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Ray Haynes

We Live in an Autocracy

One party rule is dangerous, and we in California are living in that danger. Political and religious freedom are gone, and economic freedom and property rights are dying. Each day there is a new story about those in charge of our government using their power to oppress their political opponents, and press them into political servitude, and every day, Californians walk around tolerating their oppression like the mask they wear will protect them from the unseen evil that government is using to oppress them.

The latest act of our arrogant lazy authoritarians is the actions by the so-called Attorney General Xavier Becerra demanding, through the use of “investigative interrogatories,” that Republicans give the “name, address, and birth date” of every person who used the drop boxes set up by Republicans to take advantage of state laws loosening the requirements for collection of ballots passed by Democrats four years ago.

I had the same happen to me some years ago when the FPPC (California’s version of the KGB) demanded I turn over the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of every person who volunteered on my campaigns. The obvious purpose was to give the FPPC the ability to harass my political supporters. Back then, though, we had a vibrant two party system, so when I stood up to them, they backed off. Today, the authoritarians are so confident of their ability to exercise their power without interference by anyone that they decided to file in court to get an order to pursue their effort to harass voters, especially Republican voters. It wasn’t all that long ago when Sen. Kamala Harris threatened to make Trump supporters pay for their support of Trump, now the Attorney General is carrying out that threat. These efforts are being justified by the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party in the “mainstream media,” and tolerated by state legislators. Newsom speaks, Harris threatens, Becerra carries the water for, and dances to the tune of, Newsom and Harris, and all the legislators fall into line. The courts don’t stand up to the exercise of power, and enforce the orders of the authoritarians. That is the definition of an autocracy. The government types can claim they were “duly elected,” but they are now using their power to suppress their electoral opposition.

That is the problem of one party government. The Soviets used it in their time, as did the Chinese Communist Party, National Socialist party in Germany, and the fascists in Italy. The hope of California’s arrogant lazy authoritarians is to strike fear in the hearts anyone who challenges the dominant political orthodoxy. I once thought Americans would not tolerate that kind of behavior from those who hold positions of power in government. Maybe Americans wouldn’t, but a majority of Californians are. I am still shocked at the docility I see from my fellow Californians, at all levels. Even local governments with Republican majorities are enforcing these orders, saying they don’t have a choice. Business enforce the authoritarian orders for fear of losing their businesses, and citizens just go along with it out of fear. They are exhorted on television, in the news, and on social media to go along with the orders, and anyone who speaks up faces the full brunt of the “law enforcement” community. Destroy, steal, or burn property in the name of political protest, and you’re fine. Stand up to the oppression, or try to defeat that oppression at the ballot box, and you will pay.

I feel like I’m in 1984. Orwell called it right. I watch the news, and they tell me how believing in political and religious freedom and free enterprise is racist, homophobic, fascist, or something else evil. Elected officials spend their time telling me how economic success is wrong, and how they’re going to “make the rich pay.” Follow the governments orders or lose you business or your freedom. And the drumbeat is relentless. Will we ever see our freedom again?

We get the government we deserve.