Is the US doomed to authoritarianism?

RadioactiveSquirrel

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I’m in a state of despair. Everyday, I turn on the news, and Trump and his administration has dismantled or chipped away at another pillar of our democracy.

The Senate refused to take a stand, the DOJ is obeying his every whim, and good people are either being fired or resigning left and right.

I know that the political divide in our country has been worsening in recent years, but I feel as though it’s now reached the point where people are so blind with disdain for the other side, that they can’t - or perhaps refuse to - see our institutions failing before their eyes.

I know that I lean pretty far left, and that I have more than a few policy disagreements with people on the other side of the aisle, but I never felt this sense of existential dread when President Bush was in charge that I feel today.

In my mind, Trump is undisputedly flirting with facism in broad daylight, and the people not only seem to not care - but they are actively applauding it. Trump seems to be following Hitler’s playbook to the T, and people are just closing their eyes to it all.

What will happen come November? What if he wins again? Will democracy in America truly be dead? If he gets another 4 years, I feel like the constitution will be beyond saving.

What will happen if he loses? He has advocated for violence before at his rallies, and he’s already been laying the groundwork to claim the contest was ‘rigged’ if he doesn’t win. Can there really be any hope of a peaceful transition to the next administration?

I’m sure some of you reading this will probably write my post off as ‘paranoid’, that ‘Trump isn’t going to become a dictator’ - and to that I must repeat the words I read when I pick up most any history book describing 1930’s Germany: almost nobody expected Hitler to do what he did.

I’m not saying Trump is going to commit genocide obviously, I don’t believe that is his ultimate goal - but he is using the same tactics that Hitler used when he was rising to power, and that should be scaring people, but it isn’t, and I just can’t understand why.
 

sbmccue

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Will the republic survive another Trump term? Probably. Will it ever be the same, even if he's beaten in November? Likely not.

The 'norms' that served politicians for so long have effectively been swept away over the past 3 years, and there's a substantial segment of the voting public glad they're gone. Unfortunately, these are often also people who have never read the Constitution, slept through Civics class in high school, and assume the ends justify the means if the result is that people who are just like them regain the upper hand in American society.

The opportunity to marginalize Republicans has come and gone. Since the GOP's gerrymandering tactics over the past 20 years have given them the edge with respect to Congressional districts, and the judiciary now leans firmly toward the conservative point of view, the pendulum will need to swing back to the other side before we see substantial change. Unfortunately, the swing often takes decades or even longer.

The problem is that the Democratic party seems content to eat its young. There's not a single candidate - including Joe Biden - who can withstand the Trumpian onslaught. Bloomberg is probably the party's only real hope in November, and he can come closest to going toe-to-toe with Trump. But Bloomberg has baggage of his own that Trump is keen to exploit. The only salvation of the Democratic party is a short primary season.

I wouldn't say we're doomed to authoritarianism unless or until Democrats are outlawed. We do have challenging times ahead, and at some point, the Republican party will self-destruct because the GOP is unable to serve two masters simultaneously. I hope our society survives until then; the main risk now is civil war and blood in the streets. I've been watching this situation evolve for more than 30 years, and I think we're closer to that sort of street-to-street conflict than at any time since Pat Buchanan's 'culture war' speech in 1992. The thought of armed conflict in city streets makes 'authoritarianism' pale in comparison. That's the danger that lies ahead ... and it's a very real one. Hell hath no fury like folks who are unalterably convinced they're right losing control of the system.

Conservatism will be dead as a political force by the end of Trump's second term. Whether liberals can band together to save us after that remains to be seen. Anarchy and confusion will continue to reign, most likely, and there's little common citizens can do to persuade their elected officials to behave otherwise.
 

Icewolf

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I wouldn't say we're doomed to authoritarianism unless or until Democrats are outlawed.
Only thing I would add/change here is unless or until one side or the other is outlawed. Authoritarianism is not something that is on one side of the political left/right spectrum. Most democrats, and republicans, likely don't want authoritarian government. However, we often only see news based on the extreme ends, in essence the mess today started with people trying to get laws passed to force others to do as they wanted. Most of these I know of were SJWs saying things like bakeries should be forced to bake wedding cakes for gays even if it went against the owner's beliefs. Why couldn't the ones wanting a cake made go elsewhere? why could they not just have the baker make the cake but decorate/top it themselves?

Maybe, just maybe, some of the mess is cause there are those of us feeling our rights are being eroded to please a group of minorities that are the reason minorities are having issues. When it comes to rights, it should be yours end where someone else's begin, not "I'm a minority so my rights trump yours".
 

TeddyBearCowboy

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if you study and seriously contemplate history, I think you will have to admit, this is not the most perilous of times for our country.

It is scary, no doubt. Especially to see how polarized we are becoming as a nation. —Not to entirely different than the polarization that started the civil war. However, the division is different than what caused the polarization at that time. Instead of the North vs the South and rights of individuals over the economic prosperity that was associated with “free labor” from slavery and associated commerce, today it is about the Left vs the Right, and over the false guise of economic prosperity without compassion or concern for the welfare of those who are sick, poor, or weak.

—Don’t get me wrong, I am a believer in capitalism and the conservative values of working hard and reaping the fruits of that labor. But I am also compassionate and caring and realize the role of Government in not just generating profits for the wealthy of our country, but helping those less fortunate.

I also realize that the wealth of our country is not just in the Gross Domestic Product, but in the strength and unity of its people. It was a bunch of poor farmers and settlers that united and rose to the wealth and power of foreign nations that gained us our independence. Not through a wealthy dictator that drove the country into division.

At present, it indeed seems that many look to our current administration with blind faith and accept that despite all the undignified, improper, and blatantly dictator-like actions, and actual seemingly hatred of anyone or any group who is opposed to his actions, that he still can do no wrong. Even in kindergarten children are taught to play nicely with others. It is the golden rule that tells us to treat others as we would like to be treated, regardless of differences in opinion. We should work diplomatically with others that may disagree with us, not try to ursurp power from other branches of government because they disagree with you. Can you honestly say that is what the current administration is doing?

The current executive branch seems to think that because he was elected (not by popular vote mind you, but by the electoral college) that an equal branch of government, Congress, (that could be arguably said to elected in many or most cases by not so narrow of margins as he was) as elected officials by the same People of the United States of America, do not have the right to disagree and hold him to the constraints of the Constitution.

That indeed is authoritarianism. I don’t care how strong of a supporter of the chief executive you might be, the evidence that he fails to recognize Congress and now even the Judicial Branch’s genuine authority given them through the electoral process (or appointed —in the case of some levels of judges) simply because he disagrees with them is irrefutable.

—steps off of my soap box 📦.

But will we recover from this. Yes, I believe we will. I’m not sure exactly what it will take, and what rising leader out there will be as Lincoln in the Civil War, but we will find a way to rejoin our union. In this case, it is not the north against the south, but the left against the right.

Call me a helpless optimist, but I think there will be something, someone, or somehow that our country will again find unity towards the greater cause and the standards and truths of the Constitution and re-establishment of balance of powers.

Because of the atrocities that are curently happening, it is my belief that ultimately history will prove that the nation may resolve not to let this get so far out of hand again.

Just as in the Civil War, it was painful, but healing eventually did occur. The fights over slavery and division of the States have been firmly put to rest by the overwhelming majority of the nation and resolutions made to not fall into that ignorance again.

I pray this may be so in our case of conflict of today.
 
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CutePrincess

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No, its called an oligarchy. I do not believe all these motives are trump alone, but rather a collective of extreme right wing ideas. So basically where I sit, around 1/3 of the people of the US is trying to run things, and the people that exclusively represent those 1/3, hence, oligarchy.
 
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CutePrincess

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Most of these I know of were SJWs saying things like bakeries should be forced to bake wedding cakes for gays even if it went against the owner's beliefs. Why couldn't the ones wanting a cake made go elsewhere? why could they not just have the baker make the cake but decorate/top it themselves?
IT IS A PUBLIC BUSINESS AND THEREFOR FALLS UNDER THIS REGULATION THAT EXISTED FOR A LONG TIME:
"make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,"

Besides, "even if it went against the owner's beliefs" No that is not a thing anyway, acting like that violates the faith they are trying to defend their actions with.

AND I AM SICK OF TRUMP AND OTHER REPUBLICANS TRYING TO WALK OVER THIS AMENDMENT!!! Ted cruz tried to push the ban of didos over it ... like HELLO?!?!?!?!? As much as I like to hear "marry Christmas" and all that, trump parading that should be viewed as unconstitutional. I am so sick of trump enabling this extreme alt right nonsense that violate these laws and his extreme followers think it is the right thing all of a sudden.
 
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Icewolf

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T IS A PUBLIC BUSINESS AND THEREFOR FALLS UNDER THIS REGULATION THAT EXISTED FOR A LONG TIME:
Easy Princess, easy. Personally, even as a Christian, I would at least be offering to make the cake and get it ready, aside from maybe the topper if it was 2 grooms/2 brides (something that the ones ordering the cake could possibly find and put on it themselves). Even that would likely just take them being up front about it, like if they came in, as a pair, and asked for a wedding cake, am I going to know it is for them, maybe the pair that come in is the bride or groom and the best man/maid of honor, or a family member. Mainly if it is a weeding style cake I am making, I'll make the cake, the details can be left for later. The only exception is if I have a ton of orders to get done already to the extent I might not be able to make it at all. All I am asking for, in cases like this, that the ones involved try to work something out without either side feeling their rights are being infringed, after all I can remember the days when businesses had signs that said things along the lines of "the business reserves the right to refuse service to anyone".

I was just trying to point out some on the left that make those of us on the right feel like our rights are being infringed on, especially since the amendment can go both ways. The ones in the situation I mentioned above would be the ones trying to make the only reason the baker would not make the cake would be because of religious beliefs. Now if the baker claimed he was too busy when he was not, then I'd call it into question as far as why he would not even make the cake.

To cap it off, I just have some quotes from an article about one of the very cases I am referring to:
But religion must not translate into a license to discriminate -- nor trample people's protections under the law. Requiring companies to abide by nondiscrimination laws does not require business owners to abandon their religious beliefs. It merely requires them to honor the clear constitutional rights of others.
The court acknowledged that "it is a general rule that (religious) objections do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services."
and here is the link to the report if anyone wants to read the full story: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/05/opinions/masterpiece-cakeshop-supreme-court-opinion-gupta/index.html Keep in mind, the courts decided in favor of the baker because it found the previous ruling violated the baker's rights.
 
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Traemo

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The problem with the bakery stuff isn't the cakes, it's the permission to use religion as a valid reason to deny services or support to a protected class of persons. You seem to support the idea that a homosexual couple can be denied service based on that; but what if the reason was because it was an interracial couple? Should it be legally acceptable for an ER Physician to refuse to treat someone because they're gay? If my faith says that people with clearly African phenotypes are inhuman, should I be allowed to refuse to rent/sell a house to them? At the extreme end, what if my faith actually requires that I go forth and kill?
On a practical level, yes, if one bakery refuses to make a cake, you should just go elsewhere. But as a legal precedent, that could well be the start of a very dangerous slide . . . .
 

DanielW

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I’m in a state of despair. Everyday, I turn on the news, and Trump and his administration has dismantled or chipped away at another pillar of our democracy.

The Senate refused to take a stand, the DOJ is obeying his every whim, and good people are either being fired or resigning left and right.

I know that the political divide in our country has been worsening in recent years, but I feel as though it’s now reached the point where people are so blind with disdain for the other side, that they can’t - or perhaps refuse to - see our institutions failing before their eyes.

I know that I lean pretty far left, and that I have more than a few policy disagreements with people on the other side of the aisle, but I never felt this sense of existential dread when President Bush was in charge that I feel today.

In my mind, Trump is undisputedly flirting with facism in broad daylight, and the people not only seem to not care - but they are actively applauding it. Trump seems to be following Hitler’s playbook to the T, and people are just closing their eyes to it all.

What will happen come November? What if he wins again? Will democracy in America truly be dead? If he gets another 4 years, I feel like the constitution will be beyond saving.

What will happen if he loses? He has advocated for violence before at his rallies, and he’s already been laying the groundwork to claim the contest was ‘rigged’ if he doesn’t win. Can there really be any hope of a peaceful transition to the next administration?

I’m sure some of you reading this will probably write my post off as ‘paranoid’, that ‘Trump isn’t going to become a dictator’ - and to that I must repeat the words I read when I pick up most any history book describing 1930’s Germany: almost nobody expected Hitler to do what he did.

I’m not saying Trump is going to commit genocide obviously, I don’t believe that is his ultimate goal - but he is using the same tactics that Hitler used when he was rising to power, and that should be scaring people, but it isn’t, and I just can’t understand why.
All political systems fail over time... and America isn't a Democracy its an Oligarchy. What will happen over time? I think eventually the problems will correct themselves.
 

RadioactiveSquirrel

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All political systems fail over time... and America isn't a Democracy its an Oligarchy. What will happen over time? I think eventually the problems will correct themselves.
Yeah, we’re already classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ 😢

I hope things correct themselves, but I don’t know at this point ☹
 

KitsuneFox

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"AUTHORITARIAN" is a form of government where the government micromanages the day-to-day lives of it's citizens ... typical to have very limited political leverage by it's population. ( many EU countries are far more authoritarian than the USA - yay for draconian laws )

The problem with the argument stated above - if the majority of folks vote for a politician, than the system is working as intended ... if a minority of the voting population is in control of who is elected, there are major problems.
Be careful on how you's want to "force" your idealism onto others .

( the US is not a democracy - it's a republic )
 

RadioactiveSquirrel

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"AUTHORITARIAN" is a form of government where the government micromanages the day-to-day lives of it's citizens ... typical to have very limited political leverage by it's population. ( many EU countries are far more authoritarian than the USA - yay for draconian laws )

The problem with the argument stated above - if the majority of folks vote for a politician, than the system is working as intended ... if a minority of the voting population is in control of who is elected, there are major problems.
Be careful on how you's want to "force" your idealism onto others .

( the US is not a democracy - it's a republic )
Ah, perhaps facism is a more appropriate term for what I was going for then.

And I’m not trying to force my idealism on people (if you were talking to me). I’m just ranting about how blatantly corrupt our current administration is, and how all of our institutions designed to act as a check on Presidential power in situations like this are not only failing, but actively embracing the most corrupt President in modern history.

I mean let’s be real here, before this guy took office he had lawsuits filed against him for defrauding charities, sexual assault, and loads more. How can people honestly believe that he is this messianic figure? It truly baffles my mind.
 

CutePrincess

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Easy Princess, easy. Personally, even as a Christian, I would at least be offering to make the cake and get it ready, aside from maybe the topper if it was 2 grooms/2 brides (something that the ones ordering the cake could possibly find and put on it themselves). Even that would likely just take them being up front about it, like if they came in, as a pair, and asked for a wedding cake, am I going to know it is for them, maybe the pair that come in is the bride or groom and the best man/maid of honor, or a family member. Mainly if it is a weeding style cake I am making, I'll make the cake, the details can be left for later. The only exception is if I have a ton of orders to get done already to the extent I might not be able to make it at all. All I am asking for, in cases like this, that the ones involved try to work something out without either side feeling their rights are being infringed, after all I can remember the days when businesses had signs that said things along the lines of "the business reserves the right to refuse service to anyone".
No.
Do you really understand the christian faith?
John 8:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Matthew 7:1-5
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
A true Christian would make the cake without a scene, people use this as a fallacious excuse because they do not like it.
Keep in mind, the courts decided in favor of the baker because it found the previous ruling violated the baker's rights.
No? Also being christian does not get a pass to harass people and push your faith on others like this:
Sorry but you can't make up rules on how your religion allows to be discriminatory.
 
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CutePrincess

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Ah, perhaps facism is a more appropriate term for what I was going for then.

And I’m not trying to force my idealism on people (if you were talking to me). I’m just ranting about how blatantly corrupt our current administration is, and how all of our institutions designed to act as a check on Presidential power in situations like this are not only failing, but actively embracing the most corrupt President in modern history.

I mean let’s be real here, before this guy took office he had lawsuits filed against him for defrauding charities, sexual assault, and loads more. How can people honestly believe that he is this messianic figure? It truly baffles my mind.
did you see my post on this manner?
No, its called an oligarchy. I do not believe all these motives are trump alone, but rather a collective of extreme right wing ideas. So basically where I sit, around 1/3 of the people of the US is trying to run things, and the people that exclusively represent those 1/3, hence, oligarchy.
I do not fear trump acting like an authoritarianism. what I fear is alt right ideals and approaches being law and such. (look what trump is enabling south states to do, like passing bans on abortions, trying to reverse same sex marriage, so on.) THIS IS WHAT I FEAR BECAUSE IT IS HAPPENING AND FEAR IT WILL KEEP GETTING WORSE!!!

The current gop is not even "conservative" any more, its an extreme wing of it, trying to push their weight around feeling enabled by someone like trump to do so. We do not have a "republican party" anymore, what you see is alt right vs social democrats.
 
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binkyb

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reading all your arguments sorry but it's like the blind leading the blind. How about wondering why the dem party hasn't done anything for anyone they claim to represent and got voted in by because all their energy has gone into trump hate. For the country as a whole you can't argue with the stats as to how things have improved for most people, the military, business opportunity not to mention deregulation. A for the cake business, it is a private business and as a lot of the places I'm sure you have been to 'reserve the right not to serve' if they lose or gain customers by that then that's their gamble. It all sounds a little hysterical ( not in the funny way) to me
 

Icewolf

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No.
Do you really understand the christian faith?
I like to think I do, but with all the ones claiming to be christian sometimes it is hard to say what is the right way or not.
A true Christian would make the cake without a scene,
And I said I would, barring being unable to make it due to being too busy. There was a similar case where one went in and asked for a cake decorated in a way that spoke against gay marriage, the bakery owner refused to do that wording and decoration, due to her moral beliefs, BUT offered to make the cake and sell the tools/supplies so the customer could decorate it as they wanted. This is the path I would be taking, I am not denying them a service I would offer to other customers. This is why the situation gets muddied, in the case of the first, the baker refused outright, not even giving the couple a chance to tell him what they wanted, in the case of the second the baker heard the specifics of the order and still offered to make the base cake and let the customer deal with the decoration. I feel the first case blew it due to his outright refusal, but if he had at least heard the order and that was found discriminatory based on his views, what would keep someone from claiming the second was being discriminatory based on hers?
No? Also being christian does not get a pass to harass people and push your faith on others like this:
Agreed, but that is one of those 2 way streets, no one should ever have the right to harass others for reasons of faith, orientation, race, etc,Here is a quote from the very story you posted:
The state in court papers called the case a straightforward example of denial of service based on sexual orientation. The Kleins did not discuss the design of the cake or what message it would convey before refusing to make it, the state’s lawyers said.
Thing is, as I have bee trying to say, the businesses can't, or at least should not be able to, deny a service based on religious principles but as long as the service is not denied they have the ability, until the courts say otherwise, to provide the base service but refuse to do the detail work (decorating in the case of the cake).
Sorry but you can't make up rules on how your religion allows to be discriminatory.
Did I or did I not quote a line from an article that said "religion must not translate into a license to discriminate"? oh wait, I did. Princess, this is one time I am trying to state that things like this go both ways and that some kind of balance must be found. Yet you are talking as if I am part of the problem, if I am coming across that way I am sorry.

A for the cake business, it is a private business and as a lot of the places I'm sure you have been to 'reserve the right not to serve' if they lose or gain customers by that then that's their gamble.
Thank you, this is my attitude, times change, those that refuse to change will be swept away by public opinion and history, those that try to change might make it or they might not. But it should be their choice.
 
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CaterpillarSick

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How about wondering why the dem party hasn't done anything for anyone they claim to represent
Probably because the Senate’s blocked most of the House bills.
For the country as a whole you can't argue with the stats as to how things have improved for most people, the military, business opportunity not to mention deregulation.
Actually you can. Farmers have actually seen profits fall because of Trump’s trade war. Construction materials have gotten more expensive. The military has seen very little change in regards to its engagements. Deregulation has also not necessarily been a good thing, assuming they’ve had any effect at all.
A for the cake business, it is a private business and as a lot of the places I'm sure you have been to 'reserve the right not to serve' if they lose or gain customers by that then that's their gamble.
There are legal restrictions on what grounds you can refuse the right to serve. You can not refuse to serve someone just because they are black. That’s what the whole thing was about here. Do companies have a right to refuse to serve someone because of their sexual orientation?
 

Icewolf

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Do companies have a right to refuse to serve someone because of their sexual orientation?
It seems to be no, they at least have to provide the same service to everyone regardless of orientation, or anything that can be considered "protected status". It gets muddied when the service is provided but the details of the order rub the one providing the service the wrong way. Like in the case where someone wanted a cake decorated in a way that spoke against gay marriage, quite violently perhaps. The one still offered to make the cake and sell the customer what was needed for the decoration, what the customer did with such was in their own hands. Even the one who the first case was about only faltered due to it being a wedding cake, he still offered to make birthday cakes, cookies, etc for the couple. As it usually the case, the devil is in the details and those can trip anyone up.

Either way though, it can be used as an example of how the Authoritarianism can come from either direction: businesses can legally refuse service based on sexual orientation vs. businesses can legally be forced to have their work send a message they don't agree with.
 
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CaterpillarSick

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It seems to be no, they at least have to provide the same service to everyone regardless of orientation, or anything that can be considered "protected status". It gets muddied when the service is provided but the details of the order rub the one providing the service the wrong way. Like in the case where someone wanted a cake decorated in a way that spoke against gay marriage, quite violently perhaps. The one still offered to make the cake and sell the customer what was needed for the decoration, what the customer did with such was in their own hands. Even the one who the first case was about only faltered due to it being a wedding cake, he still offered to make birthday cakes, cookies, etc for the couple. As it usually the case, the devil is in the details and those can trip anyone up.
This is true, but those two aren’t equivalent scenarios. The first one is a case where they are refusing to make something obscene. The courts have long recognized that obscene material has very few protections. The second instance is a case of refusing to provide something that you would provide someone else because of who you are selling it to. The first is entirely about the product, but the second one has to do in part because of the customer.
 
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