I read this today and it put in stark relief what I’ve been musing about for a while:
People really don’t remember what happened under Bush and Cheney and carried over into the Obama administration, unprecedented concentration of executive power and secret interpretation of laws.
One of the things I keep hearing to justify a protest vote because people can’t bear to vote for Clinton is that Donald Trump can’t do all the crazy things he’s talked about, the constitution or congress will stand in his way. As the Bush administration clearly illustrated this is no safeguard against some pretty crazy unconstitutional shit.
If you think that the power of the executive office is distorted and not exactly equal with the other branches of government, as I eluded to in 2012, yes, pretty much anybody you pick for that office is going to be scary. For me the scarier option is Trump, for others its Clinton, but the issue boils down to the fact we let Bush get away with a scary concentration of power and we can’t remember how or why.
Mostly its because both ends of this equation run on fear, the American political experience is soaked in it because it achieves results. We fear terrorists so we need the CIA drone wars, NSA and TSA and the government du jour fears the power of the people so in order to entrench this power you have to concentrate it into one office.
Are we too scared of our own shadow to have a functioning democracy ? Which flavor of authoritarianism scares you less, the red one or the blue one ? Will populist fear of government out weigh populist fear of no government ?