Saturday, March 4, 2017

While the Left Eats Itself Authoritarians Consolidate Power

In November the United States elected a true authoritarian fascist to the most powerful position in the land. Since then President has moved very quickly to enact a far right attack on every democratic institution that stands against tyranny. I'll spare the details for now as I have been covering these moves in a separate post.

As the authoritarian right continues to consolidate it's power across the country the left is slowly eating itself. Besides the moves being made by the Trump administration to destroy any semblance of liberal democracy Republican state houses across the country are following the administration in goose step lock step with their fascist agenda. 

In North Dakota a bill has been proposed that would allow drivers to essentially run down protestors. In Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, and Iowa other bills are being introduced which would further crack down on protestors that block roads. In Arizona the legislature attempted to pass a bill which would have essentially reclassified protesting as racketeering and allowed for the seizure of the assets of protestors and those planning them if any sort of violence occurred, regardless of whether or not the violence was committed by the protestors themselves. Fortunately this proposal has been killed. Lest you think that states where the worst of these bills have been struck down will not try again let's keep in mind the Republicans hold 33 out of 50 governorships and control both houses in 32 out of 50 state legislatures. And as David Graham clearly illustrates in this Month's Atlantic Republican legislatures have been making concerted efforts at preemption of local laws in favor of a conservative agenda. And unfortunately those state legislatures are well within the bounds of the Constitution to continue subverting the will of the people in America's urban centers.

Meanwhile the left it destroying itself with infighting and disunity. After Trump's first address to a joint session of congress last Tuesday left of center commentators such as Van Jones bent over backwards to try and normalize this fascist by heaping praise on him for sticking to a script in a mediocre speech. Outside of the world of punditry progressives and liberals on social media  in groups such as The Revolution Continues continue to squabble over the Clinton e-mail non-scadal and Bernie Sanders loss in the Democratic primaries, while ignoring or marginalizing the very real possibility that Russia sought to manipulate our election to favor Trump, as they have done in many Eastern European countries. And as a slap in the face to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party the DNC elected yet another establishment tool to be their chair.

To end on a slightly more positive note there are some signs of hope on the left. There were of course millions of people who marched in Women's marches around the world the day after Trump's inauguration. And groups such as Indivisible and the Justice Democrats are making concerted, grassroots efforts to take the Democratic party back from the centrists. But if the most powerful on the left continue to normalize Trump's authoritarian agenda, and the base continues to sacrifice the good for the perfect then the right will only continue to consolidate it's choke hold over our democracy.

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