Steve Schmidt laid out the Republican authoritarian movement’s attack on democracy and urged Americans to confront the threat.
Steve Schmidt on the GOP authoritarian threat, "The front of that fight is a space where the lie is confronted with the truth. That is the battleground. And it plays out in 1 million ways. But a democracy cannot survive in a world where the lie and the truth stand equally." pic.twitter.com/QDGMf5Adyb
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) September 25, 2021
Steve Schmidt talked about how America can stand up to the authoritarian threat with Rachel Maddow:
The front of that fight is a space where the lie is confronted with the truth. That is the battleground. And it plays out in 1 million ways. But a democracy cannot survive in a world where the lie and the truth stand equally. The system that we have is based on a compact that requires faith in belief and trust. It’s how we share power with people that we disagree with. We acknowledge that we live in a complex world where people have different perspectives.
And we have to accommodate those views. In the 21st century, I believe that there was a consensus that has unraveled in start really short period of time, that you can trace all the way back to the beginning of the country, in the name of political power — also, the same people claiming that they’re doing it in the name of freedom are seeing that that preservation of freedom means maintaining our power. Not necessarily abiding the results of the election. And when you get into that territory, you’re in a scary space.
And it’s essential to remember to understand one thing, and this has to be brought forward into the debate, despite all the flaws of American democracy, or any democracy — democracies are the only system of government that has ever existed in the history of humanity that puts the individual human being on top of the power of the city.
Every other system so subordinates the dignity of the human being to the power of the state, for the purposes of the state, often controlled by self interested, corrupt minority. So, this is the most profound moral issue that you could possibly talk about on any given evening in this country. Because it goes to the heart of the American idea, the embrace of humanism, of natural rights, of pluralism. And this idea that anybody can be an American. That we can all stand equal, cool equally, in a society, under the rule of law. Where we all get a say, get to participate. And that is what is being vandalized and attacked, and successfully so.
It is easy to make fun of the Arizona audit, but far too many people fell into the trap of legitimizing an illegitimate political process in Arizona. The Arizona audit was not a legitimate audit.
The bigger goal that Republicans had in Arizona was getting their attack on democracy legitimized and political parties conducting audits of election results that they disagree with normalized and looking at the coverage of this sham, one can see that their efforts worked.
The audit was an attack on democracy. Steve Schmidt is correct. Only a powerful consolidated effort backed by the truth can defeat these lies and authoritarian attacks.
Trump is the figurehead, but the shift in the Republican Party from democracy to authoritarianism goes much deeper, and it is the greatest internal threat to US democracy since the Civil War.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association