Michael Walsh of Yahoo News reported on Bernie Sanders' remarks during a discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., on June 22.
Is Senator Bernie Sanders correct that President Donald Trump's “authoritarianism” is a threat to American democracy? Hardly. American democracy, in terms of people saying and doing what they like, voting as they like with honest results, and worshiping as they like, indeed the whole Bill of Rights appears to be in quite good shape. Of course the Tenth Amendment hasn't been respected by government in the last century, and more, with few exceptions. But Trump has had little influence on that.
Sanders obviously prefers the policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to those of Donald Trump.
Sanders says no president has told as many “outrageous and blatant lies” as Trump. Really? It would take quite a few misstatements of fact to equal Obama's blatant lie, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.” He used that one to sell a destructive health care power grab that a majority of Americans never wanted. Plenty of other lies came from Obama, enough to make Trump look like a faithful Boy Scout.
A few more of Obama's many lies, as listed by Western Journalism in an article by Derrick Hollenbeck, dated September 4, 2012, are the following:
Obama said there has never been a better friend of Israel in the White House, and also “In May 2011, Obama asked G8 member nations to fund the Arab Spring counties who are clearly on their way to planning an all-out attack on Israel.”
“Obama lied and said that there would not be public funding of abortions under Obamacare.” Further,
Remember Obama telling us there would be no earmarks in his 2009 stimulus package? He lied. The bill had over 9,000 earmarks in it; and of course, it failed to deliver even a small improvement for our economy.
And those are just in his first term.
Authoritarianism? When a president uses his legitimate authority, which is considerable, that is not authoritarianism. If you want examples of authoritarianism, consider Democrat presidents. Woodrow Wilson made it illegal to criticize the government or the World War I effort. Barack Obama legislated immigration policies contrary to statute, after previously stating, correctly, that he lacked the authority to do so. His pen and phone were used to usurp congressional authority, but Congress made no real attempt to stop him. They simply criticized him, and filed a few lawsuits.
Trump's efforts with executive orders are mostly aimed at undoing Obama's abuses and keeping his own campaign promises, within existing law, in the fields of immigration, regulations and others.
Largely by his own authoritarian policies, Obama had America set up to suffer his “third term” in the presidency of Hillary Clinton, had she been elected as expected. Fortunately, the election of Trump has, in my opinion, saved America from globalism and a calamitous collapse, at least temporarily.
Also, contrary to Mr. Sanders' statement, President Trump's statement that the “mainstream media” is “fake news,” not to be believed, is quite true in the realm of political news, especially in “reporting” on Donald Trump. It is blatantly obvious that much political “journalism” from the MSM these days is actually anti-Trump propaganda. Also,
[Sanders] said Trump’s outbursts at judges are not simply “temper tantrums” but a blatant disregard for the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution — attempts to delegitimize a coequal branch of government so it cannot constrain his power.
But the courts brought criticism upon themselves by playing politics and ignoring the president's constitutional power to limit immigration. If the president wanted to, he could legally stop any and all immigration, which has been done for long periods in previous years. If the president believes limiting immigration is necessary, he can do it, no matter what he might have said during his election campaign.
Sanders thinks Trump's criticism of judges is a danger to constitutional separation of powers, but Democrats have a poor record in that regard. Sanders thinks Trump is trying to “delegitimize a coequal branch of government.” But he's simply expressing reasonable opinions. And the courts have constrained his power, though not, in my opinion, legitimately. Meanwhile, Democrats and leftists are trying to delegitimize the Trump presidency, i.e., that of the Chief Executive of the coequal Executive Branch of government, which to Sanders is apparently OK.
Further, it must be noted that, while socialist Sanders complains of authoritarianism, socialism is the very acme of authoritarianism, which it has to be, in order to make its anti-freedom, paternalistic system work (for a while). Socialism leads to things like we see in Venezuela, as a relatively mild example. Lenin said, “The goal of socialism is communism.” Ludwig von Mises, libertarian economist said, “The goal of socialism is socialism.” It is not individual freedom or economic prosperity, and even if it were, socialists know no way of producing either.