So what is at stake in the 2024 election? Is it about names of candidates on a ballot, political parties and policies? Is it about the aftermath of a devastating pandemic, vacillating economy, fickle market speculation and birth years of candidates? Or is it about whether we deal with highly complex global problems in the 21st century under a Democracy or an Autocracy?
How about literally being on the ballot the quality of our future lives? How about what the candidate(s) will do once in power, and have control? Will the elected candidate and their party use their power to revere, respect and protect Democracy’s norms, vision, mission and guiding principles?
Do we really know what is at stake when voting between a Democracy and an Autocracy? Because we need to know in realistic sobering terms in order to avoid serious regrets and consequences. Do we ever want to risk witnessing scenes of the United States Capitol attacked, as we did on January 6, 2021?
Without mentioning names of candidates, regardless of the office, does the following autocratic vision, mission and guiding tenets remind you of any politician, legislator, party, legislative caucus or ideology?
Be honest – what names surface, what party, what political agenda? Does any one candidate or party show us who they are by what they say and do? The following is a check list of autocratic tenets and doctrine.
- Offers grievance politics rather than problem solving. Remaining by choice and design detached and in denial of present realities of complex global problems in the 21st century. Avoid, censor or deny use of language that name and define complex social problems.
- Resists change, refute that the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, rule of law require ongoing authentication and amplification and applies to all equally.
- Makes constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, rallies, songs and flags redefining such concepts as patriotism, nativism, populism, nationalism, “what it means to be a true American”, excluding others who are not so identified.
- Refuses to deal with historical truths but rather revise, deflect, deceive and distort substantiated qualitative and quantitative historical truths.
- Refuses to acknowledge America’s legacy of overt-covert-aversive-systemic racism, xenophobia, sexism, White Supremacy, Domestic Terrorism and Extremism.
- Exhibits xenophobic tendencies by targeting LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities.
- Avoids terminology that reflects social-cultural-political-religious constructs, dismissing affinity groups, initialism and acronyms such as LGBTQIA+.
- Uses ‘heckler’s veto’ and “parents’ rights’ as a guise to advance rightwing – alt-right agendas and to dominate decision in order to alter public school curriculum, subjects, content, suppress materials and teaching methods.
- Opposes critical thinking, investigative reporting, transparency and pursuit of the truth.
- Disrespects academia, intellectuals, critical qualitative/quantitative research, and the visual and performing arts with free expression openly attacked.
- Places blind faith in the next “Great White Hope Autocrat” as a symbol bringing back power, control, privilege and entitlements with Master Race Whiteness as the default standard.
- Demands blind loyalty to a despotic narcissistic leader regardless of the leader’s dysfunctional pathology, indictments, unethical conduct, lack of character and unprincipled history.
- Personalize and privatize relationships with other autocrats to satisfy personal ego, financial gains and needs.
- Never acknowledges, apologizes or takes responsibility for any wrongdoing regardless of being found guilty of unethical and immoral behavior including fraud, lying, and corruption.
- Promotes unsubstantiated accusations, innuendos, generalities and rumors in order to sway public opinion; avoiding proven facts substituting fabricated “altered facts” to create doubt.
- Negates all legislative accomplishments of opposing political party regardless of policies enhancing the quality of life of all citizens.
- Promotes and instigates fear mongering using crime and punishment to promote fear.
- Obstructs, restricts and suppresses voting rights by passing state legislation that impedes access, opportunities and freedom to cast a ballot.
- Uses gerrymandering to manipulate electoral boundaries and constituencies to favor autocratic party and candidates.
- Gains power and control at the ballot by promoting hybrid forms of Democracy in order to gain legislative power and control – once in power moves towards extreme alt right cancellation of democratic norms and rights.
- Switches parties once elected from Democratic/Independent to Republican in order to appease special interests and/or alt-right conservative political agendas.
- Rejects, denies and interferes with election results if the autocratic candidate loses regardless of litigated court decisions by judges and juries.
- Uses deception, lies, myths, bogus misinformation on resume as to family, education, prior financial status, employment and life accomplishments in order to fraudulently gain trust of potential voters and party officials. If elected calls any inquiry and investigation a “Witch Hunt.”
- Resorts to domestic terrorism, insurrection and/or Martial law upon the loss of legal and justified elections,rejecting results regardless of verification, court of law determinations and proven results beyond doubt.
- Resorts to white supremacist tropes, fear mongering, intimidation, threats of violence by Alt-right extremists and by enablers remaining silent after acts of violence by White Supremacists, Domestic Terrorists, Militia Groups and Hate Group members.
- Uses social media platforms to promote and repeat ‘Big-Little Lies’ in order to feed misinformation that reinforces and promotes alternate facts.
- Disregards the rule of law if it does not favor or support the autocrat and political party.
- Favors a male-oriented dominated ideology and agenda suppressing divorce, abortion and women’s rights.
- Focuses on controlling the narrative of the media via censorship.
- Uses and intertwines religion and government if and when it favors maintaining power and control.
- Suppresses Labor Unions and their power to mobilize, negotiate and enhance work conditions and salaries.
- Resorts to cronyism, corruption, obstructing oversight and protective regulations, shutting down investigations and accountability.
- Uses nepotism to insulate and surround autocratic leader and party with family members and enablers in order to maintain status quo power and control.
“False face must hide what false heart doth know.” Macbeth (1.7) Shakespeare’s words forewarn that if irresistible power is left unchecked, it can lead people to do terrible things. History verifies this truth and can happen in America, as it did in other countries.
Children can’t vote. They leave that daunting responsibility to us. All they can do is innocently wish, hope and believe that we have the courage to remember and protect each of their precious lives . . . with due diligence.