As reported by Newsbusters, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof asserted Wednesday that President Donald Trump exhibits the "four warning signs" of being a "dangerous authoritarian." Kristof made the endorsement via his promotion of a not-yet-released book by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, both Harvard law professors.
According to Kristof's piece, there are four criteria to consider:
1. The leader shows only a weak commitment to democratic rules.
2. He or she denies the legitimacy of opponents.
3. He or she tolerates violence.
4. He or she shows some willingness to curb civil liberties or the media.
As per the column, Ziblatt and Levitsky maintain that "even one of these criteria is cause for concern." Furthermore, aside from disgraced former President Richard Nixon, Trump is the only “major-party presidential candidate...over the last century” who measures as a dangerous authoritarian.
Kristof doesn't explain why or how President Trump meets the criteria, or how, for example, Barack Obama does not. Obama was certainly not without criticism of the like during his presidency: in the early 2010's, it should be remembered, his administration maintained a list of Americans living abroad who were targets for extermination. To many critics -- including those on the Left -- this policy violated the American right to due process in a court of law.
Predictably, left-wing Kristof prefers to castigate Trump, and with the go-to anti-Trump degradation of the contemporary Left:
"'This is how democracies now die,' Levitsky and Ziblatt write. 'Democratic backsliding today begins at the ballot box.' Likewise, the authors say, no more than 2 percent of Germans or Italians joined the Nazi or Fascist Parties before they gained power, and early on there doesn’t seem to have been clear majority support for authoritarianism in either Germany or Italy. But both Hitler and Mussolini were shrewd demagogues who benefited from the blindness of political insiders who accommodated them."
And...there we go. Hitler, yet again.
So long as the Left can't debate the Right on policy issues and instead revert time and again to references to Hitler and Nazism, their party will remain mired in the same place where that failed fascist resides: the past. Keep it up, guys.