The Radical Center
Published in

The Radical Center

Washington’s New Reich

The New Reich in Washington is becoming more and more obviously authoritarian.

Attorney General Bill Barr recently said if Americans don’t respect the police — which seems to mean not protest police violence, corruption, or even their trigger-happy ways — they will no longer have access to police protection.

That’s like a man who has enslaved his wife and kids telling them, “If you don’t respect me when I beat you, I don’t have to feed you and can let you starve.”

Barr’s threat said Americans need “to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves. And if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”

There are several obvious problems with this. One that hasn’t been focused on is neither Barr nor his Führer have the authority to withdraw local police protection. He has no Constitutional authority to enforce his threat—thought I fear he has no concern about the Constitution, much like his boss.

Secondly, also being ignored is a fundamental principle of American government — another traditional value the New Reich is spitting on — is how the core function of government, perhaps it’s only function, is the protection of rights. The Declaration of Independence said the purpose of government is “secure rights” for the people, nowhere is there a mandate people must respect government. In fact, one purpose of the First Amendment was to guarantee the right of the people to express contempt for the government without fear of losing their rights!

There is no requirement in the Constitution for people to “respect” Barr, the police, the Führer, or any particular self-serving politicians in any party. But, there is a requirement for the government, to justify it’s existence by protecting the rights of the people and thus it MAY NOT withdraw police protections from people simply because the fragile snowflakes who now make up law enforcement got their feelings hurt.

The typical police officer is supposed to pledge an oath to the constitution and to the protection of the rights of the citizens. Nowhere have residents been required to take an oath to respect police, Congress, or even the Führer.

Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP got it right when she said,“The obligation of public officers — whether police, the AG, or the President — to fulfill the oath and requirements of their office is not contingent on an acquiescent, unquestioning public.”

The Declaration of Independence argued individuals have rights whether or not government exists and “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

More importantly it explicitly stated there is no obligation to “respect authority” as Barr claims, quite the opposite in fact, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”

The first founding document of the new United States of America said that the people have the right to alter or abolish the government. That isn’t requiring respect, that’s allowing for contempt.

Secondly, also being ignored is a fundamental principle of American government — another traditional value the New Reich is spitting on — that the core function of government, perhaps it’s only function, is the protection of rights. The Declaration of Independence said governments exist to “secure rights” for the people, nowhere is there a mandate people must respect government. In fact, one purpose of the First Amendment was to guarantee the right of the people to express contempt for the government without fear of losing their rights.

There is no requirement in the Constitution for people to “respect” Barr, the police, the Führer or any particular self-serving politicians in any party. But, there is a requirement for the government, to justify its existence by protecting the rights of the people and thus it MAY NOT withdraw police protections from people simply because the fragile snowflakes who now make up law enforcement had their feelings hurt.

More importantly the Declaration of Independence makes quite clear there is no obligation to “respect authority” as Barr claims, quite the opposite in fact, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”

The first founding document of the new United States of America said the people have the right to alter or abolish government. That isn’t requiring respect, that’s allowing for complete contempt.

As for the protests Barr is attacking, the Founders again explicitly stated in the First Amendment the people have a right o peaceful assembly to protest and they may say anything they wish about government officials, even if the fragile children in uniform get their feelings hurt.

Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center put it this way: “We need to let people know that dissent is not disloyalty. Dissent is part of our governing process. … It will lead to changing minds for votes. It may lead to changes in policy. That is as protected as your right of freedom of religion or your right to speak.”

Government is obligated to protect people but people are not obligated to respect government.

Barr is reversing that, arguing that people are obligated to respect authorities but authorities are not obligated to protect rights.

A third, and equally dangerous thing is being done here, the Trump administration is openly courting the worst aspects of American policing. If police are unnecessarily violent this regime doesn’t condemn the use of violence, they court the violent offenders instead. They are trying to set American police against their local officials and turn their loyalty toward the federal government instead. Whether this is intended or not the result would be further erosion of the American federalism and the concentration of more power, not in Washington per se, but in the White House in particular.

We have seen an active attempt by this president to spit on Constitutional separations of power and to rule, not through legislation, but by decree. The president is acting as if this is Weimar Germany and he’s Hitler. This isn’t just impeachable, it’s treasonous. We have reached a stage where Republicans are openly a party of treason.

There is no free market thinking left in the Republican Party, they are dirigistes. There is no federalism left, they are centralists. There is no libertariansim in them, they are authoritarians. Whether it is economic freedom or social freedom they have betrayed it all in order to worship the Orange Cow—a real decline from worshipping the Golden Calf. They have largely betrayed the Constitution and many Republicans are now openly fascist.

One of the new Trumpian conservatives is an odious character named Vincent James and he made it quite clear on the Trumpian site American Greatness, what the Trump Right means by conservatism today. “True conservatism is not about low taxes or the GDP, it’s not even about ‘individual liberty’ or the free market… Conservatism is first and foremost about order, and currently we’re living in a very disordered and chaotic America. In nature, chaos always is restored to order, and we know that order will also soon be restored in America, as well. The question is, will this restoration of order be peaceful or violent?”

One of the fundamental doctrines of Hiter’s National Socialism was the Führerprinzip, a belief the leader of the nation should rule without the restrictions imposed by separation of powers in a legislature or the courts. It was a guiding principle of fascism — which, as far as political theory goes — is the polar opposite of American constitutionalism. In other words, to cling to the Führerprinzip (The Leadership Principle) one is automatically treasonous to the U.S. constitution.

Obedience and worship of “The Leader” isn’t American, it’s fascist and it isn’t patriotism, it’s treason.

The Founders argued for separation of powers — the complete opposite of the Führerprinzip — for them no leader could be trusted with that much power, officials should always have to contend with a legislature having oversight and courts which could overrule them. Most Americans still believe this but there is one major exception. It is quite appropriately the “elephant in the room.” The Republican Party is now the most anti-American party on the scene where a massive minority, 43% of them, now supporting a version of Führerprinzip.

Pew Research has been asking the public if, as the founders said, “it would be too risky to give U.S. presidents more power to deal directly with many of the country’s problems.” They found 66% of the public agreed with the Founders and, I might add, the Constitution. Who had contempt for this fundamental Constitutional principle? Republicans almost exclusively.

One year ago only 27% of Republicans said we needed a leader without the restraints of Congress and the courts. In 2016 only 14% of them did, but in just the last year 43% of Republicans have gone over to adopt an American version of the Führerprinzip. This is how Trump has utterly corrupted the Republican Party and turned God’s Own Party into a herd of brainless slaves yearning for a stern master.

In 2016, 82% of Republicans agreed with this statement: “It would be too risky to give U.S. presidents more power to deal directly with many of the country’s problems.” Today, only a slime majority of 51% do.

The Republicans are openly spitting on the Constitution and have embraced a form of dictatorial socialism, albeit “national socialism.” They need to reread what James Maidson wrote in The Federalist Papers:

“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”

One year ago 70% of Republicans, and 83% of Democrats supported the Constitutional separation of powers. Today 82% of Democrats still do, while Republicans in favor of the Constitution plummeted by 19 points in just one year, and down 31 points since 2016. Yes, it is proper to call the Republican Party a fascist party! And it is proper to call their ideology treason.

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James Peron

James Peron is the president of the Moorfield Storey Institute, was the founding editor of Esteem a LGBT publication in South Africa under apartheid.