their fear of populism and demagoguery, the safeguards against which are necessarily anti-democratic.  These safeguards also exist to prevent someone not in agreement with the party from being nominated, someone unfit from being nominated or elected, and from foreign interference from being elected.  They exist also to prevent kind of demagoguery and authoritarianism evident in Trump.  Those of us conservatives and Republicans who courageously spoke out in favor of using these safeguards were insulted or threatened—in a Trump-inspired style of authoritarianism—as illegitimate excuses were made in every case as to why an unfit demagogue with authoritarian proclivities supported by a hostile foreign state should be nominated and elected.

The opposition by conservatives and Republicans to using any of these safeguards—on the grounds they are unnecessary because, once in power, Trump will be held in check by safeguards is unconvincing rationalization and seems contradictory and foolish, for if a presidential candidate cannot be checked, it will be even harder once he has all the powers of the presidency.  Because of partisanship or too much focus on defeating the liberals while allowing the Communist Russian Federation to achieve its goals at the expense of American interests by effectively carrying out a coup d’etat, these conservatives and Republicans will use the same illegitimate excuses then, that holding Trump in check is contrary to the will people who voted for him or advantageous to the Left, etc.—excuses they would rightly reject as contrary to liberty if the liberal Democrats were in office and similarly abusing their power.  Authoritarians and hostile foreign intelligence services use such beliefs and divisions to their advantage in order to advance toward their goals. 

Whatever conservative policies Trump might implement are secondary to the loss of representative government and liberty and that these policies, which could have been implemented by someone else or without authoritarian methods, would afterward be tainted as “fascist” in any post-authoritarian restoration of liberty.

With the warning signs abundant and obvious that Trump intends to govern as an authoritarian and as an asset of the Russian intelligence services, it is vital that conservatives and Republicans avail themselves of every legitimate means of resistance to authoritarianism, including the fail-safe of Congressional objection tomorrow to the counting of Trump’s Electors.  Conservatives and Republicans should unite, not only with other conservatives and Republicans, but all those who recognize the danger, against Russian interference and authoritarianism to avoid regretting their failure to defend the United States and liberty and to avoid ceding the resistance to the Left and, therefore, being left out of sharing in the post-authoritarian governance. 
There are many of us conservatives and Republicans who have held fast to our principles and our numbers are growing as the danger becomes clearer.  Let us make our stand for independence, representative government and liberty for the United States of America, “the last best hope of earth.”

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