Muftic: The governing cancer of our times |

Muftic: The governing cancer of our times

Felicia Muftic
Courtesy Photo |

There is a disturbing trend in politics . It is about authoriatarianism. Trump is nothing new and our founding fathers tried to set up a government that would be the alternative to his style of governance. For those who praised Antonin Scalia’s reliance on the intent of the original constitution and its meaning need to read this. It is about democracy as the best method with which to govern and authoriatarianism is its enemy.

Yes, I know, the New York Times is the epitome of establishment media, but the argument columnist David Brooks makes deserves a full reading and some serious and objective consideration. What he wrote is very close to my own thinking.

The core of his column is this:

“Trump is the culmination of the trends we have been seeing for the last 30 years: the desire for outsiders; the bashing style of rhetoric that makes conversation impossible; the decline of coherent political parties; the declining importance of policy; the tendency to fight cultural battles and identity wars through political means.

Trump represents the path the founders rejected. …”

Brooks cited a study by a political scientist, Matthew Macwilliams that had already caught my eye.,too. Ever since the rise of Nazi Germany, there have been those wondering how it could have happened. Macwilliams’ thesis was not to make a comparison of Donald Trump and Hitler, but is meant as a way to answer the question of why Trump appeals to so many. It has nothing to do public policy, religion, or much else than as he describes and polls Trump supporters. What draws them to him? His answer was similar to my gut feel after spending time in post war Germany. I spent my junior abroad in 1958-59 in Berlin trying to answer that question myself. My feeling was that there was something cultural which caused support and acceptance of a Hitler. It was likely the German’s upbringing and respect of authority. Macwilliams and political scientists have put their finger on it more formally and it became the standard set of questions asks as a measure for the tendency to support authoritarianism. Per Macwilliams: “My poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination toward authoritarianism. These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.Based on these questions, Trump was the only candidate—Republican or Democrat—whose support among authoritarians was statistically significant.”

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