I’m going to have to strongly disagree with Steve Haycox’s claim that Gov. Mike Dunleavy is anything near an authoritarian. However any of us feel about this governor, he was elected, in an election that was open to any qualified candidate, and I’m at a loss to think of a time in history when government effectively pulling out of public affairs has been an example of authoritarianism.
Alaska’s “frontier mentality” has always been at odds with the extremely large state and federal government presence up here; at this point it seems as though Alaskans are more reliant upon that presence than they’ve previously cared to admit.
It’s troubling to see content creep overtaking the real concept of authoritarianism; many Americans should return to their middle- and high-school days and flip through books like “1984,” “Brave New World” and “Animal Farm” as timeless reminders of what authoritarianism looks like — or ask any of the millions of refugees of the former Soviet Union who now happily call America home. Alternatively, take a look at Russia, where Alexei Navalny is constantly barred from elections and jailed for being a worthy adversary of Vladimir Putin.
I don’t deny we live in troubling times, particularly at the federal level in the U.S., but to call this governor an authoritarian and imply he was not elected in a democratic atmosphere is certainly a dramatic stretch.
— Jessica Pezak
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