Election 2020

Competing Brands of Authoritarianism Are All Trump and Democratic Candidates Offer

The real resistance is made up of those who refuse to be governed by any of the wannabe rulers.

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Do presidential debates have you considering likely places to stash your cash? Do political polling results have you contemplating waiting it all out in a mountain retreat? Rest assured that you're not overreacting; you're sensibly responding to a political culture that has turned very welcoming to authoritarian candidates and intrusive policies.

There's a good chance that freedom in the days to come will be most available to those willing to hide from the state, break its laws, and sabotage its efforts.

If presidential types once—however insincerely—warned that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem," or promised that "the era of big government is over," the current crop of candidates prefer to offer up the state as the provider of all our needs, the soother of every concern, and the slayer of all our foes—especially those nasty fellow citizens who think and live differently.

Incumbent President Donald Trump has spent much of his first term catering to xenophobia. He demonizes foreigners, whether they want to come here as immigrants or just sell products to Americans. Immigration restrictions and protectionism inherently require a larger and more intrusive role for the state, leaving little room for a government that will just leave you alone. That trade and migration restrictions both inflict domestic economic damage seems largely irrelevant to his supporters, who embrace nativism as a cause in place of leaving people free to make their own way in the world.

The Democrats who hope to unseat Trump have also sidelined any talk of liberty in favor of appeals to envy and the desire for stuff paid for by somebody else. The wealth tax favored by candidates including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is likely unconstitutional. It's also bound to cripple economic dynamism while driving the rich—who not only have more money than you and I, but better financial advisers—to hide their cash overseas.

Many of the president's rivals are fond of promising "free" stuff, like college. It's a tempting offer for students groaning under debt burdens who don't realize that earlier government attempts to make college more accessible play a big role in soaring tuition. And never mind that "free" college is going to cheapen the value of the resulting credentials putting the supposed rewards of the policy further out of reach.

Candidates of both major parties offer something else that's likely to be expensive in the long run—an opportunity to punish rival political tribes through the force of law. Amidst lots of huffing and puffing about "deplorables" and "coastal elites," most of the candidates get lots of mileage out of channeling the partisan rage that too many Americans feel toward their fellow countrymen. Actually, those kinds of insults are becoming quaint, since calling opponents "traitors" is the popular new way of expressing strong disagreement.

And political disagreements these days really are strong. Just over 42 percent of the people in each party view the opposition as "downright evil," according to research published last year by Nathan P. Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason, political scientists at Louisiana State University and the University of Maryland. "Violence would be justified" if the opposing party wins the 2020 presidential election say 18 percent of the surveyed Democrats and 13 percent of Republicans.

There's not a lot of room for live-and-let-live in satisfying the demands of supporters who want to battle "downright evil" enemies.

In this climate of political animosity, it's no surprise that the leading candidates of the moment have lots of comfort with wielding the power of the state.

In addition to his taste for border controls and trade wars, the president has a penchant for threatening to use government against those who annoy him. Trump threatened both tax and antitrust actions against Amazon, explicitly linking his threats to criticism of his administration by The Washington Post, which shares Jeff Bezos as an owner.

Michael Bloomberg won Reason's ranking in 2013 as the number one enemy of freedom for his nanny-state approach to public health and personal choice, as well as "his enthusiasm for gun control, his illegal crackdown on pot smokers, and his unflagging defense of the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk program."

Current Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders appears to have (we hope) abandoned his early support for government takeovers of businesses including utilities and the oil industry. Likewise, he's no longer affiliated with the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party. But his brand of "democratic socialism" apparently offers lots of wiggle room for unilateral action, including the dozens of executive orders his campaign has reportedly prepared as a means of bypassing congressional opposition to his policies if he wins the presidency.

That's not to say that President Trump or his Democratic opponents are purely authoritarian across the board.

The president has promoted reductions in business regulation and promoted school choice, among the positive moves of his administration. Sanders calls for reining-in the surveillance state. Bloomberg slams his party's drift toward socialism in general and Sanders' history, in particular. Long-shot candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) even wants to end drug prohibition.

But these aren't the defining issues in a campaign in which candidates rarely propose leaving people alone, and no major-party candidate has made that a central feature of his or her campaign. Instead, this has turned into an election season defined by different flavors of control freakery, competing proposals to expand government, and warnings about the awesome power of the state to squash domestic opposition.

For those of us looking not for goodies or political thuggery, but for more breathing room instead, there's little encouragement to be found in the debates and the polls. Instead, we'll have to look for loopholes in laws, exceptions to intrusive policies, and ways to confound tax men and inspectors. Our real votes will be for preferred encryption software, places to hide our money and information, and caches for forbidden goods. If we want to retain or expand our freedom, we'll need to stay under the radar as we ignore the powers-that-be, or else make ourselves more trouble to push around than we're worth.

While Trump's Democratic opponents have spent the years since the last presidential election valorizing themselves as "the resistance," all they have to offer is a competing brand of authoritarianism. The real resistance is made up of those who refuse to be governed by any of the wannabe rulers.

NEXT: Greyhound Finally Says No to Random Border Patrol 'Checks' of Its Buses

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  1. New game. Somewhere in this article Tuccille almost tells the truth.
    Can anyone guess where?

    1. “The president has promoted reductions in business regulation and promoted school choice, among the positive moves of his administration.”

      ?

      1. What “school choice” really means to this administration is in effect Federal and State subsidies for religious schools/institutions via tax-breaks for those who choose to spend/donate their money to those religious institutions.

        And “Christian” religious schools in particular.

        1. Go back to Salon, and peddle your delusional christphobia there.

    2. “If we want to retain or expand our freedom, we’ll need to stay under the radar as we ignore the powers-that-be, or else make ourselves more trouble to push around than we’re worth.”

      Libertarians for running and hiding 2020

      1. I look forward to seeing the results of Tucille’s “resistance” – refusing to pay income tax or comply with any laws, I presume…

        1. Federal law enforcement will prioritize tax compliance over murder. You gotta choose your battles.

          1. As well at which hill you are willing to die on. I agree that collecting taxing is a very definite hill, on which people will die.

          2. The ability to tax is the ability to rule. Mull over that one for a while and everything else becomes clear.

            1. The power to tax is the power to destroy – SCOTUS

        2. Here are the guys that will be calling transvestites ‘Miss’ as soon as the government makes it illegal to misgender people.

          1. I’d wonder how that would be possible with that pesky First Amendment thing.

            1. Surely you’re not insinuating that you’re going to pick and choose which laws to follow.

    3. Trick question. Tuccille never tells the truth.

    4. His name is spelled correctly?

    5. The suspense is killing me!!!

      1. It was rhetorical, I was hoping for an answer.

  2. “There’s a good chance that freedom in the days to come will be most available to those willing to hide from the state, break its laws, and sabotage its efforts.”

    Welcome to the party, pal.

    Who do you think the audience for this article is, J.D.?

    1. I had no idea so many people here refuse to pay taxes, hide in plain sight, and actively work against the government. Who are these brave warriors?

      I think can hear Katys Perry’s fight song

      1. I had no idea

        No kidding.

        1. I like this idea so much, I think I’ll join in. How do we mobilize against the slavers?

          Surely Americans are doing so poorly it’ll be easy to get more people involved. Trump has obliterated the economy its no longer recognizable. I can’t even order body parts from chinese slave holders anymore because of tariffs.

          Trump must be stopped. He’s just like Bernie. Just like Bernie minus the additional 30 trillion in spending per year.

          1. You already admitted you had no idea. I’m not sure why you felt the need to prove it.

            1. Hahaha look at you cry

      2. Dude, I am trying to LARP here and you keep breaking character.

  3. “The real resistance is made up of those who refuse to be governed by any of the wannabe rulers.”

    lol yea ok just make sure you send in your w-2 by April 15.

    Real tough guys around here, huh?

    1. Some laws can be easily ignored. Others not so much.

      1. Resistance …. when convenient

        Resistance…. until Mom calls you up for supper

        Resistance…. me yelling at clouds on a website

        1. Quiet and complacent is the laziest form of resistance.

          1. What are you doing? How are you resisting? Pussy.

            1. Resistance…. me yelling at clouds on a website

        2. Says the pussy who payed his income tax and complies with everything else.

          1. New libertarian purity test: If you pay income taxes, you’re not a real libertarian.

          2. Don’t be so dramatic. Compliance to a system that has produced the most successful economy in the history of the world? Oh the horror.

            If you hate paying taxes so much you should love Trump, he’s the only guy looking to reduce the amount requested of you.

  4. “…there’s little encouragement to be found in the debates and the polls. Instead, we’ll have to look for loopholes in laws, exceptions to intrusive policies, and ways to confound tax men and inspectors.”

    Just do not forget to BEWARE of the Flute Police! To guard you and yours from the Long Arm of the Flute Police, read and heed!

    http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/

  5. When someone compares Bernie to Trump and says they’re both equally bad for freedom, I know they are retarded.

    1. I thought 2 Chilly was better than this.

      1. He often is better. KMW must have required him to up his TDS for more clicks and comments.

    2. +1000000000 — And based entirely on…

      “leaving little room for a government that will just leave ???-you-??? alone”, WTF is that B.S.!!!

      Tuccille uses the TERM ‘You’ IN-PLACE of Foreign or Illegal-Immigrants to manipulatively pretend that the aforementioned should just be left alone to their criminal/invasive practices.

      What a RIDICULOUS manipulative propaganda inducing claim…

    3. But look which commenters agree with him. It is a who who of posters with shallow arguments.

  6. Competing Brands of Authoritarianism Are All what almost all elections in US history have had to offer.

    What else is new?

    1. Yeah, there’s a subtle line between “I’m above the fray and all these idiots look interchangeable to me.” and “I’m as dumb as a hammer and I can’t tell these nails apart.”

    2. More of Reason’s recent bent for equivalency. [This tactic won’t get Gary Johnson elected either.] Enforcing US border and immigration laws against aliens is seen as “authoritarian” and equivalent to threatened Soviet-level seizure of owned assets and redistribution for political advantage.

      Sorry, but setting international trade policy is the province of the government in every country on the planet. Always has and will be. It is not equivalent to imposing previously tragic economic policy on the entire country. And advance bullshit on the Denmark retort that even the Prime Minister of Denmark scoffs.

    3. That’s just what I was thinking. The first time I could vote was in 1972 – choosing between an insane leftist and Nixon, who once heard that conservatives were fascists and believed it. 1976: Jimmy Carter never met a government program he didn’t like, and although Jerry Ford was no Nixon, he clearly wasn’t going to rock the boat. 1980: Carter had proved himself all he promised to be, and worse; Reagan talked about freedom, but never accomplished enough to even counterbalance his wife pushing for more drug war. 1984: Reagan was no better than before, and Mondale was worse. 1988: yet another government-expanding Democrat, vs. a government-expanding Republican (and a damned liar). 1992: After Bush I’s “read my lips” lie was fully revealed, Bill Clinton almost seemed to be the least authoritarian of three candidates… 1996: Bob Dole seemed to be trying to prove he liked big government as much as the Clintons. 2000: Two second-generation politicians, and clearly neither one would do anything to reduce the power of the political class. And so on…

      But there is a difference between Trump and anyone who might get the Democratic nomination: it’s the difference between authoritarian-light and AUTHORITARIAN. The Democrats have a range from full-on socialists like Bernie to full-on police statists like Kamala Harris and Biden.

  7. Looks like Reason has internalized the Trump derangement syndrome (formerly Clinton derangement syndrome) and bought into the newly established Sander derangement syndrome. They see an authoritarian Sanders before he even takes office. Never mind that to get anything done that he wants will take super-majorities. If he uses executive orders at best they will be to re-establish Obama-era policies and that was not an authoritarian time.

    Reason also wants to ignore that we live in a world where the wealthy and the corporate giants corrupt the political landscape and scam us on a regular basis. Millions go to prison for insignificant crimes while the wealthy get off. But Reason sees nothing wrong with that. Along comes a politician who truly wants to end the plutocracy and they cry authoritarianism and pull a both-sides argument putting Sanders next to Trump. Next thing you know they will start pointing out how Sanders exhales carbon dioxide while claiming to want to lowr CO2 emissions. The gall!

    1. “…they will be to re-establish Obama-era policies and that was not an authoritarian time.”

      Da fuck?

      Along with “a politician who truly wants to end the plutocracy.” Presumably describing the guy who waited to take a dive last election until he could have his lake or ocean-front mansion, his R8, and a corporate jet at his beck and call. Yeah, that guy is all about destroying the plutocracy. Well, until they give him a healthy cut of it.

      I mean, what fucking color is the sky in your world?

    2. “Millions go to prison for insignificant crimes while the wealthy get off. But Reason sees nothing wrong with that.”

      Uh Reason has plenty of problem with that. They have for years. Try searching this site for War on Drugs, or Criminal Justice Reform.

      “Along comes a politician who truly wants to end the plutocracy and they cry authoritarianism and pull a both-sides argument putting Sanders next to Trump.”

      If you don’t understand that the only way for Sanders to “end the plutocracy” is to give him the authoritarian control necessary to be another Lenin, Stalin, Castro, or Chavez, then you are a fool. If you don’t understand that Sanders would BECOME another Lenin, Stalin, Castro, or Chavez despite his years-long record praising Lenin, Stalin, Castro and Chavez, then you are a fucking liar.

      1. Try searching this site for discussion of comey, mccabe, etc for lying and obstruction.

        Hell when they talked about trump pardons they ignored every pardon that wasnt political to try to make some point.

        1. “Try searching this site for discussion”

          You mean some conversation in which you were not a part.

    3. “If he uses executive orders at best they will be to re-establish Obama-era policies and that was not an authoritarian time.”

      You can see the future?

      Whats that power ball number this week? I want to win before Bernie makes it a crime.

    4. “Millions go to prison for insignificant crimes while the wealthy get off. But Reason sees nothing wrong with that.”

      Not entirely true. Reason is pretty consistent with crinimal justice reform. Unfortunately they rarely point out how often Democrats abuse authority and get away with it. Just yesterday it was confirmed the Obama administration lied to spy on the Trump campaign. Must be too local to cover.

      1. “Just yesterday it was confirmed the Obama administration lied to spy on the Trump campaign”

        Source, please?

        1. It was quite some time ago, so not fully accurate.

          1. Lost in the mists of time?

        2. The Mueller report?

    5. You concern-trolled poorly.

    6. “They see an authoritarian Sanders before he even takes office. Never mind that to get anything done that he wants will take super-majorities.”

      Uh what? You with the Sanders disinformation bureau or just completely ignorant of constitutional requirements?

      I can’t think of a single thing on Sanders’ agenda that requires more than a simple [not super] majority. Doubling taxes, forgiving debt, amnesty for illegals, crippling border control, doubling minimum wage, spending, nationalizing employers, etc. Now the last one of course is subject to lawsuits and being declared unconstitutional, but it seems Sanders has little regard for that other when it suits his interests.

    7. Yeah, its like kicking 100 million people off their current health insurance, and wealth confiscation, and terminating a half million people from their fracking jobs without compensation is worse than enforcing our current immigration laws.

    8. “They see an authoritarian Sanders before he even takes office.”

      Well, he’s campaigning on being an authoritarian, so why not?

    9. Wut? Bernie Sanders is Obama without a leash. Everything Obama said he wanted to do, Bernie would do. He idolized the Soviets in the worst era of their history. He owns three houses and blabbers on and on about wealth inequality. His followers are already promising violence if they don’t get their way. What are they going to do when in power?

  8. So any exercise of government authority to control immigration or foreign trade is according to reason “authoritarianism” equivalent to things like the Green New Deal.

    Maybe some day reason will stop raping the English language. Words have meaning and there is such a thing as degrees and qualitative difference.

    1. That trade and migration restrictions both inflict domestic economic damage seems largely irrelevant to his supporters, who embrace nativism as a cause in place of leaving people free to make their own way in the world.

      Um, discouraging theft of IP and keeping out swarms of decidedly authoritarian folks is defense of the nation. If that’s nativist, then we need more nativists.

    2. BOOOOOTH SSSIIIIIDES, to be sure

  9. Surprised there isn’t a Dalmia column on Trump’s “please buy and or make our stuff” trip to India.

    This tweet from the Trump team is interesting, given the US’s desire to pull out of Afghanistan: https://twitter.com/TeamTrump/status/1231968580738207747

    “As we continue to build our defense cooperation, the United States looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet.”

    Take that, Pakistan. Would unification be impossible?

  10. Isn’t this article an example of authoritarianism? Seems to me the biggest problem is people trying to tell us how to think, and it’s even worse when they do so from a cloud-cuckoo fantasy island.

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

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    1. Dude. Change your name to lovetrump2020 or something.

    2. Hahahahaha!!!! That’s funny right there. Caught it on the scroll-by.

  12. Reality Check “First and foremost, Hitler saw the State as the ideal form of social organization; managed by people dedicated to making it finer and stronger. Wrong! He failed totally to get his premise right, i.e., that individual humans each own themselves, and should interact only when and how each wishes to do so – in what we call the “market.” This fundamental error he shares with all who favor the continuing existence of government. Thus, at root, every politician is a Nazi.” From: http://strike-the-root.com/monster-in-making

    1. There’s a vast ocean of differences between “social organization” and “individual justice” (i.e. Fair play).

  13. When has it ever been any different?

  14. So trump get the US out of the Paris climate agreement and is at war with the EPA and Sanders wants to band fossil fuels and nuclear power. One leads to greater wealth, the other to death.

    1. Sigh. Ok, I’ll be the one to say it.

      “Band”?

      “How dare you”?

      Haha

  15. Libertarians cannot win in the USA as things are currently configured. Both parties have cemented in lobbying as part of the “American system” to continue the status quo (in degree). Until the economy implodes liberterian-ism does not have a chance to succeed. And to be honest liberterians loose the majority of morality driven voters (Christians) since they believe liberterians have a weak view of morality. A lot of Americans still believe that government should still be an enforcer of morality.

    1. Big L libertarians can’t win, and that’s a good thing.

      Little l libertarians need to make progress through changing the two parties, gradually.

      That’s a good thing.

    2. Good post.

  16. Both sides! You guys, BOTH SIDES!

    Golf clap for TooSilly.

    Shit’s getting old Reason, almost as old as Bernie’s tighty whiteys.

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  18. Libertarians need to focus on promoting the NAP. Stopping government from initiating force is the main priority.

    1. It may the the “main priority,” but since collectivist ideologies (racism, socialism, etc.) inexorably lead to violence, they must be opposed stridently.

  19. Authoritarianism:
    -the enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.
    -lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others.

    I don’t see how you can accuse Trump of the first definition, but I will concede he doesn’t give a shit about your wishes or opinions. And I know Sanders could care less about my opinions.

  20. As is often the case, we look to the least democratic branch of government to protect our freedoms. The irony is not lost, and it’s really not even irony.

  21. And here I thought Reason had reached peak estrogenated histrionics and was starting to sound a little more reasonable on their shrill headlines.

  22. Another Reason article that is no more than a potshot from the peanut gallery. That seems to be the fate of Libertarians. How about real support for Libertarian or Libertarian leaning candidates in state elections, Congressional and Senate elections? Unfortunately Gary Johnson selected Weld as his running mate last election and appeared to lose interest when he was not in the debates.
    Need to actually get some like minded in office to at least have influence. Reason is looking like no more than a crying towel safe space for Libertarians.

    1. Good luck with that. The R’s and D’s are firmly in control and will remain so for a long time to come. Beyond anyone living now’s lifetime, anyway.

  23. I hate most humans

    1. finally something libertarian around here

  24. Incumbent President Donald Trump has spent much of his first term catering to xenophobia. He demonizes foreigners, whether they want to come here as immigrants or just sell products to Americans.

    It’s like reading a Soviet Pravda article about the United States. What you do is utterly reprehensible.

  25. That trade and migration restrictions both inflict domestic economic damage seems largely irrelevant to his supporters,

    When you’re starting from the wrong economic premises, it’s not surprising that you reach the wrong economic conclusions. Unilateral opening of borders to goods and services is not free trade or free movement of people.

    who embrace nativism as a cause in place of leaving people free to make their own way in the world.

    In what way is Trump’s policy “nativist”? Do you even know what the word means? Or are you deliberately misusing it because of its negative associations?

    1. I disagree. I understand the libertarian argument for open borders and free trade, and I agree with them in principle. However, until we eliminate the welfare state, open borders is a non-starter. It’s not supportable. Further, you can’t have free trade with an economy like China’s because China is manipulating their economy to deliberately drain the U.S. If Reason wants to champion libertarianism, they should be pushing hard against the welfare state and being honest about what we’re facing in China, not being the school marm on anything and everything Trump does that they disagree with. There’s an entire world of individual rights abuses they don’t even see because Orange Man Bad sells papers.

      1. I disagree.

        With what?

        I understand the libertarian argument for open borders and free trade, and I agree with them in principle

        I do too. However, “open borders and free trade” are not what Reason promotes. Open borders and free trade means free movement of people, goods, and services in both directions.

        There are economic arguments to be made for unilaterally dropping tariffs or unilaterally making immigration easy, but whether or not they apply to the US, it is incorrect to refer to such policies as “open borders and free trade”.

    2. Exactly. What was sold to us as “free trade” was really just propping up Western Europe, Canada and Mexico, and assuming if we bent over backwards for the Chinese somehow the dictatorship would magically collapse. Free trade is reciprocal. No Tariffs on our goods, no tariffs on others’ goods. The same for immigration, we open our borders other countries must do the same. This is why Trump won Americans are tired of being expected to solve the world’s problems.

  26. I will keep the current form of authoritarianism where I get to keep my guns, keep my doctor, choose the schools that educate our children, am less burdened by taxes and regulations, with increasing liberalization of drug laws, less government interference in the your personal life, where almost 1 million foreigners became citizens last year and over 10% of the population is foreign born.

  27. Sadly, it seems … the vast majority of the American people actually “want” a President who is in effect a king/queen. A quasi royal family .. even better.

    The only real dispute is whether that “king” or “queen” should be a conservative christian one and impose christian values upon the populace or secular “king” or “queen” who will allow no place in government for religious values.

    Those who want neither are in a distinct minority. The revolt against the lurch (on both ends of the political spectrum) towards authoritarian autocratic militaristic corporatism will be a long time coming – if ever.

    So … go back to cleaning your AR-15’s and re-counting your stash of MRE’s. Nothing’s going to change in that regard anytime soon.

    1. The percentage of the electorate wanting a conservative Christian is pretty small. The majority of Americans want the federal government to protect the borders, not hurt people, not mess up the economy, and otherwise leave people alone.

    2. One correction: progressive authoritarians do indeed promote religious values. They embrace all kinds of mystical ideologies, from socialism/communism to environmentalism, and have hard core beliefs taken on faith. No sky pilot required.

    3. What’s missing? Conservatives trying to revoke rights.

      1A- Name a conservative mob that violently tries to suppress liberal speech?
      2A- Name a conservative mob that wishes to limit this right?

  28. “There’s a good chance that freedom in the days to come will be most available to those willing to hide from the state, break its laws, and sabotage its efforts.”

    Highly unlikely. Freedom, like privacy, will be most available to those with the money to buy it.

  29. “If we want to retain or expand our freedom, we’ll need to stay under the radar as we ignore the powers-that-be, or else make ourselves more trouble to push around than we’re worth.”

    The people of the ex-Soviet Union wanted to expand their freedom but didn’t try to ‘stay under the radar.’ They got out into the streets and demonstrated, sometimes going to prison for their troubles. They pilfered from the state. They used unauthorized black markets. They dragged their feet and worked to rule. They mocked their rulers. These are the sorts of things ordinary people can and will do when authoritarians are threatening their freedom. Staying under the radar will only help the authoritarian freedom infringers.

  30. Oh the “both sides” argument. So Trump enforcing existing immigration laws takes away my liberty?
    How? That’s your equivalence?

    I could write a book on the liberties the D candidates wish to taker away.

    Another dumb Reason article. I’m astonished LOL

  31. I think that you are looking in the wrong place for anti-authoritarianism if you look to the Presidency. The nature of the executive branch tends to bring out the strongest authoritarian tendencies. I would suggest that Congress needs to be the point on preventing the executive branch from being too authoritarian. Congress can do this in two ways. The first and most important is to effectively legislate on problems and issues so the executive is not delegated to address these with EOs. Second is for the President’s own party to oppose their President when necessary. This is a balancing act to support their President and yet demand respect for their own branch. Today’s Congress does neither of these.

  32. Competing brands of authoritarianism is all this republic ever had to offer, now they’re just competing at Trump’s level. All our political system offers 90% of us is two brands of betrayal and nobody can do betrayal like Liberals, they are the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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  35. I agree with Tuccille’s basic premise. But the two sides cannot be equivocated. The Democratic Party is now defined as socialist, which by definition means totalitarian. The Republican Party has picked up the mantel of welfare state capitalism. In terms of authoritarianism, comparing the Trump Republican Party to the Democratic Party is like comparing a pickpocket to a murderer.

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