[What if someone—with the power to make it happen—came and said to you: “Vote for me, and I’ll make sure the Republicans never win another election. Vote for me, and there will be a firm boot placed on the neck of the Religious Right, on Wall Street, on the NRA—these groups will be crushed, and you will hear the proverbial lamentations of their women. Of course, after you vote for me, there won’t be any further elections—at least none that have any affect—but it won’t matter, because Our Side will have a permanent victory. We’ll be able to implement our wise and just policies, without any further interference from the other side. Society will flourish, and a new era of prosperity will be born! Racism and homophobia will be ended! The environment will be protected! The economy will serve everyone, not just the wealthy!”
Who, here, would take that bargain? A promised permanent progressive victory, at the cost of authoritarian government, one that need no longer consider the wishes of the voters—even if they no longer desire progressivism?
What of a promised, permanent progressive victory achieved by kneecapping the right wing—a maximum voting age, or legal disenfranchisement of conservative voters (by various means), or other ways of relegating our opposition to second-class citizenship? Would you take that bargain?
What if the persuader whispers in your ear that there MIGHT be some bloodshed, as ensuring the progressive victory requires (ahem) altering the country’s demographics, as there are still many voters of the wrong kind voting?]
Though, there is one authoritarian regime that none of us can object to: the laws and facts of nature. Such as what happens when you jump off a high place, or dump CO2 into the atmosphere until it gains net heat.
We can fix that problem voluntarily, or nature’s going to fix it for us, by running us close to extinction. Failure to fix it is flirting with a Holocaust that will be hundreds of times Hitler.
In the end, we have no choice about that.
For which reason, I would support authoritarian measures to deal with it now. Because the word “authoritarian” is meaningless when it’s about the laws and facts of nature.