Column: Who Sounds Silly Lecturing Conservatives About Authoritarianism?

On the third anniversary of the January 6 riot at the Capitol, Joe Biden and the Democrats still operate as if this one terrible afternoon is the number-one issue of the 2024 campaign.

In a new campaign ad, President Biden proclaims “I’ve made the preservation of American democracy the central issue of my presidency.” He says he and Vice President Harris have pushed for voting rights since Day One of the Biden administration, and “I ask every American to join me in this cause.”

Democrats pose as the guardians of democracy, and smear the Republicans as pushers of autocracy. No one expects the “independent fact-checkers” to look at this Biden-Harris ad and question how their alleged stand for democracy and voting rights stands next to Biden backers trying to rip Donald Trump off primary ballots and deny any Biden-challenging Democrats access to primary ballots.

Biden and his media enablers clearly think they can acquire the votes of people disgusted by Trump’s stubborn refusal to concede defeat in 2020 (and his reluctance to stop rioting on January 6) by just citing “democracy” as the all-encompassing issue that cancels all focus on their failures, from inflation to immigration. They’re clearly unwilling to hear arguments that Democrats are the ones who are carrying around the seeds of authoritarianism in their policies. Here’s a short list:

Covid Authoritarianism. Democrats suggested Trump (and Ron DeSantis and Brian Kemp) were basically mass murderers because they resisted the Left’s ardor to lock everything down in 2020, from businesses to schools to churches. Firing people who wouldn’t accept a vaccine mandate wasn’t autocracy. It didn’t seem to matter that their lockdown “science” had holes, that somehow a Black Lives Matter protest couldn’t be a “super-spreader event” because it was a just cause.

Climate Authoritarianism. A global elite meets regularly to impose mandates that could dramatically affect everyday lives, starting with “ending fossil fuels.” The Covid lockdowns inspired them to see how an oppressive lockdown on allegedly catastrophic carbon emissions could be their utopian (not dystopian) vision of the future.

Student-Debt Authoritarianism. Journalists are pushing around Team Biden on how young voters think they “haven’t done enough” to unilaterally erase billions of dollars of student-loan debt, ignoring any need for approval of spending by Congress or rulings from the judiciary branch. The supposedly fairness-obsessed Left never asks if this effort is unfair to the sizable minority of young people who do not go to college, or don’t incur thousands of dollars in college debt.

Gender Authoritarianism. Leftist-run fiefdoms like New York City have imposed regulations suggesting that “misgendering” or “deadnaming” an individual who identifies as transgender or non-binary is unlawful. Newsweek reported a poll by Redfield & Wilton Strategies that found 44 percent of those aged 25-34 think “referring to someone by the wrong gender pronoun (he/him, she/her) should be a criminal offense,” and that’s also supported by 38 percent of those aged 35-44. People must be forced to deny biological realities.

On the Left, they find it “authoritarian” to deny the right to abort a baby at any point in pregnancy, and so by their logic, killing an unborn person is less offensive than “misgendering” a person.     

Anyone who thinks these notions are overwrought should be told that it’s overwrought for Biden-Harris campaigners to imply that asking voters to present a picture ID is some kind of descent into dictatorship or Jim Crow. Requiring an ID isn’t half as intrusive as mandating vaccinations. Democrats are not synonymous with democracy. Energetically arguing that they’re the party of overweening statism is not an offense against democracy. It defines democracy.

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