Media Criticism

Junk Science Alert: Washington Post Says Data Prove the GOP Has Grown More Authoritarian But Democrats Have Not

Trump is a wannabe despot, but let's not pretend the other side is flawless.


President Donald Trump's refusal to concede the 2020 election is an embarrassing low for a Republican Party that has grown increasingly detached from reality. But I can't agree with a Washington Post article arguing that it's evidence the party has embraced "rising authoritarianism."

Don't misunderstand me: There's a strong argument to be made that Trump has presided over a decrease in human freedom, moving the government in a more authoritarian direction. In his case against the presidentReason's Matt Welch called him an "erratic authoritarian," citing the president's bad impulses on immigration, trade, and countless other areas.

But the Post article attempts to quantify the GOP's slide toward authoritarianism, citing a research paper by the V-Dem Institute. According to this organization, the GOP has moved in a markedly illiberal direction since 2006, while the Democratic Party…has not budged at all.

"The Republican Party score started to edge downward during the Obama administration but fell off a cliff in 2016 with the ascent of Trump," says The Post, summarizing V-Dem's data. "The Democratic Party, by contrast, hasn't changed much."

There's a problem with this analysis: It relies on "data" that aren't really data at all.

V-Dem's study draws from subjective scores provided by 600 political scientists who were asked to rate the parties on various issues. Several of these do not have a direct correlation with illiberalism: The scientists considered parties' "anti-elitism," "invocation of religion," and failure to provide "state support for working women," among other things.

Lo and behold:

An additional chart suggests a similar trajectory on the subject of "demonization of opponents":

Is the Democratic Party really no more inclined to demonize its opponents today than it was in 1970? Such a claim simply does not square with reality—but again, there's no real science being done here. These are just political scientists' subjective opinions, not rigorous measurements of anything.

No doubt violent crimes have been committed in Trump's name. But violent crimes have also been committed by people in the anti-Trump camp. Let's not pretend that there's some vast wave of Trump-fueled and Trump-endorsed violence and no equivalent intolerance on the other side whatsoever. In fact, when it comes to violence, the under-publicized reality is that non-ideological violence—for which neither party's rhetoric deserves blame—is far, far more common than political violence.

Political scientists should feel free to simply criticize Trump and the GOP—such criticism is well deserved. But fancy charts that prove the Republicans are authoritarians while the Democrats are perfect angels with an unchanging and unmoving love of civility, tolerance, and nonviolence…come on. They're about as scientific as the political spectrum chart below.

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  1. lol WaPo …

    1. WaPo is trash and so is this study. Democrats have been demonizing their opponents just as much as Republicans.

      1. For example, there was this smear article in the Washington Post…

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      2. I would say more than the republicans. Where the DEMOCRATS demonize the candidate the republicans target the policies. It has been the democrats who have called Trump every except a human, even equating him to HITLER. Where the republicans have just characterized the stated policies of destroying the economy and will drive the US into bankruptcy. But that may be the very object that some of the democrats/progressives are aiming for because they know from history that it is easier to take over a country during a turmoil and high unemployment. Then the citizens and residents of the US would be completely dependent on the government. if the people is dependent on the government for their food do you think that the people will oppose what the government does as long as they get a little food. By then the government will be in complete control of the government and the people that used to be the masters but now have become the slaves.

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      3. The Republicans have been clearly moving towards an authoritarian extreme, but they neglect to talk about the Democrat time in all of this. Bill Clinton decided to run on as centrist platform. Since then the Democrats have made the astoundingly stupid strategy that they would be the center party ina two party system.

        This has had some very unfortunate results.
        1. It has left those on the left without a voice or representation until fairly recently. The Democrat party now fights against those on the left as forgot add they do the party of the right.
        2. The Republican party has had to move further and further to the right in order to differentiate itself. It has been experimenting with embracing authoritarian figured, racists, and terrorist groups that call themselves militias, but aren’t activated by governor or president and don’t answer to any elected civilian authority.
        3. The results of moving to the center is national policy that is increasingly further and further to the right. By starting every negotiation from the center, while Republicans start at increasing extremes to the right, and resulting policy born by negotiation is firmly in the conservative camp! It is a losing proposition to start negotiating from the center. They should be negotiating from the left. Instead they give up most of them positions they should be embracing without asking for anything in exchange from an increasingly radicalized Republican party.

        Lol at the response of Republican leadership lately. Instead of investigating to see if Trump has any actual evidenceof election fraud, they instead firmly lined up behind an increasingly disturbed Trump, and ignored the increasingly bizarre but if evidence that Trump offered. When you look at the actual lawsuits it gets crazier. Trump’s lawyers have denied any fraud or election tampering had taken place. This is because there is no evidence of such, and filling a suit claiming election fraud when you have no evidence can lose you your license to practice law.

        In other words McConnel and Graham seem to have knowingly gotten behind and attempt to discredit our election system anda possible attempt to install an illegal authoritarian dictator. This should concern you. It scares the hellout of me.

        The Democrat party needs to back off their positions, which have been increasingly to the right of center. In fact they are currently fairly much to right of Ronald Reagan.

        They need to move back to the center left, and start backing the American worker. They need to embrace the idea that the American citizen currently enjoys fewer rights than those that are giveny the citizens ofour allied nations. They need to embrace the idea that Americans should have the same rights and freedoms enjoyed by people ask over this world.

        Give the Republicans room to out of the extremist corner they find themselves in. Otherwise we won’t ever be able to get anything done at all.

        1. This may be the stupidest analysis ever written

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        2. Bill Clinton and JFK would both be well into the “moderate” wing of the GOP on today’s spectrum; the historical perspective of Reagan has been so distorted over the last 30 years that it’s hard to really say where he’d be these days but I’m not sure he’d be thrilled to see how entrenched the parties have become, especially since the move toward that entrenchment seems to have started in his first term. It’s hard to say whether one party or the other really “started it”, but it’s taken both sides working together to keep it propagating.

          I’ve got no defense of trump, Graham, or McConnell, but the idea of the Dem party being “centrist” might fit in a place like Venzuela, but any group which gives any reverence to ideologues like “the Squad”, and gives any credence to their ideas is hardly pursuing the middle in any way, shape, or form.

      4. Yeah, because Republicans are the ones out there compiling an enemies list of all those Biden supporters.

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    2. This is nonsense.
      Democrats are the party of draconian 2nd Amendment infringements and efforts to infringe on the 1st Amendment as well.
      All about control

      1. Not JUST 2A. There’s education, healthcare, and energy (disguised as climate change legislation). Dems want control of your life …. because they’re smarter than you. /sarc off

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      2. Ha! There’s a lot more to it than that.

        Ever hear of Title 9? It now means if you are a student accused of rape or sexual harassment, you have no right to a trial or even to have representation. Accusation equals guilt. Period.

        How about militarization of police? Do you think only Republican-leaning cities have cops who just want to play with military gear all day long?

        Then there’s 4th Amendment protections. Do you think they want to disband the NSA and FBI? Hardly. Those groups are essential to identifying dissidents.

  2. I’m sorry robby but how else do you describe the poor boy/quanon riots and looting in june as anything but trump enabled by trump. Clearly this was americas own burning of the reichstag. don’t be an apologist for literal nazis.

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    2. Are you really this stupid?

      1. Withhold judgment, he may be one of our aspiring satirists.

      2. Your sarcasm is broken

      3. He’s trying to get a job as a writer for reason magazine.

    3. Poor boy is a sandwich. Don’t be too proud to admit it.

      1. Poor boys play down on the corner, with their pal, Willie.

  3. Heh. Will anything less than total worship and unquestioning obedience of President Harris, er Biden be socially acceptable?

    1. It will be for Biden but definitly not for Harris. The only question I have for the near future will be if Harris criticism will be labeled as racist and sexist or sexist and racist.

      1. Probably ableist.

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      2. She’s a miserable slaver cop, so I’d think it would be more like “everyone who criticizes the GreatResetVector is a priori a criminal”.

        1. Rexist would imply a prejudice against the monarch, so I assume she’ll go with that one.

  4. That last chart is awesome.

    1. I think the top is supposed to say “How often party leaders demonize Democrats”

    2. Seems like a fairly accurate representation of today’s level of critical thought.

    3. I need to have my students cite it as evidence.

  5. WaPo is taking a page from Reddit/science. It’s a steady parade of studies purporting to show that republicans are bad. Even global warmism can’t get a word in edgewise.

    1. The lack of awareness (and actual science) at r/science is breathtaking.
      It’s like if the I Fucking Love Science and Snapchat commentariats had a baby.

      1. It is “I Love Fucking Science”!

        1. And they love it so much that Science is on the floor torn, bloody and with an everted butthole.

          1. Thank you so much for that image.

          2. I think that’s where my bacon comes from.

        2. I Love to Fuck Science.

      2. I finally unsubscribed.

        I had hoped it might have some interesting news etc but it manages to be the worst mix of autistic moderation and leftwing bullshit.

        Which of course describes 99% of Reddit.

      3. It’s for people that want to say they are scientific but don’t know how to read scientific journals.

  6. The tendency for right wing voters to support authoritarianism has been documented in studies for quite a while. This is nothing new. If you look at the common theme on many of their policies, you see the pattern clearly. If you look at their rhetoric, is is even worse.

    1. …and Freedom is Slavery, and War is Peace.

      1. I bet you think Orwell was a capitalist.

        1. And you think he wrote how to guides.

          1. I remember when the Clear Skies Initiative was the height of Republican Orwellianism.

            These past four years I got to actually legitimately witness millions of people learn to love Big Brother.

            1. What big brother did they learn to love?

                1. That doesn’t even make sense. See, you are a troll.

                  1. I was going by “big” as in “older,” but if we’re going by “retard face” it might be Eric with the bigger one.

                    1. Wow, that was just sad. I’m actually embarrassed for you for that comment.

                2. Tony, I have a theory that your comments here are in fact part of a cunning plan to get yourself labeled as a severe retard so you can collect government benefits.

              1. To be fair, Tony’s not wrong that a large swath of the country learned to love big brother.

                He just doesn’t realize his side IS Big Brother.

    2. Lol…call me when they violate every American’s civil rights by violating the 4th A by spying on us illegally.

    3. The studies are garbage. Anyone with a brain understands the underlying subjectivity. It goes back to post modernist thought. The Poli Sci majors believe republicans to be authoritarian, so their subjective measurements prove it. All they are proving is their own bias.

      1. Calling them ‘studies’ elevates their status unreasonably. They are opinion surveys, on a hand-picked sample set designed to give a desired result. It’s like asking a group of Dallas Cowboys fans which team is best and calling the compiled results a study that proves the Cowboys are the best team.

    4. Good point. Those right wing authoritarians want to control how much water we use, what kind of vehicles we use, how much energy we consume, and they were the first to initiate lockdowns and shut down businesses.

      Oh…. wait….

      1. Good thing you weren’t happy their opponents lost. Because if you were that would mean you’d have to realized you tacitly approved of the winners who want to do those things. Then it would get awkward.

    5. It hasn’t ever been documented. It’s just a perennial smear the left hauls out every time somebody complains about their authoritarian behavior.




    7. The tendency for LEFT WING voters to support authoritarianism has ALSO been documented in studies for quite a while.

      Does Molly know the difference between “studies” and “science”?

    8. So, I guess explains Reps being in favor competition in education, choice in healthcare/insurance, firearms rights, all-of-the-above energy production, and free speech, even on the internet.

  7. Notice that the article does not even consider political views like the left’s shit toward more state-socialism as being authoritarian.

    It’s more like a personality report of attitudes

    “Trump is a wannabe despot, but let’s not pretend the other side is flawless.”

    Right, they do have 1 or 2 few flaws ?

  8. Is this like the New York Times calling every police chief around the country and asking them if they’re corrupt and racist, and therefore proving that there is no racism or corruption in America’s policing?

    1. Anything appearing in WaPo does not deserve an instant of attention, especially anything about politics. Weekly World News stories about Elvis statues on Mars have more credibility.

  9. I’m sure Robby’s expert analysis definitely disproves it then..

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  11. There’s a strong argument to be made that Trump has presided over a decrease in human freedom, moving the government in a more authoritarian direction.

    Only if you believe reduced taxes, more economic freedoms, reductions of regulations, lessening of crimes, etc is more authoritarian.

    1. I’ll even add troop reductions, leaving Afghanistan, Abraham accords…

      1. Don’t forget freedom from cheap imports and brown people who speak Spanish.

        1. And he sure fooled a lot of them into voting for him, Puerile. Those brownies do not know what is good for them, white savior.

          1. He got like 35%. I realize in the fever swamps of rightwing media, that’s a landslide victory. “Oh thank god, some brown people. Now we’re only a 90% white party.”

            1. Trump has a knack for tricking people into hating themselves, and betraying their race — which also explains why he lost ground with the white male voter.

              1. He has a knack for being a vulgar charlatan, which predictably turns some people off and some people on.

                1. You have a knack for churning out non-sequiturs.

                  1. Trump is a vulgar charlatan. This (apparently) appeals to some people, largely men, both white and Latino.

                    The real problem I see is that white men in America are the most likely to vote for a vulgar charlatan yet insist that they are at the apex of human civilization. What gives?

                    1. “The real problem I see is …. white men in America[.]”

                      We know, Tony.

                    2. Yet Trump gained with all demographics except white males, the only losing demographic. Hmmmm. Maybe basing what people think solely on the color of their skin and their sex is not the best means to approach political analysis. I know this is tough to hear for a progressive as identity politics is a core institution, but maybe give it a thought.

                    3. “…..the apex of civilization…..”

                      Well, um, awkward, but white people ain’t sneaking in to….

                      Haha. You know the rest. We’re irresistible, but we ain’t better, right tony?

                    4. Trump gained with all demographics except white males…
                      Looks like he was pretty shitty at being the misogynistic white supremacist the left claimed he was.

            2. Half of Latinos do not support illegal immigration. Yohre a fucking racist whi believes all of them are the same.


              1. Does anyone support *illegal* immigration? I’m not seeing that cross tab.

                1. You do.

                  1. Well, in fairness, he doesn’t believe that any immigration should be illegal, therefore there’s technically no such thing as “illegal” immigration.

                    1. To understand the retard, one must become the retard.

            3. I’ll take it as a good start. But it must be terrifying for you.

            4. The republicans ran lots of black and Hispanic candidates this election cycle. Many of whom were also women. Funny though, the democrats still voted for white men. Mostly old ones.

            5. Haha. Yeah. White people are terrible, eh tony?

              1. Just extremely whiny. But only the conservative ones.

                1. Never met any Ivy League nor Seven Sisters students/recent grads, have you?

        2. 1 million a year for legal immigrants.

          And you seem proud to support cultures that participate in ethnic cleansing as long as you get things a few cents cheaper. Of course then you’d have to include the increased costs of other goods from the same country committing theft. But that’s 2 levels of deep inspection, so you’ll ignore it.

          Talk about principles.

        3. By the way dear. The regulatory costs promised by your guy will be much higher than the targeted retaliatory tariffs ever were.

          Enjoy your choices like the idiot you are.

        4. Don’t forget freedom from cheap imports and brown people who speak Spanish.

          Pop quiz…

          Who ejected Spanish-speaking “brown people” from the U.S. at a higher annual rate?:

          A) The current Republican POTUS.
          B) The previous Democrat POTUS.

          1. The reality is that Trump’s immigration and trade policies were pretty much run of the mill stuff. Both HRC and Obama voted for border barriers in 2006 and Obama set records for deportations. The claim that Trump was uniquely authoritarian is pure bullshit. Despite his tweets Trump respected federalism and let the states manage medical MJ and covid. If he lost a battle in court he moved on. Biden has already promised to be far more authoritarian in his first 100 days than Trump was in 4 years.

        5. Another white racist liberal wants to tell “brown people” how they are supposed to think.

      2. These “accomplishments” all fit on one side of the scale and you are conveniently ignoring the other end of the scale, the much weightier end, where perched in ignominy are Donald Trump’s tweets. You Trumpistas have no sense of right and wrong. Disgusting.

        1. It’s like Jesse doesn’t even understand how a mean tweet is far more fascist than perpetual war.

          1. It’s almost like how you don’t understand that just because a fat orange head of state tells you he did something, that doesn’t necessarily make it so. You believe he did something good about America’s perpetual wars because that’s what he told you, not because you’ve read a single goddamn piece of information about the matter.

            1. So when the Democrats announced that they thought the withdrawal from Afghanistan was “precipitous”, they really didn’t want another generation of US troops there, or in Germany?

              What metric do you use for the actual drawing-down of a conflict?

              1. Decreasing rather than increasing drone murders of civilians would be one.

                On Afghanistan, let’s compromise and let Biden make the call. Trump is clearly an idiot with no complex thoughts about foreign policy beyond xenophobic pet peeves. Since we’re in Afghanistan to check the fundamentalist Muslim nuclear state next door, it seems prudent to let someone who’s not a reactionary clown make such calls.

                1. So, what you are saying is, you are okay with some level of drone murder?

                  1. If the only alternative is in-person murder, sure, but I wonder if we can’t get on without murdering foreigners at all.

                    I’m going to be very generous and assume none of you were here furiously jacking off to the Bush war at the time.

                    1. Tony hopes you were jacking it to war, anyway. That’s his fetish.

                    2. In a world where the alternative to drone murder is murder face to face, Tony chooses drone murder. Make sure you let them know your preferences so that they vaporize you from above during your routine hike to the methadone clinic. Getting stabbed to death by a hired gun (ironic, huh?) when you are strung out is not the most pleasant way to go.


                      The part about “furiously jacking off” leaves far too little to the imagination. If you are going to play the gay tantalization game, you are going to have to be far more subtle than that.

                2. You’re confused, as Biden is a reactionary clown. He also shit his diapers.

                3. Haha. That’s a compromise to you?


          2. I’m trying to learn. But I don’t have vox explanations to work with.

            1. ENB can help.

        2. And that’s how you do sarcasm

          1. Was way better than anything chipper or sarcasmoc have ever done.

    2. Don’t forget reducing taxes tariffs on Chinese imports, saving us consumers a ton of money.

      1. And now you get totalitarian leftism. No biggie, since it’s pretty much the exact same, right?

      2. Well, he recognized the 2-5% costs estimated on theft. He actually understands China has never acted as a free market partner. He doesn’t deny reality. You choose to. That’s on you.

      3. I am actually curious. So you actually believe the costs of those retaliatory tariffs are greater than the promised regulations and tax increases under biden? Were they even larger than just the tax cuts? Because if you say no, then you are saying you agree things became less authoritarian over all. Goos luck answering.

  12. Meanwhile, a mere handful of days after the mainstream media proclaimed — with all of its constitutional authority — that Joe Biden is President, and after Cuomo unilaterally locked down the state of New York on a whim, Fauci exhorts us to take our spirit of independence, shove it up our ass, and do as we are told.

    We all know what comes next.

    But, please, tell us again how Donald Trump is an unconstrained despot.

  13. Is the Democratic Party really no more inclined to demonize its opponents today than it was in 1970?

    CNN compares Trump to Nazis purging Jews

    1. It is not demonization if it is true. Are you really going to argue that Republicans are not Nazis? What are you? A Nazi? Figures.

      1. CNN is engaging in Holocaust denial. Literally, and I’m using that word correctly. This is basically “Hitler didn’t feed 11-16 million humans into gas chambers and ovens, all he did was lock up a few hundred or a few thousand Jews who were trying to sneak into Nazi Germany to get away from far worse behavior elsewhere”.

        1. The holocaust was nothing compared to routine border enforcement and bog standard immigration controls.

          1. Kid’s are in cages. CAGES! I mean really, Obama is a literal Nazi. Even the Jews got bungalows.

  14. Blaming Jews for the spread of the coronavirus is anti-Semitism pure and simple

    For example, the Orthodox Jewish community in New Rochelle, N.Y. — one of the first to be hit by the disease — has been singled out and blamed collectively and cruelly for the spread of the coronavirus.

    Now, we are seeing outright hostility against the Haredi world.

    Social media — primarily Facebook — has become so charged with accusations blaming the virus on Haredi Jews that some are now calling for depriving their communities of medical assistance, or even responding with violence. And there have been calls for the institution of martial law or the military cordoning off of entire Haredi towns or villages.

    On Monday, a police officer allegedly went further and reportedly called for a bomb to be dropped on the heavily populated Orthodox town of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, N.Y.

    1. But don’t forget, it’s Trump and the Republicans that are the real Nazis.

      1. Seeing Trump and his Jewish offspring in a kippah praying at the Kotel, was literally Hitler.

    2. I blame Jews for voting Democrat.

  15. We finally democratically voted out the worst tyrant since Hitler, who actually gets a bad rap because at least he loved animals and ate lentils instead of well done steak. We should have been so lucky to have Hitler over last 4 years…but instead we had an evil orange monster with unlimited power who we were able to easily vote out…even before the final votes were tallied.

    I can barely even remember the time before the dark era of his tweets showing up in my feed all the time because the Russians forced me to follow him, and I doubt I will ever know true love and happiness again without that lurking in my unconscious. But I can try.

  16. Alright, these moronic “both sides” lines like “Trump is a wannabe despot, but let’s not pretend the other side is flawless” are getting so stupid they are becoming comical.

    No, Trump is not a wannabe despot, given the chance to rule heavily with the onset of COVID, the dude left it to everyone else and went and played golf. Trump’s problem for the establishment is not that he was too much a dictator it was that he’s a moron who really doesn’t care. And truthfully, people who don’t care actually aren’t all that scary because they aren’t the ones that turn into dictators.

    The level of reality detachment that most of the media has engaged in during the Trump presidency better get itself figured out, because this is becoming insufferable.

    1. Trump’s biggest asset was not caring.

      He didn’t care about SCOTUS nominees.

      We need more politicians who don’t care and will leave us alone.


  18. Who needs data? Authoritarian regimes (and their coup attempts) are never identical, but this is about as paint-by-numbers as it gets.

    Also there’s all the blatant voter suppression. You know the reason all these swing states have Democratic governors but majority-Republican legislatures? Because a majority of the citizens of those states voted for Democrats, but Republicans gerrymandered themselves into a majority. Point to that in the constitution, fuckfaces.

    Antidemocratic is authoritarian. A coup attempt is authoritarian. A ridiculous painted fat man energizing radical rightwingers, also authoritarian.

    1. You are aware that we live in a republic, not a democracy, right?

      1. I do hope that’s a joke.

        1. Not a joke at all… There’s absolutely NO question about it. This crap you people spout I not even sure where you learned it but CRAP it is. EVERY STATE IS A REPUBLIC Article IV of the Constitution and the Federal Government is but a Union of those States for national defense and is a Constitutional Republic itself.

          NOT A WORD ABOUT BEING A DEMOCRACY IS IN THE CONSTITUTION…. But of course you Treasonous Anti-Americans out to DESTROY this country will never acknowledge it — frankly because you’re dead set on DESTROYING this awesome Nation.

          1. I need to know that you understand that the definition of “republic” is not “Republicans get to win and Democrats don’t.”

            1. Aaaannnnnd, Tony with the non-sequitur for the win.

            2. I need to know that you understand that the Democrats by and large champion’s mob-rule Democracy instead of the U.S. Constitutional ( The Supreme Law ). Exactly the same way they champion THEFT over EARNING. Exactly the same way they champion mob TAKING/THEFT of property rights for ‘public’ ownership.

              And within that concept; You’re right. The USA shouldn’t allow treasonous Democrats to win. It’s the same as allowing Hitler (Nazi = National Socialism) to win. It’s the same as putting a gang in power with guns to TAKE and STEAL whatever they choose to.

              And the result will be the same as it always has been; millions dead, millions starving, millions joining the gang just to survive (welfare) and not a SINGLE ONE of them willing to stand-up for Individual Liberty and Justice. It’ll all just be a ARMED STEAL FEST (conquer and consume) until there’s nothing left to consume.

              1. Look if I wanted the take of a crackhead I would go find one behind a dumpster.

          2. but, but, The Popular Vote…..

      2. Umm…it’s called an oligarchy, dumb ass.

    2. Somebody buy Tony a dictionary, and a brain.



    3. I imagine you posted this while rage-eating ice cream out of a carton. You seem like the chocolate chip cookie dough type.

      1. Some leftover garlic-caper chicken and pasta that I cooked last night, actually.

        1. That your mom cooked, asshole. You are not fooling anybody.

          1. My mom is many things, but a cook is not one of them.

            1. Well, you opened the door. How many things is your mom?

              1. Definitely an alcoholic which explains tony.

                1. Well living with tony would drive anybody to drink.

        2. Hey dummy.

    4. I still think you are an expert troll at this point. Your diehard defense of progressives is just too much to actually be believed by someone.

      1. I wasn’t defending progressives, I was dispassionately describing some of the many authoritarian qualities of Republicans.

        1. Okay, you now want to lay out some of the many authoritarian qualities of progressives?

          1. I’ve seen a communist on Youtube speak dismissively of electoral politics. Does that count?

            1. How many times did you “like” the video?

            2. Actually it does because it shows that you don’t actually object to authoritarianism. You just like authoritarianism that you agree with, which was my whole point. Cheers!

              1. Fuck communists and their petulant refusal to engage in electoral politics. I don’t know why it bothers you that they don’t vote, however.

                1. “Fuck communists”

                  Make love, Tony. Make love to communists. Communists are people too.

    5. #2; “Antidemocratic is authoritarian” — That’s a load of B.S. in conceptual terms. A Supreme Law that authoritates Individual Freedom over government powers isn’t by conceptual terms “authoritarian”.

      I still convinced that leftism is but a brain diseased religion; there’s no possible way humans can be this stupid without something majorly wrong in their basic brain-functions and nothing but sacrificing flesh in the name of religion even comes close.

      1. Sacrifice your-self’s on the alter of [WE] Demonrat Gov-Gods.. Maybe that’s the foundation of leftism I seem to not understand.

    6. You know… subjective analysis is like paint by numbers. Any retard can do it.

    7. In this thread:
      Tony: “There’s evidence of voter fraud.”
      Also Tony: “Standing in line is voter suppression.”

      See, the Left’s argument CAN’T be proven, that’s why they don’t worry about proving it.

  19. The WaPo’s stance is basically that nothing Democrats say about Republicans can be “demonizing”, because Republicans are already demons, and anything you accuse them of must be true.

    1. That’s a bingo!

    2. And black people can’t be racist.


    Biden endorses our new national religion on his immigration website.

  21. Trump is a wannabe despot

    Compared to who? Jimmy Carter?
    Compared to the previous five presidents he was Wavy Gravy.

    1. Jimmy Carter was history’s greatest monster! Malaise Forever!

  22. Something has really gone wrong with the writers at Reason over the last few years.

    Trump is not nor has he ever aspired to be an authoritarian. If you want to see an authoritarian President, look no further than Trump’s predecessor, and his apparent successor as to what b an authoritarian President looks like.

    I wonder if Biden will be called an authoritarian when he starts issuing countrywide lockdowns, re-enters the Paris Agreement / Iran Agreement, unilaterally decides to engage in a couple of “peace missions” overseas, etc.?

    1. Authoritarians are widely known for their love of international peace treaties. And actually winning the popular vote.

      1. Dude actually negotiated peace with the Taliban.

        Israel and UAE.

        1. Shhh, Tony doesn’t like those kind of facts.

        2. So he gave the Taliban everything they wanted and brokered a peace deal between two countries that were already at peace. Such a stable genius.

          1. I love overly simplistic, out of context reductive logic, it’s like the staple of progressives anymore. John Stewart is going to go down in history as a quintessential philosopher for the creation of modern progressive political engagement.

            1. *Jon

            2. I guess if Trump is going to engage in purely PR fake peace deals, the fact that you buy it means it worked.

              1. The fact that it worked means we buy it, you deviant neocon shill.

                1. Yeah, Israel and the UAE were at peace before, and Trump’s treaty worked to keep them at peace. He’s practically the reincarnation of Harry Truman.

                  1. If only he nuked being and shenjien

                  2. You’re too hyper partisan to discuss any subject like an intelligent adult. You’re also too stupid.

              2. “Fake peace deals?” Do you find just pretending about life the best approach. Let’s talk about the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan. You like to pretend this is no big deal by claiming “peace deal” when there was no war. But you do this to deflect from what actually occurred. You’re literally being purposefully obtuse by being overly literal.

                So, you think the normalizing of relations is a nothingburger?

      2. Ah the popular vote. Nothing authoritarian about pure democracy. Let’s go as the Jews about Germany’s popular vote.

        1. Do you people actually believe that a person winning a majority in an election and then getting the job is the same as authoritarianism?

          1. How many non-sequiturs is that for the day? I’ve already counted at least four.

          2. No, but I never said that. Just a strawman argument that you used to change the subject.

            You used the “popular vote” as an example of Repubs liking authoritarianism. Yet, you completely ignore the anti-authoritarianism check and balance of the electoral college that was specifically created by the Founding Fathers to protect against majoritarian authoritarianism.

            It’s almost like you don’t know how things work.

            1. It was created as a sop to slave states. Nobody really thought it was a brilliant idea then, and it’s totally irrelevant now. The only function it can possibly serve is to make the loser of an election the president. And we got two real fucking winners out of that deal recently.

              1. “It was created as a sop to slave states”

                No it wasn’t. If anything it was a sop to the North who didn’t want slaveholders having their slaves vote for according to their masters wishes, but that wasn’t actually it either.

                Here, educate yourself:

                1. Yeah, it was meant to prevent an incompetent populist from becoming president.

                  The only function it has served in our lifetime is to install incompetent populists as president against our will!

              2. It was created to protect minorities from being looted by the majority. I thought leftists were all about protecting minorities but I guess not?

                1. You need to think a little harder.

              3. Oh, so you don’t actually know your US history. Got it.

                1. All he needs to know, he learned from Vox and NowThis…

      3. One, what peace Treaty did Obama sign?

        Two, the “popular vote”, within the context of US elections, is about as real as Bigfoot (I mean Daryl), Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

      4. Sadam Hussein was wildly popular if you just look at the vote count.

      5. None of that has anything to do with authoritarianism one way or another.

      6. Fix — “Authoritarians are widely known for their persecution of their own citizens for international favors.”

        And the way we subsidize foreign countries around here fits perfectly in that context.

  23. At this point the Post and the Times have become nothing but shrieking shills for the left wing, a collection of woke bootlickers. I would no more pay attention to their news and opinion divisions (one and the same actually) than I would the Daily Kos or Slate. Anyone still reading that tripe deserves what they get.

  24. “I polled a bunch of teachers, and they all agreed education is the most important issue in the country.”

    “I polled a bunch of Keynesian economists, and they all agreed that the New Deal was a great policy.”

    “I polled a bunch of Democrats, and they all agreed that Republicans are evil.”

    1. ^Some MASSIVE liberal “SCIENCE” right there…

  25. Libertarians used to call every government official this side of a parking meter a wannabe dictator. Now that we have a known pathological narcissist with nukes only a minority of voters have ever supported refusing to concede an election he lost and riling up neo-Nazis, it’s time to chill out.

    1. Chill out is good. You go first.

    2. Yet we are faced with a president for the first time in our lives that didn’t act like a dictator. Sure, you like to gaslight and pretend he is “literally Hitler”, but in reality, he’s not.

      Trump actually suffers from a lack of give a damn. And people who suffer from a lack of give a damn are not dictators. You can take COVID as the best example. No other president in modern history has been given the ability to exert enormous executive power over the country like COVID provided. Instead, Trump told others to handle it and went and played golf.

      This is not the action of a dictator. This is the action of a reality TV star who doesn’t care.

      1. Trump has signed executive orders at a greater pace than Obama. And I think you underestimate the overlap between ridiculous media personalities and dictators.

        1. Is that the measure for dictatorship? How many executive orders need to be issued before you consider someone a dictator? What kind of executive orders are we talking about? What about executive orders removing executive orders? What about executive orders that are simply proper executive orders?
          Why don’t you provide me a comparison between Trump and Obama order for order and show me how Obama’s orders were totes cool but Trump’s indicate that he is a dictator?

          1. I don’t think executive orders are dictatorial, I think trying to steal an election you clearly lost is dictatorial.

            1. So you think using Democrat opposition research to investigate a sitting Republican president and attempting to have him prosecuted for bogus crimes is dictatorial?

            2. So Biden is dictatorial.

            3. Yet you are the one that used executive orders as your example of Trump’s dictatorial behavior. How is it that you can make an argument in one comment and then in your next comment claim to have not made that argument?

        2. Signing an EO is not a sign of authoritarianism when they were largely EO’s that REDUCED regulation.

          I don’t like EO’s and I didn’t agree with some of Trump’s, but the majority reduced government oversight in the end.

    3. More people voted for Trump than Obama. Trump should be retroactively seated as president to make up for Obama’s two “stolen” terms, I mean, his popular vote was smaller than Trump’s, which makes him a less legitimate president…

  26. I tend to be pretty skeptical of these kinds of studies to begin with. Wide surveys of people trying to get at very unobjective questions like “How Pro-Democratic” you are is difficult. They tend to end up as a hodgepodge of different questions that are viewed as being adjacent to the question. I think that’s pretty difficult to take seriously to begin with.

    But if this one is just directly polling researchers opinion on a subject, I’m not even sure that meets statistical usefulness.

  27. Is there any news outlet that around presidential election time doesn’t pander hard to its core consumer group?

    1. Yes, FoxNews.

  28. “…Reason’s Matt Welch called him an “erratic authoritarian,” citing the president’s bad impulses on immigration, trade, and countless other areas…”

    This why I no longer donate to Reason. Your attempts at even-handedness simply come across as dishonest. Let’s assume I agree with you that these Trump policies are “authoritarian”, or at least anti-liberty. Now tell me which amendment guarantees the right to free trade? How about unrestricted immigration?

    Now let’s look at the Democrats’ current authoritarian impulses. The Democratic party and its leaders are engaged in massive effort across the board to censor and punish conservative voices. Their big tech puppets are amazingly receptive to these calls for censorship. This censorship is already happening today on a massive scale. The Dems are also continuing a many decades effort to redefine the words of the second amendment to remove the individual right to gun ownership.

    These liberty values are reflected in our first and second amendments, that’s how bedrock they are. So you’re comparing attempts to restrict immigration and free trade with attempts to silence opposition speech and cancel the second amendment, and then declaring them roughly equally as bad.

    Dishonest, no?

    1. Don’t forget freedom of religion. Also in the First Amendment; also under assault from Democrats.

  29. I literally laughed out loud when I saw those charts.

    Then I thought of how many clueless progressives are going to see them and take them as gospel truth . After all, they do look kind of science-y, and “Science Is Real”!!!

    1. ^Don’t be a ‘denier’! /s

    2. Those “Science is Real” signs are in front of new age establishments selling crystals, homepathic pills, and reiki massages.

  30. So, both sides bad?
    Which side was burning down stores, looting, setting fire to federal courthouses and blocking freeways again?

    1. But Trump made mean tweets, tried to enforce immigration law, and didn’t make nice with China.

      1. Those tweets were really, really mean.

      2. Just exactly when did enforcing the law become mean?

        1. When it happens to people whose votes you believe you own…

  31. V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) and WaPo fail to understand that whatever you call it; democracy, mob rule, two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner, etc. can be just as authoritarian as anything else for the people from whom they’re taking things like freedom and property.

    1. In that respect, Dems are FAR worse.

  32. We’re asked to believe that the Democrats remained good progressives on “gay rights” while the Republicans deteriorated?

    During the period when the Democrats were supposedly always supporting gay rights…they were going from “marriage is between a man and a woman” to “gay marriage rules, bake that cake” while the Republicans either stayed the same or got a bit more “progressive.”

    Yet we’re expected to believe the Republican position changed while the Democrats were always at war with Eastasia…

    1. Republicans ran and won their 2004 presidential campaign on crass culture war fearmongering over gay marriage. They mostly stowed the crass culture war fearmongering in 2008 and 2012 (their mistake I guess), then returned spectacularly to form in 2016, though by then the gays were no longer the hot ticket. Apparently Sam Alito is still whining about gay people having equal rights, though.

      Democrats get a pass because they weren’t the ones shitting on gay people for political gain. Some people wish they had evolved faster, and some of us just wish Republicans would have a single idea that wasn’t “Vote for us and we’ll shit on a minority for you!”

      1. And Trump never shat on the gays.

        1. No just Latinos, blacks, women, and the Chinese.

          1. Except he didn’t. You just believe what your prog masters order you to. You are such a good drone for the progressive collective.

      2. This from the guy who supports censorship on big-tech platforms.

        1. I absolutely do not support the government telling big tech companies what they are allowed to publish.

          1. What about those big tech companies committing fraud by acting in bad faith?

  33. Funny, WaPo’s first coming up with an ideosyncratic idea of “illiberalism” (which looks suspiciously like the French rather than the English version), then further ideosyncratically equating illiberalism with authoritarianism.

    I thought anti-elitism was mostly anti-authoritarian, rather than vice versa. Invocation of religion is authoritarian?! Lack of state support for working women…ah, forget it.

    During this century the Republicans might’ve become more authoritarian, as part of the reaction against 9/11/01. But if anything, Trump runs against that tide. Yes, he wants to be the firm boss over government, but he doesn’t want to be the boss over you. The one area in which he’s most strongly identified as authoritarian, international migration and trade, is the one that’s already best established as a matter of sovereignty; he breaks no new ground there, it’s what governments usually do.

  34. And that dictatorial authoritarian had the unmitigated gall to allow the Patriot Act expire!

  35. Considering how states have reacted to the coronavirus, most Republicans have hardly been good, but the Democrats (governors and mayors) have been far worse considering the extent of their lockdowns, mask diktats, and threats. As bad as Trump is, he didn’t take away any of my freedom, unlike the dictator of New Jersey.

    1. A quarter million dead people and countless permanent disabilities.

      But I’m so glad your face isn’t chafing.

      1. Quarter million died while infected. Not quarter million died from being infected. Critical thinking and balancing cost/benefit are not your strong point.

        1. You people have a fucking line for everything. Get out of your goddamn hermetically sealed Newsmax bubble and read a book for Christ’s sake.

          1. How can he be in a “Newsmax bubble” when he’s on the ultraliberal reason magazine site, talking to you?

            1. I don’t give a shit what retarded amygdala-stroking rightwing horseshit website you people ludicrously think reports news, I care that people whose only political belief in the world is “Trump isn’t as bad as he is because he makes it OK to be a bigot!”

              Fuck you horrendous idiots for doing this to my country.

              1. You’re such a baby. I don’t know why you continue to troll here. Don’t you have a more productive use if your time?

                You read biased news as much as anyone on here. Every news source is biased. Get off your high horse.

                1. I thought you people were against postmodern relativism.

                  No, not every news sourced is equally biased. There are facts and there are lies.

                  1. Yes, and you buy onto lies. Really stupid ones at that. It’s in large part due to your stupidity. You really are inferior.

                    We’re all so much better than you. Except for Buttplug and the other losers.

  36. Which side will refrain from shooting you if you defend yourself from being arrested for refusing to give them your money?

    1. Neither/Any; because government isn’t an instinctively self-supporting operation. Ensuring Justice from criminals is a net negative effort but must exist to ensure survival from the criminals.

      So the next question – Which party supports….
      1) Allowing you to keep most of your *earned* money.
      2) Allows/Lobbies for you to keep STEALING other peoples *earned* money.

      The answer is obvious – and only a donkey(jack*ass) would pretend it’s not as well fits the party of slavery.

      1. So taxation is inevitable, but morally wrong. I see problems immediately.

        Not only are taxes morally wrong, but the only judgment it’s necessary to make is who taxes you less. No other moral standard matters. No other form of force or coercion exists. No other qualities of Republicans or Democrats are relevant.

        At least real religions have some flair.

        1. We’ve been here before Tony; There’s a vast difference being robbed from a government to rob even more from you to pay Paul and being robbed by a government that will ensure one’s OWN individual Justice and Liberty from criminal Paul.

          As obvious as a difference between subsidizing criminals and crooks versus locking them up in jail for the people’s protection.

        2. Oh, I almost forgot the funnest part —-
          Exhibit #1 (Tony): The answer is obvious – and only a donkey(jack*ass) would pretend it’s not as well fits the party of slavery.

  37. Don’t misunderstand me: There’s a strong argument to be made that Trump has presided over a decrease in human freedom, moving the government in a more authoritarian direction.

    Yet when given the change to exercise the ultimate authoritarian action, control of the lock downs, the President Trump turned the other way. Perchance your claims about those actions being authoritarian are wrong. Consider there’s other reasons for choosing the path he followed that have nothing to do with authoritarianism. If you’re going to criticize what he’s done to de-couple from China, at least consider the benefits of not paying our biggest global threat the money to build up their military.

  38. Republicans and Democrats are halves of our state party, both are authoritarian by nature, this country is after all a republic.

  39. I live in a deep blue state, where Democrats win almost every election and have for then entire 37 years I have live here. I have friends and family every position from blue to red to gold. I have family that live in deep blue states and in deep red states.

    Regardless of where I go the least open minded people I meet are always liberal (not classically liberal) Democrats. This is not to say that there are not intolerant Republicans.

    For a party to claim the mantle of being open minded, the Democrat party is clearly failing. The corporate media turns the narrative and accuse other of the offense that the Democrats are guilty of.

    Republicans brand themselves as being the embodiment of morality and when one fails to live up to this standard, the corporate media calls them out.

    This is a double standard that need to be called out strongly. Republicans are becoming more statist, but do not hold a candle to the statist nature of the Democrats.

    My vote if for neither as they are both more statist than I desire to be subjected by. Still, I would grudgingly take the statist-lite Republicans over statist-heavy Democrats.

    Some Republicans might be able to see the light to a more libertarian future, but it is more doubtful that Democrat would. Statism is at the core of the Democrat party, but Republicans still talk the talk (even if they don’t actually live it).

  40. As an aside, CNN is said to be for sale and Jeff Bezos has been floated as a potential buyer. With him in charge, CNN will become WaPo TV and will go from bad to worse.

  41. The Dems generally want more government, the GOP generally less.

    The study appears to be an exercise in gas-lighting with a scientific veneer.

    1. What do you mean by quantity of government? Percentage of GDP?

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  43. “Washington Post Says…”

    All I needed to read.

  44. “Trump is a wannabe despot”

    Why have the headlines of every other Reason article (during the past four years) contained a slanderous comment about Trump?

    Do Reason reporters or editors write these absurd headlines?

    Seems like Reason writes anything that appeases their former libertarian, now lefty partisan, financier Charles Koch.

    “I congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory,” he wrote in an email. “I look forward to finding ways to work with them to break down the barriers holding people back, whether in the economy, criminal justice, immigration, the Covid-19 pandemic, or anywhere else. At the same time, I hope we all use this post-election period to find a better way forward. Because of partisanship, we’ve come to expect too much of politics and too little of ourselves and one another.”

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  46. Well, I suppose it is hard for Dems to become more authoritarian when they’ve already pegged the meter.

  47. the graphs look wrong, but the conclusion is probably accurate. GOP has slid markedly toward authoritarianism. Dems haven’t budged because they’ve embraced authoritarian versions of progressivism & abandoned classical liberal ideals for decades. they didn’t move because they were already there.

    1. Kind of funny, since the Democrat since the Clinton days have been mostly Centrist New Democrats that promoted centrist fiscal policy with left-leaning social policies.

  48. Conservatives brand themselves just like the exemplification of profound quality and when one neglects to satisfy this norm, the corporate media gets down on them.

    This is a twofold standard that should be called out unequivocally. Conservatives are turning out to be more statist, yet don’t measure up to the statist idea of the Democrats.

  49. Indeed, I guess it is difficult for Dems to turn out to be more dictator when they’ve fixed the meter.

  50. Trump pushed for tax and regulation cuts that reduced government power and influence. Obama said he didn’t need congress and had a pen and a phone.
    Which is the Authoritarian in reality?

  51. This makes sense, but only if you follow the progressive view that conservative speech is violence, and progressive violence is just speech.

    How many people have been physically attacked over the last year because they were suspected of supporting the republicans?

    People have been screaming about Trump being a fascist and dictator since before he was elected. But they know that they can do so, loudly and in public, with absolutely no fear that their door will be kicked in later that night by secret police. Those of us that have actually lived in authoritarian countries find this sadly hilarious.

    Remember the Patriot Act? Trump threatened to veto any attempt to extend or renew it, so it was shelved indefinitely. An authoritarian does not work to limit the power and reach of the government on the citizen’s lives.

  52. This piece doesn’t prove that the study is wrong though, since the data they have used is reliable. Instead, it basically uses whataboutism that portrays the Democratic Party as just as authoritarian (even though that isn’t remotely true) and subjective data, which is just as common and reliable as objective data.

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