Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Authoritarianism Threatens Our Democracy

I’m beholden to my friend Cathy Hotka for posting a most troubling but illuminating article on the implications and ramifications of Donald Trump’s rise to prominency in the Republican presidential race. The article from analyzed the rise in authoritarianism, its acceptance as a political force not only as it pertains to the United States but also in other countries now and beyond 2016.

I can’t find a link that easily directs you to the article, so you’ll have to work a little to find it. But it will be well worth your time and effort if you care at all about the future. So here’s the drill: go to and in its search function type in “The rise in American authoritarianism.”

 It is a long article but disturbingly pertinent to the convulsions emanating from the political hustings this year and perhaps for years to come as our country, and others, try to cope with social, demographic and economic changes and military/terrorist threats from outside and even inside our borders.

With each passing day Trump and his supporters seem to channel behavior last seen in Italy and Germany more than 75 years ago. Could it possibly be that people under 40 don’t truly understand the evil of the Hitler-Mussolini era? My generation grew up watching World War II-based  movies. Many of our fathers and uncles served in the armed forces. We knew why we fought fascism. Today’s young voters grew up on Star Wars. The evil empire was bad but it was a sci-fi abstraction, even if it was a stand-in for totalitarianism. 

Regrettably, too many young voters have little understanding of how life was different before women reached the level of achievement they currently enjoy. Even young women see nothing historic in electing a woman president. They don’t appreciate what it was like to live during a time when seeking an abortion, for whatever reason, was a crime. Many young people have little understanding of how different life was for Afro-Americans before the Civil Rights era (unfortunately, the Supreme Court apparently believes racism has been vanquished, leaving no need for a vigorous defense of the Voting Rights Act). Too many lack perspective on the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian conflict. 

As the article explains, Trump’s appeal is not just to the uneducated. Take the time to read the article.