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National Update: A bulwark against GOP authoritarianism

With much of the Democratic electorate grumbling about President Biden’s re-election announcement, it’s time to remember one, indisputable fact: Once again, Joe Biden is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump in 2024.

  • Lest we forget, President Biden is the only candidate with an unblemished record against the former president (yes, Uncle Joe won the 2020 election).

  • The Biden-Harris team has done more for America in just over two years than the former blusterer-in-chief did over a full four-year term.

  • Joe Biden is the best bulwark we have against what will surely be a slide toward authoritarianism that will take place if Trump returns to the White House.

Let’s take a look at what Trump is promising he would do if elected — with the help of a GOP Congress and a sympathetic Supreme Court. “I am your voice!” he declares in speeches to his supporters, which polls have shown are not necessarily fans of Democracy. “I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those of you who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

For starters, Trump would leverage the power of the federal government beyond the role Republicans have traditionally supported (recall Ronald Reagan’s famous “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”). Under Trump, government is more than bully pulpit; it’s a sledgehammer.

Trump makes no bones about his plans. Channeling Joe McCarthy, Trump is telling his base, “With you at my side, we will totally obliterate the deep state, we will banish the warmongers from our government, we will drive out the globalists, and we will cast out the communists and Marxists. We will throw off the corrupt political class, we will beat the Democrats, we will rout the fake news media, we will stand up to the RINOs, and we will defeat Joe Biden and every single Democrat.”

More specifically, Trump, among other proposals, is calling for the construction from scratch of 10 new “Freedom Cities,” managed in part by a “federal police force” and located on undeveloped federal land. We can only imagine which real estate development company would get the construction contracts. He would force the homeless out of urban areas and into tent cities.

Education would be a major target of a second Trump Administration — and not in a good way. He would allow parents to elect school principals, and let them use state funds to send their children to private schools. He would also revive a federal commission he created in his first term to impose a “patriotic” curriculum on schools.

As for “obliterating the deep state,” Trump wants to make it easier to fire federal workers, end media leaks and establish a “truth and reconciliation commission” to publish records on alleged abuses by spy agencies. He will require all federal employees to pass a new civil service test covering due-process rights, free speech, religious liberties, and Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

The military will play an important role in imposing Trump’s will on the nation. As he did in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, Trump will use federal resources or the National Guard to quell civil disturbances and conduct “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.”

These are only a few of the radical ideas Candidate Trump is proposing. Republicans in Congress and elsewhere claim Democrats have “weaponized” the federal government. But it’s clear the GOP is supporting a candidate for president who will, if elected, introduce a whole new class of federal weaponry.


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