Jake Tapper conducted an interview with Chris Christie the other day. He asked him a question that a lot of people in the Left-leaning media constantly ask: Do Republicans have an authoritarian problem?
Authoritarianism is not what people in the media think it is. They think authoritarianism is Donald Trump tweeting. But there are many forms of authoritarianism. In fact, fascism is an element of both Left and Right. It is not merely a Right-wing action. Authoritarianism can just as easily be implemented by a series of executive orders that go outside the Constitution, that radically re-shift the balance between people in the government, something Joe Biden does with alacrity.
Tapper told Christie, “There was a column in ‘The Philadelphia Inquirer’ by a progressive journalist named Will Bunch talking about how he thought the news media was doing a disservice to the public by not frankly and candidly describing what he views as an authoritarian streak going on in the Republican Party. You haven’t read the column I assume so I’m not even going to ask you about it. But you do describe the conduct of Donald Trump trying to overturn the election as reprehensible. You do condemn it?”
“But so many people in your party, and I’m not just talking about people running for president or on Capitol Hill, but I mean voters, Republican voters, don’t seem to have a problem with it,” Tapper declared. “And I’m wondering, do you think that your party has an authoritarian problem? That they really honestly don’t have a problem with violently trying to stop a free and fair election from going — going forward?”
“No, Jake, I absolutely don’t think that we have that problem,” Christie responded. “I think what we have is a Donald Trump problem. And that right now what’s gone on is that people view Donald Trump synonymously with the Republican Party. And that if you oppose Trump, that is somehow favoring Biden. And many Republicans don’t want to do that for very obvious reasons.”
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It is true that for many Republicans, Trump is seen as synonymous with the Republican Party. And if you tell people it’s either Biden or the Republican Party, a lot of people are going to vote Republican. But what’s insulting to the intelligence is this generalized narrative that the media are constantly drawing, in which they suggest that fascism or authoritarianism or tyranny is an element of the Right, and the Left is completely free, that their hands are completely clean.
It’s obviously not true. The truth is that fascism as an ideology is closer to the American Left than it is to the American Right. Fascism is an ideology that was generalized in response to communism, but it drew from Marxism, Hegelian politics, and progressive-era ideas, which is why many of the early supporters of Mussolini were members of the Left, including people who had worked in Woodrow Wilson’s administration who went on to work in the FDR administration.
But the media feels free to lie, saying that the Right is universally authoritarian and the Left is for freedom.