Now is the time to protect freedom

  • Conservative and Republican: US president Donald Trump speaks to the media about the testimony to Congress of former special counsel Robert Mueller, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington (Photograph by Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

    Conservative and Republican: US president Donald Trump speaks to the media about the testimony to Congress of former special counsel Robert Mueller, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington (Photograph by Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

There is a hell of a debate going now in the United States about the autocratic style of leadership that Donald Trump seems to prefer.

The word there is that “he is destroying our democracy, he is taking away the very sense of who we are”.

Beyond the sentiments lay the real debate of whether a monarchy, notwithstanding the ideals of democracy, is a better and more effective form of governance. The Trumpians seem to think so.

You would think the answer should be a slam dunk, but it isn’t as simple as that. Long gone are the days when Britain governed as an autocratic monarchy, but there was a time not so long go when it did.

The Crown had its constitutional limitations but the Royal Family ruled. Can we say declaratively which of the two systems was more effective for them?

Russia has a General Election to choose their president but despite that the style of leadership is absolutely authoritarian. However, its president, Vladimir Putin, has completely rebuilt what was a failing economy and a country that was demoralised by poverty and corruption.

The Kim Jong Un dynasty survived the Korean-American war and now is among nuclear nations.

Yes, they have many detainees in prison camps, but are there proportionately fewer prisoners in free America?

Sir Winston Churchill once said: “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Among the other forms, I have heard the term “benevolent” dictatorship, perhaps meaning the type of dictatorship that restores the hope of prosperity and dignity of a country.

Unfortunately, there is another associated term that attaches to many would-be benevolent dictators, which is fascism.

Often it has happened that a fascist leader is elected through a popular vote.

The thread that ties the fascist-type leaders as distinctive is that they are usually nativist who appeal to the baser instincts and fears that occur in almost every population.

They use the fear of others who will be blamed for all the problems in the country. The language is that you would be better off were it not for those others who take your jobs and deprive you of your birthright.

Race is one of the easiest weapons to develop, and fascists are skilled at fomenting hatred and native sentiment against what is termed “the others”.

The world is being swamped by this tendency; nowhere seems to be exempt. Brexit was an example and now the US presidential election is beaming with this saga:

The idea is that the human family can be brought together under a constitutional construct that grants them as equals the protection of a state with rights for each person.

The idea of openness and transparency in an environment where criticism is honoured as the mechanism towards perfection and not treated as disloyalty or anti-patriotism is under assault.

The call by Trump of “if you don’t like what you see, you can leave and go back to your country” is the biggest call in the free world for persons to retreat from being critical.

To dare suggest another way as a means of improvement has become “you hate the country” or “are unpatriotic”.

You can belong to a party and want to make it better, but must do so with the knowledge of being victimised as an “other”.

Is this where the once-conservative and moralistic GOP has now descended? For people who want and love freedom, now is the time to demand and indeed sacrifice and fight for it. Otherwise, it will be lost for a very long time.

This does not answer the original question, but one could deduce with a little imagination. A monarchy can keep the buses running on schedule, but there will be a lot of miserable people on board.

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Published Jul 25, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 25, 2019 at 7:58 am)

Now is the time to protect freedom

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