History has shown that leaders, both enlightened and despotic, have used crises and emergencies to advance their agendas.
The Great Depression in the 1930s gave rise to both the New Deal philosophy of Franklin Roosevelt and the Nazism of Adolph Hitler.
The Great Recession in 2008 gave rise to Barack Obama and the fringe Tea Party Movement.
This Coronavirus has the potential to set the same dynamics in motion.
Democracy faces its greatest test here and around the world and the forces that hold its features and goals dear need to stand up to the threats that are already manifesting themselves around the globe.
In Hungary, its right-wing Populist leader Viktor Orbán has obtained, under the pretext of the Coronavirus, the emergency power to rule by decree. A member state of the European Union, the supranational bloc immediately lodged a “toothless” protest which Orban ridiculed.
The leaders in the European Union need to remember that worthless condemnations did not stop Fascist thugs like Mussolini and Hitler in the 1930s and they will not work with Orban.
They need to react more strongly.
In Israel, arguably the only Democracy in the Middle East (if you do not include the Occupied Territories,) the Israelis Justice Minister, because if the Coronavirus, suspended the courts just a couple of days before Benjamin Netanyahu was due to go on trial for corruption.
A Netanyahu ally, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein attempted to, again under the rationale of the Coronavirus, halt Parliamentary elections for the next speaker.
The Israelis Supreme Court intervened and the election was held with Benny Gantz, the Blue and White Leader becoming the new speaker.
Unfortunately, the Israelis political situation has not settled even after three elections in a year with some of the opposition calling Netanyahu “King Bibi” for his attempted power consolidation during the health emergency and labeling Gantz “a clone of Netanyahu,” and “rewarding criminality” for allying with the Israelis Prime Minister in a potential unity government.
Gantz’s Blue and White Movement has divided between those who want to unite the country during the virus and those who refuse to have anything to do with the corrupt, nativist, and autocratic Netanyahu.
Hopefully, the Israelis people (including its Arab citizens) will find a way to rescue their Democracy and institutions.
In the United States, the Mad King, when he has not been making contradictory and lying proclamations at the White House Press Briefing Room Podium has also taken steps to undermine American Institutions.
Yesterday (April 4, 2020) he announced his intention to fire Michael Atkinson, the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community that reported the Whistleblower complaint to Congress that led to the 2016 Popular Vote Loser being impeached.
In justifying the firing, Trump said:
“It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general…That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”
When he signed the two trillion dollar stimulus bill last week, the Liar in Chief wrote that he can control what information the Inspector General he appoints to oversee the stimulus programs can give to Congress.
People (including Trump supporters) should be afraid of a President that thinks the people charged with independently holding the government to account should be answerable to only him.
Would Republicans support a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama if they professed this same position?
The third President in United States History to be impeached also publicly let his views known, during the April 4 White House Briefing, on mail-in balloting for the November election because of the Virus.
He is against it.
He claims (see video below and scroll to 1:14 to access the question and answer) that people cheat when they mail in their ballots.
That is preposterous and numerous studies have already concluded this election after election.
The real reason that Individual One is against mail-In ballots is his fear, as he expressed in an interview with (where else) Fox Island, that he and all the other Republicans would lose with the higher turnout mail-in balloting affords.
Political Prince of Darkness-Enemy of the People-Obstructionist in Chief-Grim Reaper- Moscow Mitch McConnell shares the same sentiment as shown by his blockage of election security measures in the Senate.
This is not the Anti Democratic position the American People should want in their leaders.
Unfortunately, it is the view most Republicans across the country and Arizona hold.
The American People and populace around the world need to resist these moves towards authoritarianism, especially when the attempts are made during a public health crisis.
Leaders, like Orban, Netanyahu, Trump, McConnell and their supporters who prey on these crises and use them to achieve their ends need to be defeated at the first electoral opportunity.
In this country, that is in 213 days.
Turn out, vote and save Democracy.