Who are the real authoritarians now?

Banning books, blocking the press, restricting movement, and making lists, the left goes all in on creeping facism

For the past four years, the left and their enablers in the mainstream media, have endlessly repeated the refrain that Trump is an “authoritarian.”  In September, Politico blared that “Trump is an Authoritarian.  So Are Millions of Americans.”  In November, “Trump’s attacks on vote counts seem to follow an authoritarian playbook” from the Washington Post, and, according to JacobinMag, “Trump Has Been Quietly Setting the Stage for an Authoritarian Second Term.”

These are just a handful of examples.  There are dozens, if not hundreds of others, promoting the idea that Trump (and his voters) are about to crush the entire country (if not the whole world) in the unrelenting grip of facism.

It’s enough to make you wonder if any of these eggheads in the media actually looked up the word in the dictionary.  Here’s the definition from Oxford Languages:

  • Favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom

What political ethos and party does that sound like to you?

If anything, Trump’s been beat up in the media recently for a response to the coronavirus pandemic that hasn’t been authoritarian enough.  Despite an ideal opportunity to exercise real authoritarian power, Trump has pursued a response firmly founded in respecting state rights and local control.  From day one, the administration has sought a “federally supported, state managed, and locally executed” plan.

In the meantime, detractors have repeatedly called for a national strategy on everything from testing to mask mandates.  Meaning, they want to use the authority of the federal government to compel states and their citizens to comply.  They aren’t shy about using those powers at the state and local level either.

Oregon has even gone so far as to encourage neighbors to snitch on each other for violating rules on how many guests you can have in your own home. Andrew Cuomo has raged against police departments that have refused to enforce his restrictions.

Nor are these authoritarian tendencies limited to coronavirus. Instead, across a wide range of issues, the left appears increasingly inclined to use institutional power to restrict even fundamental freedoms like speech and association.

Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon, not exactly conservative enterprises, have repeatedly used their control over the flow of information to suppress dissenting views.  Facebook and Twitter have already received a lot of attention for blocking posts and even entire sites during the election, but Amazon has also gotten in on the act.

Earlier this year, they prevented an author, Abigail Shrier, from promoting her book, “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.”  Interestingly, a transgender Berkeley professor advocated actual book burning in this instance, arguing, “all you’re doing is removing a commodity from circulation — much as one might destroy a contaminated crop” and a representative from the ACLU tweeted “stopping circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on.”

Nor was this an isolated incident for Amazon.  About a month ago, they also blocked a documentary, “What Killed Michael Brown?” by filmmaker Eli Steele for the crime of promoting a non-politically correct analysis of Black Lives Matter and the resulting fall out.

These institutional instances are occurring against a broader movement that seeks to cancel voices they disagree with.  No one is immune:  J.K. Rowling, Martina Navritolova, even John Cleese, have all fallen afoul of the new censors for various transgressions.  Some are even wondering how Twitter hasn’t permanently cancelled J.K. Rowling yet.

Of course, no authoritarian movement can be complete without an enemies list, but the left has no shortage of those either.  Last week, we learned that Harvard students want to ban any former Trump official from employment at the prestigious university unless they are held “suitably accountable.” 

A few days after the election, AOC wondered if anyone was creating an archive of Trump “sycophants.” Sure enough, The Trump Accountability Project was planning to “Remember what they did…We should not allow the following groups of people to profit from their experience: Those who elected him. Those who staffed his government. Those who funded him.”

The site has since been shut down in the spirit of unity, but the sentiment certainly remains:  Not just Trump, but even his voters are enemies and need to repent or be punished.

Ironically, these trends are occurring while Trump and Republicans have been steadily moving in the opposite direction.  In fact, one of the reasons Trump is popular among conservatives is because he’s the first President in modern history to systematically dismantle Federal power, rolling back massive regulatory regimes that micromanaged emissions, water, and the internet.  

Meaning, he has championed a reduction in government authority and influence over our lives, the exact opposite of authoritarianism.

Putting it another way:  Authoritarians aren’t usually known to relinquish power and control, yet it’s the left that has repeatedly opposed these policies and promised to bring them back on steroids.

This inclination isn’t limited to the environment or the internet either.

On almost every issue, the left promotes a federal policy maintained by the full force of the government.  Medicare for All is federalized healthcare.  The Green New Deal is federalized energy markets and building codes.  Even on policing, they want federal standards, enforceable by the might of the government.

Each and every one of these policies would limit your freedom and the freedom of your state and local government.

So tell me, who’s the real authoritarian now?

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