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

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Message Michael Payne

From perthleadership.org: Perth Leadership Institute - Perthblog - Populism in the private

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.

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.

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."

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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