(Thread) Cult of Leadership v. Rule of Law

Trump fired Inspector General Michael Atkinson saying this👇

Then on Monday, Trump fired Glenn Fine, which removes him from his role as chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

1/ Again, Trump was open about why: He didn’t think Fine was loyal enough to him.

@benjaminwittes, writing for Lawfare, asks why this isn't a national scandal.

Wittes notes that (1) the pandemic is absorbing everyone’s attention and (2) We know GOP senators are cool with it.
2/ Without Congress on board, the only “oversight” of the president comes from the voters.

Wittes is also correct: The election will be about what kind of country we will have going forward.

It seems to me that Max Weber (1864-1920) explains it best.
3/ The brilliant Weber (1864-1920) said three sources of authority inform different kinds of governments:
🔹rational-legal, and
🔹charismatic leader. https://www.jstor.org/stable/588403?seq=1

“Traditional” would be a monarchy.
4/ “Rational-legal” is what we call Rule of Law, and includes democratic republics like ours.

The idea behind Rule of Law is that the same law applies to everyone, including elected officials, and that power is separated so that the “leader” isn’t the one who makes the laws.
5/ Weber calls the third source “charismatic leader.” (Today we'd say "demagogue" or "cult leader.") Authority flows from the word of the leader. His word is law.

The US was founded as a rule-of law democratic republic, but there've always been a fights over what that means.
6/ We called ourselves a democratic rule-of-law republic while women were disenfranchised and a large portion of the people were enslaved.

The logic was that a “majority” of people wanted it that way— but only white men were allowed to vote.
7/ It wasn’t until after 1954 that we began transitioning to a true liberal democracy.

A lot of people don’t like it.
They prefer what Weber calls “charismatic leader.”
9/ This is from a libertarian “Tenth Amendment purist” website👇

The site claims that the New Deal is unconstitutional, and everyone should “Reject. . . all unconstitutional ACTS!"

This website cloaks its rejection of law in Rule-of-law language, but it IS lawbreaking.
11/ In a speech in MI, he told his adoring crowds that “Our laws are so corrupt and so stupid.”

They didn't flow from him.

Our problem: About 40% of the population prefers a Cult of Leadership to a Rule of Law democracy.

Yes. They prefer.
12/ Democracy is messy business. You have to compromise. You don't always get your own way. People don't like that.

From the perspective of a rule-of-law democratic republic, this is a travesty👇

The president is thumbing his nose at rule of law and separation of powers.
13/ From the perspective of a Cult of Leadership, though, it makes perfect sense. In a leadership cult, there is one source of authority: The leader.

Moreover, Rule of law requires factuality https://merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/factuality

A leadership cult rejects factuality and relies on myth.
14/ To survive, Rule of Law must preserve factuality.
To survive, Cult of Leadership must destroy factuality.

That’s why your MAGA friends consciously and deliberately reject facts and science. That's why the Fox propaganda loop is deliberately undermining factuality.
15/ Some GOP Senators pretended to be torn (looking at you, @SenatorCollins) but down deep, each of them prefer to live in a country in which Trump’s word is law over a rule-of-law liberal democracy.

The November election will be about Rule of Law v. Cult of Leadership
16/ The good news is that there are way more of us.

The Trump-FOX GOP can only win through voter suppression.

The pandemic opened a path to a Democratic landslide in November: Mail-in voting.

See my threads from yesterday. It works. https://twitter.com/Teri_Kanefield/status/1247883295490105352
I feel like I'm teaching again (I enjoyed teaching because I learned so much).

But this time, my students don't raise their hands and ask, "Is that going to be on the test?" https://twitter.com/M_Seb26/status/1248297149688942595
⤵️ (Also the majority of states do have mail-in voting) https://twitter.com/Teri_Kanefield/status/1248301674189295616
You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.
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