The RNC's latest complaint is another sign they have slipped deeper into 'authoritarianism': analyst
Donald Trump speaking during the second presidential debate (Screenshot)

According to an analysis by MSNBC's Zeeshan Aleem, a decision by the head of the Republican National Committee to boycott future presidential, debates is not only wrong-headed but also a sign that the GOP is becoming more authoritarian and, thus, unwilling to have their views challenged.

On Thursday, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel announced the party has no intention of having anything to do events scheduled by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

According to McDaniels, who is one of Donald Trump's biggest supporters, "Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates is biased and has refused to enact simple and commonsense reforms to help ensure fair debates including hosting debates before voting begins and selecting moderators who have never worked for candidates on the debate stage."

As Aleem notes, the move seemed designed as a pre-emptive attempt to keep the former president from having to defend his four years in office when confronted by his Democratic opponent and the moderator should he be the nominee in 2024.

He wrote, "For observers of the GOP’s slide into authoritarianism, it’s another sign that the party is increasingly hostile to democratic norms and happy to corrode citizen trust in the idea that nonpartisan public institutions are possible."

The MSNBC analyst added that it would be impossible to find anyone who was entirely neutral, but that candidates nonetheless should be prepared to have their claims challenged or fact-checked.

"The Commission on Presidential Debates is not some panel of judges who transcend politics entirely and are perfectly neutral — no such organization exists, because making claims about truth requires making value judgments. But it is a bipartisan commission that has held debates since 1988, and it’s not known for ganging up on one candidate," he wrote before adding, "The GOP has not made it clear what kind of alternatives it would propose"

Pointing to a Wall Street Journal report that stated, the GOP would "...sanction debates based on input from presidential campaigns and criteria that may include timing, frequency, format, media outlet, candidate qualifications and the ‘best interest of the Republican Party.’”

That, he claimed, was evidence that the Republicans want to game any debate in their favor, writing, "That last point is disturbing — it seems to suggest that the GOP might only propose debate forums that favor it in some sense. Which undermines the fundamental purpose of the debate, which is not to deliver propaganda to voters but to share one’s views and let voters decide which political vision they prefer."

"Such an arrangement would be terrible for trust in democracy, as citizens are exposed yet again to the idea that public institutions can’t be trusted unless they exhibit partisan commitment," he suggested before predicting, "It’s also possible that they don’t happen at all — particularly if Trump becomes the nominee again."

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