There is a strong narrative within the “left,” itself a nebulous and largely fraudulent concept that now simply includes anyone opposed to Donald Trump, that the United States is moving rapidly towards authoritarianism, and perhaps even fascism.
To dispel some of these concerns, it it first worth dissecting these two terms which have been callously thrown around. Authoritarianism can be most simply understood as a political system in which the authority is unshared between an unaccountable leader and the people they rule. Donald Trump’s presidency has certainly shattered norms regarding the ability and breadth of presidential power in terms of limiting investigation of their own office, refusal or delay in executing congressional mandates, and even suggesting that presidential powers exceed those specifically allotted in the constitution because of limited allowances made under revocable congressional law. Still, our constitution is by all measures still inviolable. All oaths made, by politicians and soldiers alike, are not to the United States, but to its very constitution. The blame for this does lie largely on Trump and his misunderstanding and disrespect for the separations of power upheld by the US constutition, but this does not absolve the blame either from either the American people, who granted him his office, nor from the bipartisan group of congresspeople who have and continue to enable questionable behavior when it originates from within their own parties, and who the American people continue to reelect as though the choice is binary.
Fascism is not a system, but an ideology, best be described as advocacy for an ultra-nationalist often race based nation that includes elements of authoritarianism, suppression of dissent, and militarization of popular society. While Donald Trump may be adept at dog-whistles and crude rhetoric, he possesses no wish nor ability whatsoever to unite America under a race-based national agenda because it is simply impossible. While economic and societal differences may rob non-whites of opportunities, there is no way within the boundaries of the modern interpretations of the constitution to institute explicit policy-based discrimination. This is not to suggest that we should not be on guard against implicit gaps in opportunity, but such policies should probably not be labelled fascism, but more likely, class warfare perpetrated against all who inhabit the lower tiers of our socioeconomic hierarchy.
Thus, Trump may be a source for the breakdown in norms, which while overlooked is an essential part of constitutionalism. This refers not to the existence of a formative basic set of laws or procedures for governance, but also to the adherence and formalization of practice to these norms. Without the perceived supremacy of those laws, an effective, fair, and respected mediator for arbitrating disputes, and a neutral enforcement body and political system which respects the outcome of the mediator, a constitution may have form without function. Thus, a vote for Trump is certainly a vote against the turn towards tolerance for the centralization of power behind the executive branch. Trump is no more a fascist, though, than Obama was, breaking down the militarization of America by covering his cuts to the military and his weaknesses towards strongmen like Erdogan and Kim Jong Un with wild rhetoric with no basis in reality.
The question therefore is, is Biden a viable vote who don’t support this turn? There has been a clear conspiracy within the popular democratic left to promote Biden as the only viable candidate of the entire democratic race, with clear connections between Biden, the Cuomo dynasty within CNN and the government of New York State, and the corporate donors who keep criminals like Andrew Cuomo and Tom Perez, early coronavirus deniers, who are personally responsible for the deaths of potentially thousands, out of the solitary confinement prison cells where they deserve to die alone. The truth is the DNC is corrupt, non-representative, and largely similar on wide rafts of economic policy with Republicans, with both sides wildly different in their rhetoric, but nearly identical in terms of their actual policy production.
Rational Americans who recognize that the Democrats intend to maintain nearly every aspect of the Trump-era status quo need to think larger. Maine this year is instituting ranked-choice voting, a change in the administration of local elections that does not require constitutional change but may change the course of history by potentially allowing a third-party candidate to win when there is no fear of the consequences of a favored candidate coming in second place in a race. Political elites including politicians, political scientists, and the media corps argue for the integral nature of parties as gate keepers; they are now our prison guards, condemning us to an eternity of pro-capital policy which will deliver misery in the form of unrectified inequality, culture wars to distract us from the class warfare, and national stagnation.
The choice is not clear, nor is it easy. For real change, to save America, we must push our officials for what we want, we must advocate for third parties and the immediate institution of ranked-choice voting, but most importantly, we must appear at the ballot box to fundamentally reject the binary lie sold to us for the last two hundred years by the powers that be. The two party system has raped America, and we lie bleeding. Do we embrace our rapist and ask for four more years to get our house in order, or do we face the predator and finally fight back? Passivity belies death.
Staff writer: Ari B