Aug 23: Refurbished this one, a pre-checklist of what to look for. Also, recently Ruth Ben-Ghiat has reviewed how could an entire political party be co-selected by an outsider with a totalitarian mindset. In addition, Republicans have announced rather than a foundation, its stance is to support whatever Donald Trump wants to do.
Jan. 6, 2021: This checklist predicts Donald Trump’s authoritarian nature quite well. It is not necessary to update it. We know where we are now. It is more useful as a document demonstrating when each criterion was initially met.
January 11: This is second impeachment settlement.
In January 2017, shortly after taking office, I provided a ten-item checklist of signs of authoritarianism. It seems like a good idea to think ahead of what might happen and set a marker in advance. In addition, I am concerned that the press, the TV media, and the people may become sensitive to news.
I was ridiculed by some as hysterical. Likewise, scholars of authoritarianism are like Sarah Kendzior are also considered out there. But then it all started to come true. And scholars of authoritarianism have proven right: see this recent NYT reports. Mitigating factors are the degree of authority of certain actions and the degree to which federal officials are taking action. In addition, widespread protests are making it clear how difficult it will be to construct such actions.
I have provided a brief update to the in-list May 2017, and the other in August 2018. Before the recent events surrounding the DC area police and military’s response to the protests, it was time to check it out.
Before I go to the list, I want to note a few things that stand out. Even when unrest, repressive military and pandemic, Donald Trump still has support from about three-quarters of people who consider themselves Republicans. His approval among all voters did not fall below the floor level of about 39% (or higher than the ceiling of 43%) for most of his presidency. Republicans, once the party of Eisenhower or Reagan, became the party of Trump. As of today, he is at 42.5% on the adjusted FiveThirtyEight average. As I wrote in October 2016, his base keep him afloat.
Here is a checklist. As of July 2020, the Regulatory Authority has met all 10/10 items on the checklist.
An arbitrary checklist
- Sided with a foreign power against domestic opposition.
- Arrest journalists.
- Loss of press access to the White House.
- Make charges against people who disagree with the government.
- Use government power to target individual citizens to get punished.
- Using a terrorist incident or other incident to take away civil liberties.
- Persecution against an ethnic or religious group, by the Government or their supporters.
- Dismiss civil service officers for lack of loyalty or membership in a suspected group.
- Use the presidency to incite widespread violence against individuals or organizations.
- Regardless of the orders of the courts, including the Supreme Court.
The interpretation of authoritarianism does not take into account the fact that many of these actions have been performed with a low level of competence. Regulatory agencies are particularly difficult. To some extent, tearful DC protesters are about what one can expect from a mayor. But these actions are now becoming normalized. More capable people would readily take up the torch, as we saw in Sen. Tom Cotton’s book. opinion. Regardless of who wins the presidential election in 2020, that’s a worrying sign for 2024 – or even the transition after the next election.
And now, the details.
Domineering checklist: 2020 state update
- Sided with foreign forces against domestic opposition. This was clear from the start. In Russia more than the G-7 and NATO, even in the face of meddling in US elections. Stand to North Korea in establishing US foreign policy. And trying to entice Ukraine into the politics of the US President. Thesis: yes.
- Arrest journalists. This did not systematically happen like a national policy. But the facts of last week suggests that it increases as a general phenomenon. National police have made efforts to assault and abuse reporters. They have been encouraged by Trump’s repeated assertions that the press is the enemy. The prison has happeningbut not to be ordered directly. In fact, the situation has gotten so bad allied nations We investigate The United States treats journalists. Assessment: yes.
- Loss of press access to the White House. Access has been greatly reduced. Over time, more assertive reporters like Jorge Ramos, Jim Acosta, and Kaitlan Collins have been dropped. As press conferences unfold, they include a river of real lies unlike any press event in memory. This confirms the view of press events. Thesis: yes.
- Make charges against people who disagree with the government. Written on the wall with the words “Lock her up!” 2016 campaign slogan. The link here goes to an early example of a false charge, claiming widespread voter fraud. This has become a pattern. A recent example is the degree of randomness of Trump, falsely accused of murder against Joe Scarborough of MSNBC. Assessment: yes.
- Use government power to target individual citizens to get punished. It starts with prosecuting the leakers rather than the crime of the leak. Immigrants and their children, who are citizens, were be targeted after they say it. Government officials have been targeted to do their work (Peter Strzok), voice their thoughts on important national issues (John Brennan, Alexander Vindman, Maria Yovanovitch), and even coronavirus researcher (Peter Daszak). Assessment: yes.
- Using a terrorist incident or international incident to take away civil liberties. This happened in the last week. I was wrong that it would involve terrorism. Instead, the cause was domestic protests over a wave of police that continued to kill innocent blacks. The use of military force against protesters in the District of Columbia, including the teardown of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park, is clear. First Amendment Violation freedom of speech, assembly and petition. (July 18: In Portland, Oregeon, US Customs officers in uniforms and trailless vehicles are ripping off and picking up protesters.) Thesis: yes.
- Persecution against an ethnic or religious group, by the Government or their supporters. This is a continuing theme for the Administration, thanks to the influence of Stephen Miller and other White House employees. Muslims and Spaniards are specific targets. Hate crime in 2019 reaches 16 years high. Thesis: yes.
- Abolition of public officials for insufficient loyalty or membership in a suspicious group (For example LGBT, Muslim and other groups). This started early, with FBI director James Comey sacked… though indeed, it fell under the category of hindering justice. There have been the appearance of many members of the smart community. Most recently, many Inspector General were removed from office, a move that limited the scrutiny of government agencies at a time when they were handling trillions of dollars in new aid. Assessment: yes.
- Use the presidency to incite widespread violence against individuals or organizations. Again, this soared to the top last week. For years, Trump has called the press corruption and lies. His strongest supporters echo these sentiments. In 2018, five people were killed in a newsroom in Annapolis. There are verbal attacks, usually against female office workers, especially Afri
Courageous Americans.News ABC found 54 cases where Trump was the inspiration for acts of violence. The current, Trump encouraged Police action against peaceful protesters. Assessment: yes.
- Regardless of the orders of the courts, including the Supreme Court. In principle, the judiciary acts as an institutional scrutiny of executive power. In initial example Because of that weakness, in 2017, federal agents disregarded the court order and denied access to permanent residents detained at Dulles Airport. Is that an isolated incident? Trump proposed dissolving an appeals court, but it did not happen. With two appointments to the Supreme Court and one out of four federal judges appointed by Trump, the courts have been to some extent arrested. For example, the Supreme Court does not allow the publication of Trump’s tax returns. The most recent public challenge action is refuse follow a federal court order to reinstate DACA. Assessment: yes.