12 October 2016

Idiot of the week candidate: Paul Le Page

The Republican governor of Maine believes that President Obama has governed as an "autocrat," in disregard of the Constitution, for the past eight years. The remedy for this autocracy, Le Page believes, is Donald Trump, or someone like him. He proposes a very strong remedy:

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.


hobbyfan said...

I'd rather that Dumb Donald the Crybaby was Idiot of the Year. He's whining that Sunday's debate was "rigged". Between him, LePage, and Creme Reince Priebus, there's enough morons ruining the Geezers on Parade well before November 8.

Anonymous said...

All debates are rigged, one way or another, because every media center that broadcasts debates has a stake in the election, since their profits will rise or dip depending on who ends up in office. They shouldn't even be called "debates" anymore, since most of the time is wasted with posturing, bloviating and, in general, saying a whole lot of nothing. They are riddled with questions designed to trip up the candidate, rather than give the audience a true picture of the candidate's qualifications to hold office. I don't see tRump as any more of a crybaby than any other candidate has been in recent history. Simply because you disagree with, or dislike a person is no reason to resort to grade-school name calling. There is nothing dumb about tRump and, for an idiot, he's managed to rise to the top of the American political scene. Which makes the American people even more idiotic than tRump.

Anonymous said...

He isn't exactly wrong. At the very least, it is evident that organized crime groups (street gangs, mafias, cartels, etc) use the Constitution as a protection of their "rights", making it more and more difficult to control, let alone decrease, crime. What this country really needs is to have the Constitution suspended for a time in order to eliminate the criminal element AND to make the people more appreciative of the freedom they are granted, rather than taking that freedom for granted.