How will Americans adjust to life in an authoritarian state?

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TwilightPrincess
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18 Sep 2023, 7:20 am

I’m an American who don’t think it will happen because there are too many checks and balances in place. Presidents don’t have THAT much power.


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funeralxempire
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18 Sep 2023, 7:22 am

TwilightPrincess wrote:
I’m an American who don’t think it will happen because there are too many checks and balances in place. Presidents don’t have THAT much power.


From the sounds of things 'Project 2025' is intended to corrupt many of those checks and balances.


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18 Sep 2023, 7:57 pm

If there is any way for authoritarianism to come to America, it would be through another Trump victory, after which he would use his power to punish his enemies while knocking away any and all checks and balances on the Presidency. This would not be possible without his collaborators in elected office enabling him, as well as his mob of rabid supporters ready to lynch the opposition in the streets, as well as burn banned books, and persecute "the other" (ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities who they and Trump can make into scapegoats). And all this would come in under the alleged values of the cross and the flag.
That said, I'm not ready yet to give up on the sane citizens of my country, who had defeated Trump once at the polls, and who I sincerely hope will do it again.


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ASPartOfMe
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18 Sep 2023, 11:21 pm

If the election were held today Trump would win. No matter what happens in the news the polls have consistently said it is a deadlock or a close race. Because the electoral college is set up to advantage less populated states the Republicans would win any close race. Hillary famously won the popular vote by 2 percent and lost where it counts the Electoral College.

But But what about 2020? Biden won by the popular vote by 4 percentage points and the Electoral College by a seemingly comfortable 306 to 232 margin. Seemingly is the operative word. Switch a very small percentage of votes in a few swing states and you would have had a different result. That is why they are called swing states.

Just in the last week Biden during a press conference overseas said I have to go to bed and walked out of a medal of honor ceremony before it was over. And the corruption allegations may not be near Trump levels but they are beginning to gain some traction. And because the allegations involve foreign involvement they are potentially worse than the corruption we expect of politicians.

The Democrat voters know this and by a large margin do not want Biden as their nominee. Which begs the question why has there not been a serious challenger to Biden? The Republican politicians are famously paralyzed by their base. Dems thinking of challenging Biden are paralyzed also. A challenger to Biden is going to have to point out his age and any corruption. Should they not get the nomination the Republicans have their attack ads made for them and the challenger gets blamed for reelecting Trump.

Ok what if Biden becomes such a liability that they have to dump him. If not Biden then who? Gavin Newsom? Give me a break. Again the Republican attack ads are made for them. Scenes of hordes of homeless on Hollywood Blvd, San Francisco. Mobs looting stores just because they can, it is not about Black Lives Matter anymore, stores closing, Rolling blackouts etc. New York City's mayor saying migrants are going to destroy New York City is another gimme.

Ok Trump or another Republican for that matter wins because it would not make much of a difference in what they will try and do. First of all Trump will pardon himself or the Republican president will pardon Trump and all of the January 6th rioters. The Republican President will end all pending Federal investigations against Trump. Whatever riots occur will be used as a cause belli for Marshal Law. The DOJ will launch investigations into political opponents as "revenge". What about blue state resistance? Defund 'em.

How much will they succeed? Who knows, we will be in unchartered territory. I am pretty sure it will be way too much for my comfort.

I am going put this out there. We are understandably putting our attention on right wing authoritarism. How will the victorious Dems react to a violent reaction to their victory? The consensus is that they are more educated, would stay within the Constitution etc. I am not so sure, an existential threat or a perceived one is an excuse for a lot of bad things.


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19 Sep 2023, 12:52 am

TwilightPrincess wrote:
Nothing that extreme is at all likely to happen. It’s mostly fear-mongering. Usually, when people make an extreme prediction like this, nothing even remotely close to it happens. There are too many checks and balances currently in place.


This is pretty much where I'm at.

Of course, both sides will tell us this is the most important election in American history and that our very democracy itself hangs in the balance. Because *every* election is the most important election. Until after it happens and then the next election is the most important one. When they had called the 2020 election for Biden, but it was early on enough that the votes were still technically being counted, some of my Democrat Facebook friends were already saying, "Yes, it's nice that he won, but all the real work is still ahead of us."

Both sides seem to campaign not on their strength, but on their frailty. "Vote for us or else the big, mean other side will finish us off for good this time and then you'll be sorry!" I'm extremely skeptical of campaign promises, but is anyone even making positive promises anymore?

How did the self-declared defenders of democracy allow things to get this dire in the first place?

And if this really is the election that kills American democracy for good, how are we supposed to know that when both sides have been screaming wolf 24/7/365 for decades?



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19 Sep 2023, 5:36 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
If the election were held today Trump would win.

Please read everything APM wrote as he covered the topic well. The point of this thread is to ask how Americans will deal with loss of political freedom WHEN not IF it happens. Again, any thoughts?


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19 Sep 2023, 8:07 am

MaxE wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
If the election were held today Trump would win.

Please read everything APM wrote as he covered the topic well. The point of this thread is to ask how Americans will deal with loss of political freedom WHEN not IF it happens. Again, any thoughts?

How we reacted to the loss of freedoms after 9/11 makes me pessimistic.

That said these are questions I have.

Apparently the prosecution and convictions of the January 6th rioters have acted as a deterrent. We have not seen another insurrection nor much if any right wing terrorism beyond the lone wolf type. If a Democrat is elected in 2024 would that continue? I would argue that the prosecutions of Trump are the lesser of two evils. But it is an evil. The administration and state level prosecutions of their main political rival? The oft used expression “a bad look” does not seem adequate.

The other question I have would the left reaction Trump victory 2.0 go beyond their usual clever emotional slogans and riots to terrorism and insurrection?

I would not go as far as MaxE and say WHEN but we are so far down the rabbit hole of escalating action, reaction I can’t see a way out.


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19 Sep 2023, 1:38 pm

You'd have to have almost all the nuts with guns on the side of being told what to do by an authoritarian and I just dunno if nearly 100% of the nuts with guns population is down with that sort of thing. If they are, then maybe they'd adjust just fine.. but if they're not, then there's gonna be some shootin'.


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19 Sep 2023, 2:25 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
You'd have to have almost all the nuts with guns on the side of being told what to do by an authoritarian and I just dunno if nearly 100% of the nuts with guns population is down with that sort of thing. If they are, then maybe they'd adjust just fine.. but if they're not, then there's gonna be some shootin'.


Think all those gun nutz.. got out there on the side of Trumps , just by influencers in their midst, I think. :ninja:
So it became a group think .. Even to the point of being So indoctrinated by other Pro trumpers and excessive conspirascy nuts,that they actually tried to dismantle the course of an election by force of Arms.
So if these same influencers are dumb enough to believe that we need a more authoritarian Rep. Government.
Guess whose side they might cling to ...especially if anyone mentions "saving gun rights" on the Authoritarian side?
:( :( :(


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19 Sep 2023, 2:44 pm

I do not have the imagination to answer your question well. All I know is that the next 12 months will be hell.

There are a few novels that explore the issue very well.

"It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis
"The Plot Against America" by Philip Roth

"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak -- Germany

And there are numerous non-fiction books about Argentina and Chile on this subject.

The big problem is the media is fueling our fears for profit while ignoring the real issues. A good example of an American illiberal democracy is Wisconsin. Yes, it can happen here. How, when, and by whom are up in the air.


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blitzkrieg
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19 Sep 2023, 3:08 pm

Honestly, most of American freedom seems to focus on the freedom to become maximally economically productive. If you're not interested in that then apparently you are a dirty communist.

I would say America is a lot less free than it it supposed to be. Particularly when you don't have the freedom to take your foot off the economic pedal, or become at risk of being deprived in ways that Europeans probably aren't to the same level, in a similar situation.



goldfish21
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19 Sep 2023, 3:23 pm

..or Canadians for that matter.

At least we’re free not to have guns be the number one killer of children. USA can’t say that these days.


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19 Sep 2023, 3:26 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
..or Canadians for that matter.

At least we’re free not to have guns be the number one killer of children. USA can’t say that these days.


I hope they eventually figure out that lots of 'bad guys with a gun' were 'good guys with a gun' up until the instant they began using their guns maliciously.

We need to make it easier for law-abiding citizens (including those who desire to commit mass homicide) to acquire guns.

They just don't say the parenthesis out loud.


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19 Sep 2023, 5:16 pm



There are Already Elements of An Authoritarian State in the United States.

In Fact, History Shows That Societies Become More Authoritarian (Yes, They Still Do) During
Health Disasters Like Pandemics; Or of Course Natural Disasters For Order and Control;

Which Means Some Freedoms Will Be Sacrificed For Safety;

Obviously, Some Folks Don't Like Being Told What To Do,

Even if it Saves Their Lives; A Tremendous Number of Examples

in the United States, Ranging From What Folks Eat And Drink And
Other Substances

They Ingest;

And of Course

What They Do As Well;

Betting Sources Who Are In These Games

of Prognostication For REAL Bucks Are Still Betting
on Biden to Win the Majority of the Vital Undecided 11 Percent or So of Votes,

Whether the Election is Held Today Or Later on Down the Road As Actually Scheduled.

The Polls Are Definitely Clear, Neither Candidate is the Popular Choice to Run Among The Electorate;

What We Are Seeing Now is The Usual Close to Even Split for Party More Than Who Is Actually Running.

Biden Has Been More Successful in Actually Getting Bi-Partisan Support For Helpful Programs For Humanity,
Arguably, Ever Since Lyndon B Johnson and the Civil Rights Movement; He's Old Yet He Got the Job Done and

Successfully

Avoided Total
Disaster During a Pandemic.

Obviously, That's Not Enough;

Americans Using 40 Percent
of Human Resources on Earth
With 4 Percent of the General
Population Are A Bit Spoiled;

Humans Aren't Evolved Well
For Instant Gratification; Indeed,

They Tend to Grow Weaker in Most
Every Way And Spoiled Indeed; in
Other Words, Give me more, More;

If the American Public Votes An
X-President, Who Tried to Subvert the Outcome of
An Election And Democracy, into Office; They Will Get

What they Vote For; Ironically That's How Democracy Works.

Let's Hope the Majority Aren't Truly That Foolish in Action;

If They Are/Do, There Will Surely Be Uprisings in
The United States That Make 'Black Lives
Matter' Responses Pale in Comparison, IF

Trump Were To Try to Actually Become a Dictator;

Not Likely Anyone is Gonna Make Too Much of A Stink
If a Four Times Indicted Bottom of the Barrel Demagogue
Doesn't Get His Way...

Maybe on the Internet;

Yet in Real Life; Those Folks

Who Are the Elderly Watching Fox
News Demographic, Are Not Exactly

in Shape to Take to The Streets And March Very Long...

i Live in Florida, Where Wanna Be Mini-me Trump, DeSaTaNiS, is Trying
to Flex His Wimpy Authoritarian Muscles in Every Way He Can as Foolish As That Is; Including His

State Surgeon General, Advising the Public That New Covid Vaccines are Not A Good Choice to Make.

i Live in One of the Most Trump Loving Voting Places in the State, And There Is Still LGBT Stuff for

Sale in Walmart;

And Transgender Greeters;

It's Not That Hard to Get Around Real Fools With Business As Usual;

And As Far As Politics Goes, Trump Owns the Republican Party, Dear Lord,
And He Is the Gift Who Keeps On Giving For Future Democratic Success;

Credit His Tom Foolery

For The Gains the

Democrats Made Last Go Arounds in 2020/2022;

Credit Him Again for What Likely Comes Next...

He's A Ripple in the Pond; Stink, Stank, Stunk, He'll Be Gone Soon
Enough and Another Ripple Will Come to Deal With (That's Life);

Meanwhile, Mostly Business As Usual in the United States, For At Least
A Couple of Decades; The Current Heavyweight Still of Overall So-Called
(US) Dollar Driven Economic Success...

And Sadly the Growing

Number of Younger
Folks With Mental Illness;

Whose Suffering Has Less to
Do With Politics; And More About

The Ignorant Stuff Against Human Nature
Humans tend to do...

When Left
to Their
Own 'Devices'...

IF Republican Leaders COULD ACTuALLY
Get Their 'S' Together NOW And Champion
Someone Like Nikki Haley; They Actually
Might Finally Really Win All the Way Around;

Yet They Just Aren't That Willing to Win; They
Wanna Lose

It Seems

VERY

Ugly;

i Vote
They Will
Do What It Takes to Lose Again;

Yep; Nature of Ignorance Striking Again.



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MaxE
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20 Sep 2023, 6:26 am

I want to point out that by "freedom" I am not talking about anything having to do with guns. A country can have political freedom but still have restrictive gun laws. Something I read today also reminded me that "freedom" can be a dog whistle for right-wingers.

To me, political freedom means there are opposing political views and usually more than one political party and people are free to choose different positions and openly support them. My understanding of an authoritarian US would be one in which, for example, a person could lose a government job because they had a history of criticizing Donald Trump on social media, or one in which the Federal Government dictated to states what school books can say about sensitive topics.


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20 Sep 2023, 6:41 am

Americans will not like this at all. Americans are far more rebellious than the apathetic Brits.

And considering the vast numbers of guns belonging to private US individuals, there could easily be a very bloody revolt/civil war.


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