"Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that." - Mike Lee
October 8, 2020


So...when Sen. Mike Lee tweeted this out in the middle of the night one wondered if it was the COVID drugs talking, or whether he was just saying out loud what the rest of them think. Namely, that this government by the people, for the people stuff isn't working out so great, and that we'd all be better off with something else. What that something else is he doesn't actually get into, but one imagines it involves some type of authoritarianism, command structure in place that gets around those ineffiencies. Luckily, there is a word for that because some other countries have already tried it.


Mike Lee first tweeted this out.

Jonathan Chait in NYMag on what's going on with the Republican Party these days, because it's not just Mike Lee promoting authoritarianism.

Lee is articulating a view that has long been in vogue on the American right but which Republican politicians were generally hesitant to express openly. The premise is that liberty is a higher value than democracy, and they define liberty to mean a right to property that precludes redistribution. That is to say, the far right does not merely view progressive taxation, regulation and the welfare state as impediments to growth, but as fundamentally oppressive. A political system that truly secured freedom would not allow the majority to gang up on the minority and redistribute their income for themselves.
From the perspective of the right, Trump’s assault on democracy has advanced the cause of freedom and liberty, on net. His regressive tax cuts and deregulation have returned property to their rightful owners. Republicans believe that the political system must retain, and ideally expand, its counter-majoritarian features: restrictive ballot-access rules that restrict the franchise to the most “worthy” citizens, gerrymandered maps that allow the white rural minority to exercise control, a Senate that disproportionately represents white and Republican voters, and a Supreme Court that believes the Republican economic program is written into the Constitution.

Lee drew some attention by attacking Trump in 2016 and urging him to quit the race after the Access Hollywood tape emerged. But Lee, like most conservatives, has grown to appreciate the values he and Trump share. The most important of these shared values is Trump’s hatred for democracy. And this is why the struggle for American democracy will continue after Trump is gone.

Twitter responded.

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