Updated: Oct 15, 2022
On October 13, the January 6th House Committee made it crystal clear that Donald Trump knew he had lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, but still deliberately pushed the lie that he had really won because the election was rigged.
And so, he spawned the riotous insurrection that resulted in the U.S. Capitol being ransacked, several deaths, and delays in the eventual certification of the election results that made Biden's election official.
It was all an attempt by Trump to grab power that he had lost by using supporters whom he had duped to force his way back into the presidency. It was no different than the vicious tactics such dictators as Putin employ to maintain ironclad control over their countries.
While that hearing was underway, political philosopher and author Douglas Giles, on the Lean to the Left podcast, discussed in some detail the driving force behind the Republican Party and its right-wing supporters today: the concentration of power in the hands of the few.
In fact, Giles acknowledged that perhaps the biggest lie of all is the contention by Republicans that they are the party of individual liberty and small government. Because, he argued, their ultimate goal is to expand governmental control over our daily lives. He used the GOP's effort to restrict abortion as an example of such governmental overreach.
"It's about power, and if you look at what the right wing is trying to do, it is trying to say that all of the power over the decision as to whether or not to have an abortion or to have a child rests in the power of the state, whereas the pro-choice position says no, the power should be broadly circulated to every single woman who is actually facing the question."
Trump, he said, "is just coming from the social political dualism that is inherent in conservatism, that there should be a small set of people that are the 'haves', and everyone else is a 'have-not', and that's the good and proper way to run a society."
Giles agreed that Trump is "very similar in a lot of respects" to Putin because of his determination to gain and expand his power. "Totalitarian governments are all about, by definition, concentrating power within the hands of a very small (group) or even just one person, and I would say that Trump and Putin are identical in that desire," he said.
Giles, is the author of the new book, “What Left and Right Mean: Clarifying the Political Spectrum.” As a philosophy professor at Elmhurst University, he researches and writes on political philosophy and social justice issues. Giles was born and raised in the U.S., but has lived in Europe for the past 10 years, which he says has provided important insights into the natures of political ideologies and the causes of injustice.
Take a listen to the podcast: