Two Dangerous Ideologies

On April 28,2022, Heather Cox Richardson discussed  “two right-wing, antidemocratic ideologies.” About the first she wrote:

One is pushed by Texas governor Greg Abbott, who is embracing a traditional American states’ rights approach to attack the active federal government that has expanded equality since World War II. The Trump years put the states’ rights ideology of the Confederacy on steroids, first to justify destroying business regulation, social welfare legislation, and international diplomacy, and then to absolve the federal government from responsibility for combating the coronavirus pandemic. Then, of course, the January 6 insurrection saw state legislatures refusing to accept the results of a federal election and rioters carrying the Confederate flag into the United States Capitol. 

About the second she wrote:

The other new ideology at work is in the hands of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who, as Beauchamp pointed out, is trying to recreate Orbánism in the U.S. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has eroded Hungary’s democracy since he took power for the second time, about a decade ago. Orbán has been open about his determination to overthrow the concept of western democracy, replacing it with what he has, on different occasions, called “illiberal democracy” or “Christian democracy.” He wants to replace the equality at the heart of democracy with religious nationalism. 

The first ideology, asserting “states rights” to head off federal legislation he opposes, describes Tom Reed fairly well. Of course Tom only asserts states rights when it suits him. However Tom was at least wishy-washy on public health measures, did accept the results of the 2020 election, and decried the Jan. 6th insurrection.

Rep. Tenney, who possibly still seeks to succeed Tom Reed in office, surely adheres to the first ideology: she generally opposes most public health measures and many regulations.

Neither Tom Reed nor Claudia Tenney, both Trump supporters, would likely agree with the second ideology. However, Richardson concludes:

Trump’s type of family autocracy is hard to replicate right now, and our history has given us the knowledge and tools to defend democracy in the face of the ideology of states’ rights. But the rise of “illiberal democracy” or “soft fascism” is new to us, and the first step toward rolling it back is recognizing that it is different from Trump’s autocracy or states’ rights, and that its poison is spreading in the United States. 

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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2 Responses to Two Dangerous Ideologies

  1. Carol says:

    The history professor is absolutely correct on both.

    When I think of states’ rights, I remember the winter power failure in which many Texans froze to death because their state decided long ago to have its own power grid to avoid federal regulations.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. whungerford says:

    Richardson wrote: “next month the Conservative Political Action Committee will hold its conference in Hungary, with Orbán as a keynote speaker.” It will be interesting to see how many US representatives attend.

    Liked by 1 person

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