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The dark specter of an authoritarian government hangs over the Nov. 6 midterm election

By       Message Michael Payne       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   8 comments

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The November midterm election is not just a battle over which of two political parties will control Congress; it's a battle over whether this country will continue to have a democratic form of government or one under the control of authoritarian rule.

We know what a democratic form of government is; one in which the power is vested in the people, i.e., a government of by, and for the people; where the people rule either directly or through freely elected representatives. In America, it is the latter.

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There are those who will hear that statement and say that this democracy is now dead, it no longer exists. They are angered and frustrated by the undemocratic actions taken by our governments in recent times Well, our democracy is not dead but it is on life support. And because it is, the door to an authoritarian government is now wide open.

Most Americans do not have a good grasp of what authoritarianism is so let's go over the characteristics of this system of governance.

There is strict obedience by the people to the dictates of those in control, a stifling of their personal freedoms. Authoritarianism is any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite group that help to maintain control. It's a system that completely rejects the notion that it has responsibilities to the American people. It is responsible only to itself.

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These types of controlling governments are of many types. However, all will exercise strict control over the freedoms of the people and will use a variety of methods to hold onto power.

They totally control every aspect of life in the nation. Tight restrictions are placed on freedom of assembly; the Constitution and the rule of law become irrelevant. Any opposition to the regime is harshly punished.

Now, with a better understanding of that kind of repressive, suppressive form of government, let's see if there are signs that would indicate that America is headed in that direction.

Trump and Republicans in Congress have an obsession with control, over this government, this country, and society. This obsession is evidenced by their determination to eliminate and/or water down America's most important social programs.

They were almost rabid in their numerous attempts to repeal Obamacare and they still have that as a main objective. The lion's share of their giant trillion dollar plus tax cut was given to the top 1%, those who have helped to establish a large control over what goes on in this country.

This march toward authoritarianism has been going on for some time. While Trump has not initiated this process it can accurately be said that he has taken it to new heights. Look at his never-ending battle with the free press, how he refers to "fake news" and how he calls the media the "the enemy of the people."

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Recently we heard Trump say he is going to use an executive order to countermand the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and no longer allow children born in this country to become citizens if their parents are not citizens.

While he has no authority to do that under current law and the Constitution, under an authoritarian form of government he could do this because no one would be able to question his authority, and it wouldn't matter what the Constitution said.

All we need to do is to continue watching Trump and listen to his words and we will see the modern day version of Benito Mussolini in action. If I ever saw a control freak in a position of high authority in America he is just that.

Upon assuming the presidency Trump wasted no time before he began the process of dismantling key government agencies. The State Dept. is a shadow of what it once was. The cabinet heads of various important agencies such as the EPA and others either eliminated or watered down critically important rules and regulations involving the environment and the banking industry.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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Michael Payne

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The people of America better wake up to the fact that if the Republican Party retains control of both the House and the Senate in the upcoming elections they will continue taking this country down that wrong road. And once this controlling force gets firmly established it is not going to ever let anything or anyone to stand in its way.

So this election is not just about whether or not Democrats can retake control of the House or the Senate; it's far more than that. It will determine if the American people will let what's left of this democracy be transformed into authoritarian rule.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 2, 2018 at 3:56:51 PM

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Robert Cowen

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Michael, you are right. This is an extremely important election to prevent the advance of fascism in America. Voting for Democrats is the only game in town. Evidently this was recognized by the Green party candidate for Senate in Arizona, who just dropped out of the race and urged her supporters to vote for the Democrat. (Unfortunately Jill Stein is still campaigning for the Green party candidates for Governor in Michigan and Ohio and maybe elsewhere.)

Submitted on Friday, Nov 2, 2018 at 5:50:54 PM

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911TRUTH

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OMG, I hadn't heard that the AZ Green party candidate had dropped out.


I would normally vote Green, but I held my nose hard and voted early for Sinema.


So I'm guessing that all those Green Party votes are now wasted. This is the problem with early voting. There are no 'do overs' for last minute changes.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 5:10:04 PM

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Art Costa

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Actually this is an authoritarian nation. Look how much power and attention ee/media give these presidents. It doesn't matter who's in, every policy is the same.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 2:48:45 PM

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911TRUTH

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The other day Benedict Donald called the 14th Amendment to the Constitution a 'stupid policy.'


Why is he not in prison right now for treason?


I'm sure he thinks the entire Constitution is stupid.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 5:01:44 PM

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Dana Bruce Thibault

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Because violating the Constitution is not treason, giving aid and comfort to an enemy during war is.

But violating the Constitution is an impeachable offense, which he has not yet done to the 14th amndment but has done since day one in brazen violation of the emoluments clause, selling influence through his hotels and Mir-a-Lago for personal profit, billing taxpayers full price for rooms, meals, drinks, golf fees and carts for his entire entourage and secret service detail.

Which is nothing compared to letting Jared Kushner plot a blockade of our ally Qatar because they wouldn't give him a half billion dollar loan.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 5:49:25 PM

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Their brazen corruption is breathtaking isn't it.

Emails show Trump intervened personally to stop FBI headquarters from moving out of DC, Democrats say

Trump "was directly involved with the decision to abandon the long-term relocation plan and instead move ahead with the more expensive proposal to construct a new building on the same site, and thereby prevent Trump Hotel competitors from acquiring the land," wrote Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland; Gerry Connolly of Virginia; Dina Titus of Nevada; Peter DeFazio of Oregon; and Mike Quigley of Illinois.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 6:07:41 PM

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For what it's worth, the oath of office is to: preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

That said, the executive is 1/3rd of the federal government. He can't change the constitution. It's a non-issue.

How about the weapons we're using to slaughter cildren? Or war preparations against Russia, Iran ans China, the build up of nuclear arsenals, tearing up of treaties, ousting governments and creating global chaos, catastrophic global warming to bolster super-capitalism? All bi-partisan.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 6:16:40 PM

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