The Race to Authoritarianism

The Race to Authoritarianism

Max Adams '21 and

For years, the mainstream media has been intensely critical of President Donald Trump, and understandably so. He has been labeled by many on the Left as an authoritarian dictator or even Hitler himself. While this might have been a hyperbolic claim for most of his presidency, on January 6th, 2020, we saw what could only be described as ominously authoritarian. 

It is hard to say whether Donald Trump actively and directly called for a violent insurrection, but his ambiguous language did lead some to interpret it as such. Most of the controversial things Donald Trump has said throughout his presidency have been very ambiguous and up for interpretation. So, depending on who you ask, what he said on January 6th was a call for violence. Regardless of what he said or how it could be interpreted, he refused to accept election results insisting that he had won, leading many of his followers to storm the Capitol building and defy the Constitution and the law. 

His legal team failed to produce any evidence of widespread voter fraud and yet he still refused to concede. These are not the actions of a president who respects the Constitution. This is how the Right raced towards authoritarianism. But there have to be at least two competitors to make it a race.

The Left is winning in this race despite what many feel. The Left controls mainstream media, the new presidency under Joe Biden, the House of Representatives, the Senate, Hollywood, social media, and universities and colleges. Everywhere culture is produced, the Left dominates. 

The Left took unprecedented and scarily authoritarian action against the Right after the events at the Capitol on January 6th, 2020. All social media platforms permanently banned the President of the United States Donald Trump. Twitter has been purging thousands upon thousands of accounts without explanation. Twitter has come forward admitting they have deleted over 70,000 accounts. Facebook and Twitter have taken down the #WalkAwayCampaign, a movement of people who share their stories of moving from the left side of the political aisle to the right. 

The Google Play Store and the Apple App Store have both removed Parler, an alternate social media platform to Twitter, from their stores. Amazon has blocked Parler from using their internet servers, effectively killing the app overnight. The coordinated attack on Parler came with the reasoning that the attacks on the Capitol were organized through the app.  However, Facebook and Twitter remain thriving as many violent events have been organized through them. Most notably, the white-supremacist, Neo-Nazi “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville in August of 2017 was set up through a Facebook event. The debate is not so much about free speech, but more about a pseudo-governmental oligarchy of tech companies imposing their will on people and controlling the public discourse.

Leaders from around the world have called out the move by Twitter to ban the president. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson came forward saying, “The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance… Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.” The Ugandan government decided to ban social media ahead of their election. Twitter crossed a line they cannot walk back on sending a message to the entire world.

Twitter crossed a line. The decision to ban Trump told all world leaders that tech companies have the power to silence any democratically elected official at will with no repercussions. If Twitter is willing to ban the leader of their own country, what is to stop them from influencing other nations’ governments? As our country cheers on authoritarianism from the cultural and political Left, Big Tech continues to grow, the democratic establishment continues to gain power, and the culture war worsens, American’s have just been given another thing to worry about.

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