Sometimes I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, but we need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law.
At times like this you can't help imagining a Spaniard whispering in the governor's ear that that word doesn't mean what he thinks it means. But what does "authoritarian" mean, anyway? Part of the problem with the ideological anti-authoritarianism of the Obama Doctrine, which holds that authoritarianism is a major cause of instability around the world, is that the "authoritarian" label is applied to people who are perceived very differently depending on your point of view. Le Page might win the Idiot of the Year election, in a crowded and highly competitive field, if you believe that "authoritarian" is the diametric opposite of "rule of law." But for other people, possible including Donald Trump and Paul Le Page, "authoritarian" simply translates into "strong leader."To be more precise, since I doubt Trump actually uses the word, someone liberals might call "authoritarian," e.g. President Putin of Russia, appears to Trump as a strong leader who appears to have his country united. Of course, a person actually can argue for "authoritarian power," or even outright dictatorship, as a precondition to the re-establishment of rule of law. That was the position of those who supported dictatorship in Chile, for instance, after a communist government was overthrown by a coup d'etat, on the understanding that the dictator would restore the free market, from which civil society and rule of law would follow. I don't know whether Le Page's analysis or recommendations are that sophisticated, but I'm pretty sure, given how many Americans respond to the word "authoritarian," that the governor's endorsement was the last thing the normally praise-hungry Trump wanted to hear at a difficult point in his campaign. Of course, should Trump hear of this and retweet it or praise Le Page, he might take the Idiot title for himself.