And here’s why this could cripple a democracy already under attack.

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By far, the one thing that’s more dangerous than authoritarians themselves is their martyrdom. Because their politics, and the damage they've done, can leave with them once they vacate office. But give them martyrdom and things only get worse.

I’ll show you what I mean. On , Pakistan’s prime minister was hanged by the military in a coup. The charge? Murder. Leaving the fairness of the trial to one side, the man turned into a martyr. And you know what happened next? His daughter became prime minister — twice. Then? She was assassinated. And her husband used sympathy votes to become president (many believe he’s the one who was behind the assassination in the first place). And now? …


And now the fascist-in-chief and his army have no plans of stopping.

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I’m not in Baghdad. I’m not in Kabul. I’m not in a dangerous situation overseas. We are in America.” That’s what shortly after the Capitol attack.

Americans are now coming to realise that their country has become a failed-state — or perhaps even worse. And all it took was four years of Donald Trump for it to be compared to war-torn nations where terrorists walk freely.

And frankly, that comes as no surprise considering what’s happened is textbook authoritarianism. …


They know the color of their skin makes them invincible.

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Feeder March arriving at Million MAGA March Gathering Rally at Freedom Plaza at 14th and E Street, NW, Washington DC on Saturday morning, 14 November 2020 /Flickr/

I often between Donald Trump and the authoritarianism I’ve seen growing up. But even as someone who’s lived under two political dynasties and military rule, I cannot say I’ve ever seen anything like the attack on the Capitol.

What you saw was fascism in action. And although everyone is going to be busy pointing fingers at Donald Trump, know that . Yes, he incited it. He facilitated it. And he should be impeached. But he wasn’t the driving force behind it. …


This is why America can now only turn to the Democrats to uphold democracy.

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As I write this, . With the Democrats being well on their way to controlling the upper house, the presidency , one thing is for certain — the GOP banked on authoritarianism to win them democratic elections and lost.

And while the Republicans losing power may seem like a convincing victory for democracy — it’s not concrete. Take a look at the — they’re not landslides — the Democrats are getting through by the skin of their teeth. And I’m not inclined to believe those numbers are getting better anytime soon. Because this election cycle has been anything but normal. Americans have had to face fascism head-on. …


Authoritarianism is just as infectious.

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Fifty years from now, they’ll be teaching children about 2020 in their history lessons. But not just because of a pandemic that ravaged the world. No, they’ll be teaching them about a different type of plague too; one which doesn’t claim human souls but that of a democracy instead.

I’m talking about how we’ve seen American politics be plunged into the black hole of authoritarianism. And I do mean black hole. Because countless in the developing world have been trying to claw their way out for decades — with little success. …


And here’s why they should pay attention.

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When you previously heard the words “democracy is under attack,” you might have instinctively thought of someplace in the Third World. You know, the places where dictators live in palaces and the masses starve.

Which place do you think of now?

Sure, America was saved by a judiciary that wasn’t ready to tarnish its reputation and lawmakers unwilling to end their political careers. But that doesn’t mean American democracy wasn’t brought to its heels. Just think about this for a second — a president who lost tried to overturn an election. This is not a joke.

Because where is it going to lead to? More presidents doing the same? An America where losing doesn’t actually mean losing? …


And this is why legitimising dictatorships is dangerous.

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by Shealah Craighead/Public Domain

It’s weird at first — and downright scary second.

I’m talking about the way dictatorships have evolved in the West. You see, in my country, you didn't really have a say in who governed. Elections were rigged to high heavens and many simply accepted being ruled by the powerful as their fate. It was the same in other parts of the Third World too. The West, however, the last time they didn't get a say was centuries ago.

That time is beginning to come back. It’s now being governed by dictators again — the only difference is it’s choosing them.

Both America and Britain are prime examples. They’ve democratically decided that their democracies should be sentenced to death. What makes this even more unfathomable is the fact that this is the twenty-first century. Our democracies today are the culmination of centuries of struggle to rid our countries of authoritarians. …


Here’s why it’ll be inching closer to fascism’s return if it doesn't.

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If there is one mistake I have seen my country make consistently, it’s not letting go of dictators when it should. And I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case for failed democracies around the world.

You see, when nations hold on to the men and women who deliberately tried to bury democracy for their own personal gain, what they're also doing is normalising authoritarian politics. And that sets off a chain reaction. Because with time, that’s all a political landscape becomes — a battleground pitting dictator against dictator, all eyeing for their chance to rule.

America’s not there yet. As far as it’s concerned, it’s just had its first round. The coming months, and how America handles Donald Trump during them, will undoubtedly dictate the future of American politics. …


He’s playing the martyr and here’s why you should ignore him completely.

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If there is one man who, in his heart of hearts, believes Donald Trump can’t overturn this election — it’s Donald Trump.

Firstly, it’s pretty much common knowledge at this point that . Secondly, he’d leave the White House when the time came. Thirdly, no lawmaker, judge or general is ready to support his plans to turn America into a dictatorship. And then there was the electoral college vote that simply didn’t go the way he wanted it to.

And now that Congress is going to finalize the result on , Trump is looking at what could be the nail in the coffin. …


I’ve lived under military rule.

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While reports of Trump are indeed troubling for American democracy, what it’s already going through is worse.

And I know you probably think I’ve lost my bearings, but bear with me.

Because I’ve lived under military rule. My country has seen generals seize power many times, one of which was during my lifetime. And what I already see happening in America today poses more threats to its democracy than Trump instituting martial law ever could.

But before we get into why, let’s consider military rule first. If Trump were to attempt hanging onto his presidency by instituting martial law, like most if not all military takeovers, he’d be doing it against the will of the people. And more than that initial blow to democracy, his actions could have lasting effects. Because, as was the case in my country, they can set precedents. Once a general crosses that line, it becomes infinitely easier for the next one to do the same. Think of it like leaving behind a blueprint for your successor telling him exactly how to get the job done. …

About

Sikander Hayat Khan

Political opinion from a Law & Politics grad. Top Writer in Government & Politics. Twitter @SikanderH8

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