I open with a thought….
“In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. … Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.”
― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
I could end this post at this point….but since I am an opinionated SOB I shall continue…..
Donald Trump as president has ushered in a roomful of policies that are starting to look like the authoritarianism of such countries as Hungary and Turkey…..
The GOP is starting to look a lot like an autocratic party, a large study into political identity has found.Experts from the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden said the US Republican Party had become more illiberal and populist in recent decades and that its recent retreat from democratic norms has left it resembling authoritarian ruling parties like Hungary’s Fidesz and Turkey’s AKP.“What we see is that the disrespect of political opponents, the encouragement of violence and also the violation of minority rights … they have all clearly increased with the Republican Party in recent years, since [President Donald Trump] came in the leadership but also before that,” Anna Luehrmann, V-Dem’s deputy director and one of the lead authors of the study, told CNN.
As the 3 November U.S. presidential election approaches, the country faces an unfamiliar danger. While Americans have grown used to a certain level of rancour in these quadrennial campaigns, they have not in living memory faced the realistic prospect that the incumbent may reject the outcome or that armed violence may result. That has changed in 2020 because of the emergence of risk factors that would spell trouble in any country: political polarisation bound up with issues of race and identity; the rise of armed groups with political agendas; the higher-than-usual chances of a contested outcome; and most importantly President Donald Trump, whose toxic rhetoric and willingness to court conflict to advance his personal interests have no precedent in modern U.S. history. The risk of unrest may ebb and flow as the final days of the campaign unfold, but it is almost certain to remain, and it will increase if either side forms the impression that the vote has been rigged.
Experts are warning that political violence could erupt around the election, but some believe the early stages of a civil conflict have already unfolded.
A new conflict would look nothing like the first Civil War, more than 150 years ago, and instead would likely resemble an insurgency like those seen in Colombia, Ireland and Syria — and possibly already in the U.S., reported Vice.
“A conflict in the pre-insurgency stage is difficult to detect because most activities are underground and the insurgency has yet to make its presence felt through the use of violence,” the CIA Guide to the Analysis of Insurgency notes. “Moreover, actions conducted in the open can easily be dismissed as nonviolent political activity. During this stage, an insurgent movement is beginning to organize: leadership is emerging, and the insurgents are establishing a grievance and a group identity, beginning to recruit and train members, and stockpiling arms and supplies.”