New York Magazine writer: Opposing Joe Biden is supporting authoritarianism

Media top headlines October 7

In media news today, FiveThirtyEight sounds the alarm on Biden’s polling, an MSNBC panel claims public school protestors are influenced by ‘White Supremacist ideology’ and CNN’s Brianna Keilar lectures Nikki Haley on racism in America

New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait claimed in a new essay that opposing President Joe Biden was essentially the same as supporting authoritarianism taking hold in the U.S.

In a piece published Wednesday, Chait argued there was “no form of Republican politics” consistent with democracy, and that the party under former President Donald Trump was “an authoritarian project.”

“The Republican party is presumptively a vehicle for Trump’s authoritarian ambitions,” Chait wrote, citing an argument by a former anti-Trump Republican advisor. “Anything advancing the Republican party is a vehicle for Trump’s attack on the Constitution.”

“Biden leads the governing party,” he added. “Trump is the leader of the opposition. To oppose the one is to support the other.”

In what appeared to be a comparison of Trump to former German leader Adolf Hitler, Chait claimed that anyone who supported the Republican party’s normal political operations, including open Trump critics, would be “throwing lit matches around the kindling of Trump’s next Reichstag fire.” 

The Reichstag Fire refers to the suspected Nazi false flag arson incident of 1933, when a German legislative building was burned in a fire allegedly started by Communist sympathizers.

The Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.
(REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

Chait cited another writer’s argument that the “threat” posed by Trump to American democracy wasn’t so bad that it required drastic action, such as the “extreme step” of finding a way to block him from power.

“Trump doesn’t need to be a potential Hitler, or even a Mussolini, to justify suspending our normal rules of political conduct,” Chait wrote. 

“Republicans wish to believe they can smooth his path to power without being complicit in his designs. But Trump’s Republican Party is an authoritarian project. For the time being, there is no form of Republican politics that is consistent with democracy,” he added.

Chait faced a swath of criticism on social media over the piece, with critics blasting the piece as advocating for a one-party state and essentially saying “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” 

Other critics referred to Chait’s piece as “state media,” and “an essay on why the state must crush all dissent.”

“The demonization will get worse before it gets better. It is already spilling over from ugly election rhetoric into public policy. That’ll get worse too,” wrote Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, while another critic pointed out that Chait wrote a previous article arguing for liberals to actually support Trump’s nomination for president in 2016.

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