For over 5 decades, there have been those GOP dark money corporate ALEC type dark money donors funding Republican Party lawmakers at the state and federal levels, the Federalist Society, responsible for selecting many of the conservative justices on the Supreme Court, the startups and the management of many right-wing outlets like FOX TV News, GOP think tanks, politically motivated organizations and law firms that write many of the laws sponsored by right-wing legislators.
This GOP infrastructure has been developed over 5 decades to push forward the multiple interests of big business which includes the reduction of taxes, the elimination of government oversight agencies, the dismantling of government run social safety net programs like social security, Medicare, Obamacare along with a host of other goals, such as promoting the denial of climate change science, opposing the existence of unions, denying workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions, fighting against public schools ( because of its public unions).
Because these policies are unpopular, there’s no easy way to sell them to the American public. GOP MAGA politicians who openly announce goals like ending popular programs like social security will lose. But these policies would be much easier to enact if the USA were to become an autocracy.
One of the major difficulties has been how to attract voters without having serious policy discussions. The answer is too simple. All the GOP MAGA candidates have to do is cater to them with made up culture war issues of abortion, homosexuality, transgender rights, multi-culturalism, racism and any other conjured up wedge issue based on morality, lifestyles, perceived grievances, etc. The point is to entice voters to care more about being pro-life, pro-gun rights, the right to say whatever they want without being cancelled (censured), saving their culture from the encroachment (the great replacement theory) by others (fill in the blank) than by talking about policy. These GOP MAGA candidates even sell their voters lies along the lines, that their votes are no longer secure. If GOP election seekers lose an election, it’s because the system has been rigged against them. There’s an entire right-wing infrastructure set up to sell this divisive garbage to lots of GOP MAGA voters.
Why did the GOP establishment continue to back the GOP MAGA defeated ex-president for more than 5+ years? It was because he delivered on a lot of their major goals like the 2017 huge tax cuts bill for corporations’ interests, the dismantling/ weakening of government oversight agencies, the selection of 3 Supreme Court justices, guaranteeing the end of pro-abortion rights as well as delivering on rulings, favorable to the interests of big business. They almost succeeded in winning their multi-year battle designed to kill Obamacare. In 2017, they were short just one US senate vote by the GOP maverick, now deceased Senator John McCain from passing legislation that would have ended it. And the defeated ex-president was able to garner a loyal base of support with the selling of culture war issues.
In short, the GOP establishment types were very happy backing the defeated ex-president until the GOP elite financed by GOP dark money donors figured out that he was losing too many elections for GOP candidates over 3 election cycles, the last one in 2022. They can’t hope to accomplish their objectives if their well-funded GOP candidates keep losing.
But the GOP establishment poohbahs think they’ve found a replacement for the GOP ex-president in the form of the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who has become Castro-lite in catering to the GOP MAGAs with an avalanche of culture war issues while ruling like an autocrat. He has managed to garner headlines of winning the Florida governorship in 2022 by a landslide, omitting the crucial fact that he personally redrew Florida’s redistricting lines, guaranteeing him his reelection victory.
Fortunately, American voters are catching on to these sleight of hand GOP tactics and they’re not buying. It’s no accident that all GOP Maga candidates in swing states who trumpeted their election denial (elections are rigged lies) bona fides, lost in the 2022 elections.
Make no mistake, a lot of the political craziness that we’ve been experiencing is because there’re powerful forces operating behind the scenes that would benefit tremendously if the USA were to morph into an autocracy. The creation of chaos sets the stage where an authoritarian leader can step into the breach by making promises that he has all the answers.
For conservative, right-wing businessmen who think autocracy is the answer, take a look at other autocracies. It’s becoming more of a truism that as government control becomes more centralized in the hands of a few leaders, that the lack input by those with different opinions and ideas, ends up being its downfall. Countries that encourage diversity end up benefitting financially via real market competitiveness.
But that means that conservative GOP CEOs are going to have to figure out a way to further their goals without screwing American workers and their consumers. This requires quality, competent and innovative management skills beyond resorting mostly to cost cutting measures while being poor community leaders as in continuing to deny climate change science, ignoring facts about their products’ imperfections, disrespecting their employees by not paying them a living wage and by not creating a healthy work environment.
Look at what’s happening in China and Russia…
See: 10/29/2022 MSN MarketWatch report (This commentary was published with permission of Project Syndicate — China’s Economy Is Rotting from the Head), “China’s economy is rotting from the head” by Daron Acemoglu.
“Some naysayers had thought this unlikely (China’s economy taking a downturn). While plenty of autocrats had presided over rapid economic expansions, never before had a non-democratic regime generated sustained, innovation-based growth. Some Westerners were mesmerized by Soviet scientific prowess in the 1950s and 1960s, but often they were channeling their own biases. By the 1970s, the Soviet Union was clearly falling behind and stagnating, owing to its inability to innovate across a broad range of sectors.”
“But the more common view was that China would sustain its astonishing growth.
“This consolidation of power comes despite major unforced errors by Xi that are dragging down the economy and sapping China’s innovative potential. Xi’s “zero-COVID” policy was largely avoidable and has come at significant cost, as has his support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.”
“Even more and greater blunders are likely to follow now that Xi wields unchecked power and is surrounded by yes-men who will avoid telling him what he needs to hear.”
Currying favor instead of seeking truth
“My own recent research with Jie Zhou of MIT and David Yang of Harvard University shows that the top-down control in Chinese academia is distorting the direction of research, too. Many faculty members are choosing their research areas to curry favor with heads of departments or deans, who have considerable power over their careers. As they shift their priorities, the evidence suggests that the overall quality of research is suffering.”
“Xi’s tightening grip over science and the economy means that these problems will intensify. And as is true in all autocracies, no independent experts or domestic media will speak up about the train wreck he has set in motion.”
More on China from MarketWatch: