It sickens me to hear politicians and media pundits rale against every Republican they speak about with accusations of “Anti-Democracy.” Make no mistake, “Anti-Democracy” is real and has been a staple of many foreign leaders and governments worldwide for generations. But for American media anchors and reporters, as well as Democrat Party members in government at every level, leveling such allegations against Republicans and/or Conservatives defies logic. For a person to take steps to “destroy Democracy” or to be committed to “Autocracy” or “Totalitarianism,” would have to exhibit in their lives evidence proving such allegations are warranted.
A logical question such chaos demands is, “What defines a person who pushes for ‘Anti-Democracy?'” The answer is rather obvious: “Any person who defies to uphold or enforce the laws of the nation in which they live or personally contributes to policies which attack the tenets of Democracy can be justly labeled “Anti-Democratic.”
Are there those today that justifiably wear that title? If so, who are they? What tenets of Democracy do these people attack?
Below, you will see specific examples of such behavior that are verifiable. You’ll also see specific examples of charges made by many on the Left against their political opponents that are the absolute opposite of the allegations leveled at them.
There are numerous examples of Democrats attacking all conservatives who simply disagree with the policies of the Left. And they don’t give specifics to support their allegations! Ben Shapiro, through several tweets, illustrated what those Democrats REALLY mean:
Understand that when the media say “anti-democratic” or “fascist,” they don’t generally mean “against democracy or in favor of unelected autocratic rule.” Sometimes they do, but most of the time, these days, they aren’t talking about Xi or Putin. They’re talking about Meloni or Orban or Bolsonaro or Netanyahu or the Swedish Democrats or the Polish Law and Justice Party or DeSantis or Trump: any elected leader who opposes green utopianism, LGBTQ+!&$ transformational social politics, and open borders idealism. When the media try to name the supposed anti-democratic predations of these disparate elected officials, they fall into the trap of naming policies they absolutely support so long as it’s Leftists pushing them. So, for example, today’s WaPo describes Bolsonaro’s supposed authoritarianism by citing his “picking a war with the supreme court and stacking the prosecutor’s office…with loyalists.” I can name an elected official who has done these things; his name rhymes with Joe Biden. Or take the allegation that Viktor Orban is a fascist because, as Vox’s Zack Beauchamp states, he wants to “seize control of every major aspect of a country’s political and social life, without needing to resort to ‘hard’ measures.” Again, Joe Biden is a person who exists.
It’s logical to think that if a person in power wants to attack and destroy the democratic philosophy of a country, they would use their power to take specific actions to do so, right? Who has attempted to do those things in the last decade or so? The answer to that question, according to Democrats, is simple: Donald Trump. Here’s an example of this exact anti-Democratic philosophy preached to the nation non-stop from VOX:
The Republican Party is the biggest threat to American democracy today. It is a radical, obstructionist faction that has become hostile to the most basic democratic norm: that the other side should get to wield power when it wins elections.
A few years ago, these statements may have sounded like partisan Democratic hyperbole. But in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and Trump’s acquittal in the Senate on the charge of inciting it, they seem more a plain description of where we’re at as a country.
But how deep does the GOP’s problem with democracy run, really? How did things get so bad? And is it likely to get worse?
Below are 13 charts that illustrate the depth of the problem and how we got here. The story they tell is sobering: At every level, from the elite down to rank-and-file voters, the party is permeated with anti-democratic political attitudes and agendas. And the prospects for rescuing the Republican Party, at least in the short term, look grim indeed.
Today’s Republicans really hate Democrats — and democracy
1) Trump’s supporters have embraced anti-democratic ideas
This chart shows results from a two-part survey, conducted in late 2020 and early 2021, of hardcore Trump supporters. The political scientists behind the survey, Rachel Blum and Christian Parker, identified so-called “MAGA voters” by their activity on pro-Trump Facebook pages. Their subjects are engaged and committed Republican partisans, disproportionately likely to influence conflicts within the party like primary elections.
These voters, according to Blum and Parker, are hostile to bedrock democratic principles.
They go further than “merely” believing the 2020 election was stolen, a nearly unanimous view among the bunch. Over 90 percent oppose making it easier for people to vote; roughly 70 percent would support a hypothetical third term for Trump (which would be unconstitutional).
“The MAGA movement,” Blum and Parker write, “is a clear and present danger to American democracy.”
2) Republicans are embracing violence
The ultimate expression of anti-democratic politics is resorting to violence. More than twice as many Republicans as Democrats — nearly two in five Republicans — said in a January poll that force could be justified against their opponents.
It would be easy to dismiss this kind of finding as meaningless were it not for the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill — and the survey was conducted about three weeks after the attack. Republicans recently saw what political violence in the United States looked like, and a large fraction of the party faithful seemed comfortable with more of it.
These attitudes are linked to the party elite’s rhetoric: The more party leaders like Trump attack the democratic political system as rigged against them, the more Republicans will believe it and conclude that extreme measures are justifiable. A separate study by political scientists Lilliana Mason and Nathan Kalmoe found that “Republicans who believe Democrats cheated in the election (83 percent in our study) were far likelier to endorse post-election violence.”
3) Republicans see Democrats as something worse than mere rivals
Democracy is, among other things, a system for taming the disagreements inherent in politics: People compete for power under a set of mutually agreeable rules, seeing each other as rivals within a shared system rather than blood enemies.
But in the United States today, hyperpolarization is undoing this basic democratic premise: Sizable numbers of Americans on each side see the members of the other party not as political opponents but as existential threats.
The rise of this dangerous species of “negative partisanship,” as political scientists call it, is asymmetric. While many Democrats see Republicans in a dark light, a majority still see them more as political rivals than as enemies. Among Republicans, however, a solid majority see Democrats as their enemy.
When you believe the opposing party to be an enemy, the costs of letting them win become too high, and anti-democratic behavior — rigging the game in your favor, even outright violence — starts to become thinkable.
4) Republicans dislike compromise
America’s founders designed our political system around compromise. But for years now, majorities of Republican voters have opposed compromise on principle, consistently telling pollsters that they prefer politicians who stick to their ideological guns rather than give a little to get things done. It’s no wonder the past decade saw unprecedented Republican obstructionism in Congress (more on that later).
The hostility to compromise on the GOP side has at least two major implications for democracy.
First, it has rendered government dysfunctional and ineffective — and consequently has decreased public trust in government. Second, it has pushed Democrats in a more polarized direction; in 2018, Pew found, Democratic support for political compromise plummeted to roughly Republican levels. This seems in part like a reaction to years of GOP behavior: If they aren’t going to compromise with us, the Democratic logic goes, then why should we compromise with them?
But the more Democrats eschew compromise, the more cause Republicans have to see them as fundamentally hostile to conservative values — and to redouble their intransigence. It’s a doom loop for political coexistence.
5) The Republican Party is a global outlier — and not in a good way
The Global Party Survey is a 2019 poll of nearly 2,000 experts on political parties from around the world. The survey asked respondents to rate political parties on two axes: the extent to which they are committed to basic democratic principles and their commitment to protecting rights for ethnic minorities.
This chart shows the results of the survey for all political parties in the OECD, a group of wealthy democratic states, with the two major American parties highlighted in red. The GOP is an extreme outlier compared to mainstream conservative parties in other wealthy democracies, like Canada’s CPC or Germany’s CDU. Its closest peers are almost uniformly radical right and anti-democratic parties. This includes Turkey’s AKP (a regime that is one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists), and Poland’s PiS (which has threatened dissenting judges with criminal punishment).
The verdict of these experts is clear: The Republican Party is one of the most anti-democratic political parties in the developed world.
How things got this bad
6) The Republican turn against democracy begins with race
Support for authoritarian ideas in America is closely tied to the country’s long-running racial conflicts.
This chart, from a September 2020 paper by Vanderbilt professor Larry Bartels, shows a statistical analysis of a survey of Republican voters, analyzing the link between respondents’ score on a measure of “ethnic antagonism” and their support for four anti-democratic statements (e.g., “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it”).
The graphic shows a clear finding: The higher a voter scores on the ethnic antagonism scale, the more likely they are to support anti-democratic ideas. This held true even when Bartels used regression analyses to compare racial attitudes to other predictors, like support for Trump. “The strongest predictor by far of these antidemocratic attitudes is ethnic antagonism,” he writes.
For students of American history, this shouldn’t be a surprise.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act cemented Democrats as the party of racial equality, causing racially resentful Democrats in the South and elsewhere to defect to the Republican Party. This sorting process, which took place over the next few decades, is the key reason America is so polarized.
It also explains why Republicans are increasingly willing to endorse anti-democratic political tactics and ideas. In the past, restrictions on the franchise served to protect white political power in a changing country; today, as demographic change threatens to further undermine the central place of white Americans, many are becoming comfortable with an updated version of the Jim Crow South’s authoritarian tradition.
7) Partisanship causes Republicans to justify anti-democratic behavior
This chart is a little hard to parse, but it illustrates a crucial finding from one of the best recent papers on anti-democratic sentiment in America: how decades of rising partisanship made an anti-democratic GOP possible.
8) The crucial impact of the right-wing media
The chart here is from a study covering 1997 to 2002 when Fox News was still being rolled out across the country. The study compared members of Congress in districts where Fox News was available to members in districts where it wasn’t, specifically examining how frequently they voted along party lines.
They found that Republicans in districts with Fox grew considerably more likely to vote with the party as it got closer to election time, whereas Republicans without Fox actually grew less likely to do so. The expansion of Fox News, in short, seemingly served a disciplining function: making Republican members of Congress more afraid of the consequences of breaking with the party come election time and thus less inclined to engage in bipartisan legislative efforts.
“Members with Fox News in their district behave as if they believe that more Republicans will turn out at the polls by increasing their support for the Republican Party,” the authors conclude.
How America’s political system creates space for Republicans to undermine democracy
9) Republicans have an unpopular policy agenda
The Republican policy agenda is extremely unpopular. The chart here, taken from Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson’s recent book Let Them Eat Tweets, compares the relative popularity of the two major legislative efforts of Trump’s first term — tax cuts and Obamacare repeal — to similar high-priority bills in years past. The contrast is striking: The GOP’s modern economic agenda is widely disliked even compared to unpopular bills of the past, a finding consistent with a lot of recent polling data.
Hacker and Pierson argue that this drives Republicans’ emphasis on culture war and anti-Democratic identity politics. This strategy, which they term “plutocratic populism,” allows the party’s super-wealthy backers to get their tax cuts while the base gets the partisan street fight they crave.
The GOP can do this because America’s political system is profoundly unrepresentative. The coalition it can assemble — overwhelmingly white Christian, heavily rural, and increasingly less educated — is a shrinking minority that has lost the popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential contests. But its voters are ideally positioned to give Republicans advantages in the Electoral College and the Senate, allowing the party to remain viable despite representing significantly fewer voters than the Democrats do.
I know the above is exhaustive to read and digest. But the clearest things about the drivel contained in this assault on half the voting-USA are this:
- None of the various “assaults” launched by any of the contributors to this rag ever gave examples of how Republicans’ actions — even the ones that are true among the litany of allegations made that have never been proven — don’t point to anything or things that are assaults on Democracy! After all, any credible news writer would give “specifics” rather than merely “allegations.”
- We’ve discussed this entire article without even defining “Democracy.” I did this purposely. Why? Because the writers didn’t reference anything in their allegations that relate to “destroying Democracy.”
Let’s take a look at Democracy’s definition:
1. a government by the people, especially the rule of the majority; b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections;
2. a political unit that has a democratic government;
3. the common people, especially when constituting the source of political authority.
I’ll end this diatribe simply with this challenge: I defy anyone to try and explain how any of the “allegations” listed in this article — remember, “allegations” are NOT facts — are anti-democratic and were perpetrated to destroy the U.S. Democracy. If you respond, please use specifics without pure speculation.
The oddest thing not mentioned and apparently not noticed by the writers is this: every class of anti-democratic action, almost without exception, applies to the actions of President Joe Biden and Democrat Party members!
- Remember that the Democrat governor of Hawaii in 1960 appointed a separate slate of electors (other than those chosen by Hawaiian voters in their democratic election) and sent them to Washington to cast their votes for John F. Kennedy.
- As recently as 2016 — and even after — Democrats rose in the Senate in the joint session to confirm the winner of the President and Vice President election to try and overturn with their objections the democratic election of multiple federal election results through the years. In case you forgot, here are some of them:
Is what you just saw and heard not exactly what the content in the VOX story calls out as anti-democratic attempts to reject democratic election results?
I recommend all on the Left who are REAL Americans who support and demand REAL government according to the United States Constitution take a hard look at themselves in comparison to the allegations in the VOX story. If one does so honestly, there is NO way to tie any of this to Donald Trump. But it’s simple to attach them to Joe Biden easily.