Georgia's Secretary of State Learns Nothing Will Save You If You Fail to Serve the Authoritarian Leader

Jack Holmes
·3-min read
Photo credit: Jessica McGowan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jessica McGowan - Getty Images

From Esquire

One thing about authoritarianism is that nothing will save you from the movement's ire except complete and total fealty to The Leader. It doesn't matter if you're a Republican, or a white Christian guy, or someone who pushes The Leader's agenda 99 percent of the time. If you fail to carry his water even once, at an even vaguely important juncture, the full wrath of his supporters and apparatchiks will come raining down on you. You either do his bidding, or you're deemed an Enemy of the People—even when a majority of the People just rejected him in an election. You're either a gear in the nationalist machine, or you stick around long enough to be ground up in it. Even if you do everything he says, you'll usually end up with a knife in your back.

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Had Donald Trump won a second term, an outcome he's still flailing about to zombify, a lot more people would have found this out. Even Wall Street and Big Business types would likely have at some point found themselves making the choice of whether to do the right thing and risk the MAGA wrath—and likely retaliation using state power—or to sacrifice whatever ethics they have to stay in the regime's favor. In fact, there are still a couple more months for folks to be tested in that way. The latest contestant appears to be the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, who's been targeted by the two Republican candidates in that state's coming Senate runoff elections, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, in their attempts to curry favor with the Trump regime and juice turnout among his diehard supporters.

You'll notice the two would-be United States senators don't actually supply any proof of fraud here, just as Kayleigh McEnany and Ronna (Romney) McDaniel supplied none at yet another press conference Monday. They've repeatedly asked for more time to gin up some proof, part of that classic procedure you might recognize from Law and Order episodes where the prosecutor charges the guy with murder and then asks the judge for some extra time to find some evidence to back the claim. Be patient, your honor!

It's a completely ridiculous exercise, and you have to wonder how deep this will go—and how long it will go on. Georgia's lieutenant governor has come out to say they've seen no evidence of widespread fraud, but will Brian Kemp, the Trumpified governor? We certainly can't expect any better from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also backed Trump's various doomed legal challenges Monday in a blatant power play. It has become increasingly clear over these last years that the Republican Party simply rejects any democratic outcome in which they are not awarded power. They will stop people from voting, they will make their votes count for less, they will try to throw out the votes, and, if all else fails, they will disrupt the transition or even strip governors' offices of power before a Democrat can exercise them. This is no ordinary squabbling within a democracy. One side wants to do away with the whole enterprise if that's what's necessary to hold onto the reins.

Oh, and the president just sacked his Secretary of Defense, undoubtedly to replace him with a more pliant candidate. There are whispers he'll get an apparatchik in at the CIA, and even the FBI. Surely nothing to worry about when he's already demonstrated a willingness to wield military force against peaceful protesters in the streets of the nation's capital.

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