'Narcissism' and 'flagrant lies': Robert Reich warns about the dangers of 'Putinism' infiltrating the GOP
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is warning about the spread of "Putinism" throughout the Republican Party and how it could erode what's left of the political party.
In an op-ed published by The Guardian, Reich highlighted Republicans' assault on democracy how some of their actions are similar to Putin's authoritarian leadership style amid his invasion of Ukraine. "The Trump-led Republican party does not openly support Putin, but the Republican party’s animus toward democracy is expressed in ways familiar to Putin and other autocrats," Reich wrote.
He added, "Trump Republicans continue to refuse to acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 election, claiming without evidence that it was 'stolen' from Trump. In many states, on the basis of this big lie, they are making it more difficult for people who don’t share their beliefs to vote."
Reich also noted how Republican lawmakers are aggressively working behind the scenes to manipulate laws that will ultimately give them the advantage of ignoring the actual will of the people.
"In several states, they are laying the groundwork for ignoring the popular vote altogether and throwing a future presidential election to Trump or another strongman," Reich wrote. "They have stopped even pretending to be the party of free speech: they are banning books from schools and prohibiting teachers from talking about America’s struggles against racism and homophobia."
Highlighting the Russian chaos erupting in Ukraine, Reich also recalled the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol in 2021. Although he acknowledged both incidents are different, he explained how they are similar.
"Putin’s attack on Ukraine, starting 24 February, and the attack by followers of Donald Trump on the United States Capitol on 6 January 2021 are different, of course, but they resemble one another in their contempt for democratic institutions and their attempts to justify violence by asserting a threat to a dominant racial or ethnic group."
Reich e pointed out that each occurrence "represents the logical culmination of leadership by a dangerous narcissist who flagrantly lies about his intentions and his opponents and who sees the world only in terms of his personal power."
While many Republicans continue to publicly deny their support of Putin and his assault on Ukraine, Reich suggests that actions speak louder than words. "Make no mistake: Putin’s authoritarian neo-fascism has rooted itself in America."