Time to Hold Trump's Authoritarian Helpers Accountable

Thom plus logo What most vividly shows the difference between Ron DeSantis and Xavier Becerra? The crusade, and then the failure of that crusade, to make America into a fully authoritarian nation, and the return to democracy.

Donald Trump is a full-blown authoritarian; anyone who's ever read a decent history of Germany, Italy, or Spain in the 1930s, or knows the history of Pinochet in Chile, knows this is an irrefutable truth.

But authoritarians don't come to power by themselves; they have helpers. Ron DeSantis, a helper, bet that if he could cover up Covid deaths and misery in Florida, it would keep Trump in the White House and solidify DeSantis' authoritarian political future as a "made man."

Like all good authoritarian helpers throughout history, DeSantis was willing not just to let people die, but also to take explicit actions that caused the deaths of thousands his own citizens so he and Trump could strengthen the power of authoritarianism in America.

He wasn't alone in this, of course. The same is true of Bill Barr, Rudy Giuliani, several other Republican governors 220 congressional Republicans who won't say Biden won. They'd all been working, hoping, depending on Trump's reelection to solidify American authoritarianism.

And they weren't alone, either. Numerous foreign dictators pushed these authoritarian efforts, flooding Facebook, Twitter and phony "news" websites with propaganda pushing Trump and his authoritarian efforts. Like in 2016, the campaign was widespread, complex and well-funded.

They all gave it their best, and they nearly won, but it's now clear that Trump and, for the moment, rightwing authoritarianism in the executive branch, have gone down in flames. Which brings us to a Xavier Becerra.

One of our brightest hopes now is Joe Biden‘s appointment of Xavier Becerra as HHS Secretary. A former member of Congress and now California's Attorney General, he's an outspoken advocate of Medicare for all, even defending it on Fox News.

The first member of his family to graduate from college, Becerra opposed the 2008 bank bailout bill because it didn't put enough money in the hands of average people and didn't help working class homeowners. He fought hard to stop Medicaid and Medicare cuts.

In other words, Biden is moving our government away from supporting authoritarianism and putting into power people who openly advocate democracy, the rule of law, and economic rights for the average working person.

Ron DeSantis bet that he'd have full-blown authoritarianism with Trump as president again, and thus was willing to let Floridians die to help Trump hang onto power. He lost that bet. And now Bill Barr and the other rats are deserting the sinking ship.

Meanwhile, prosecutors and Attorneys General across the country are preparing to hold Trump and some of his authoritarian enablers to account. Hopefully, in two years America's voters will do the same to their authoritarian allies in Congress.

Dr. Martin Luther King talked about "the arc of the moral universe" that "bends towards justice." In the contrast between Ron DeSantis and Xavier Becerra we vividly see the bending of that arc. Hope is on the horizon: stay safe and keep working to rebuild this country.


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