WaPo tries to use data to prove that the Republican Party is authoritarian and it's the stupidest thing ever

lol wapo
Nov 16th

You're not against science, are you?

We know this is 100% valid and above board because it was prepared by an "international team of political scientists."

Not only that, but it was "quantified!"

Incidentally, Noah Smith is so very concerned about authoritarianism that he founded a group called TestAndTrace to promote a not-at-all chilling attempt to advocate for the tracking of your every move. He's also behind Masks4All that seeks to mandate that you wrap your face with a piece of cloth under penalty of law which is not to be confused with anything remotely authoritarian.

Before we go further, we should probably warn you that they have charts. In color even!

Washington Post 11/12/20

Ooh, that looks pretty bad. Couldn't be more clear. Or sciency.

According to the Washington Post,

"Taking a cue from President Trump, several leading Republican lawmakers and officials have refused to acknowledge Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential contest and indulge Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud."

Not acknowledging a victory that hasn't happened yet and exploring charges of voter fraud as detailed in numerous signed affidavits, is not nearly as authoritarian as demanding that you accept a defeat that hasn't happened yet and ignore the sworn statements of concerned citizens.

See how that works?

Rather than torturing you any more with The Washington Post, I dug up the research paper itself, or at least the briefing paper for it.

I'll torture you with the source material instead!

The study gathered data regarding behaviors they believed to be authoritarian, breaking them down into three broad categories:

  • Illiberal
  • Populist
  • Economic

We'll start with "Illiberal."

V-Dem Institute Briefing Paper No. #9, 26 October 2020

"Non-Pluralist." Let's define that first. A Pluralist is one,

"Who believes that the existence of different types of people, beliefs, and opinions within a society is a good thing."

I am working on getting my hands on the actual data because I think that would be VERY interesting, but given that we are in the midst of an unprecedented attempt by Democrats to shame, penalize, and make unemployable, people with whom they disagree, together with their long history of labeling political opponents as racists, you'll have to count me as "skeptical" on this point.

They do not define, "Violates Minority Rights," but given the tenor of the work, I'm inclined to believe this is along the same lines as "No State Support for Working Women," which I get to further on.

"Disrespects Opponents." I'll leave you with the beating of effigies in the street to ponder. (Yes, these activities predate this study, but we've been seeing this kind of thing, or at least things leading up to this, for years.)

"Encourages Violence." As opposed to, say, actual violence? Asking for a friend.

On to "Populist."

Photo Credit: V-Dem Institute Briefing Paper No. #9, 26 October 2020

"Anti-Elitist." They say that like it's a bad thing. According to the briefing:

"Both parties use more populist rhetoric – anti-elitism and citizen-centrism – than typical parties in democracies, but the Republicans clearly more so."

I recognize that populism can go very wrong, but then so can democracy. So I can't help but laugh that a group of elitists decided to use their study to label as "authoritarian," any criticism of themselves.

Totally objective!

And "citizen-centrism?!" You mean the people governing a country, who are supported by and voted into office by "citizens," pay way too much attention to the interests of citizens?

How authoritarian!

"People-Centric." I will reserve comment on this until I get the data seeing as I have no idea what this means. Based on what I've seen so far, I'm not sure they do, either.

"Anti-Immigration." What's there to say about this? Little, I would argue. First it's largely a slur in that it assumes if you believe in borders and that the rule of law should be enforced, you are "anti-immigrant," which is absurd. I'm for doors and laws that prohibit trespassing, but I don't believe that makes me "anti-neighbor."

"Opposes LGBT Equality." I'd like to see how they define "equality," but leaving that aside, this issue is about five minutes old, and while I am pretty open minded about LGBT (Q+) rights (basic human rights, for example), there are many areas of completely legitimate objection as to how these notions of equality are codified into the law.

Too bad, fascists. Opposing the right of a man who "identifies" as a woman to share your teenage daughter's locker room makes you authoritarian.

(Incidentally, that is not some conservative boogeyman talking point. This is happening and is celebrated.)

"Espouses Cultural Superiority." Guilty! Believing American culture is superior to, oh I don't know, one in which homosexuals are stoned to death, and that jails minority populations is authoritarian now I guess. (I wonder if any of that comes under "Violates Minority Rights?")

If you don't believe these transparently authoritarian cultures are not worthy of your respect and deference, you are the real authoritarian.

Bigot.

There is something else, too. This entire study elevates certain elements of culture above others, rewarding those who comply with the "anti-authoritarian" label. In so doing, they are espousing their own "cultural superiority."

In other words, the researchers themselves, by their very research, are authoritarian!

How meta.

"Invokes Religion." Oh my Go… Oops, I was almost authoritarian there.

Really, where do you even begin. Having faith in something greater than yourself, believing in God and having the temerity to speak of it in public is authoritarian?

Best to keep that on the down low, like a drinking problem, or smoking cigarettes.

"No State Support for Working Women." Is there no progressive talking point to which you can object without being labeled an authoritarian?

What's interesting about this one is that in order for the "state" to "support" working women requires such state to put into place laws that would mandate certain behaviors and policies that if ignored would be enforced through some measure of sanctions, fines, or some other penalty.

Object to the further imposition of coercive state power? THAT'S authoritarian.

The last category is "Economic Policies."

Photo Credit: V-Dem Institute Briefing Paper No. #9, 26 October 2020

I had to research this one a bit and it appears that if you display any kind of nationalism with regards to economic policy, you are an authoritarian.

I am an unrepentant capitalist and believe in free markets. I am also an unrepentant American and believe in a cohesive society that ensures we have a healthy and vibrant middle class. If that means protecting industries so as not to hollow out our productive capacity or not leave us at the mercy of China for our access to life-saving medications, call me an authoritarian.

The thing to remember is that they count on your not reading past the first few paragraphs or maybe even the headline. They definitely count on you to not dig into the source material. They count on you being confronted at a social or work gathering, being told that Republicans are increasingly authoritarian, and hoping you'll simply be shamed into silence.

Not at Not The Bee!

Wait, is that a double-negative?


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