GOP Senator Called Fascist After Declaring The U.S. Isn't A Democracy

Sen. Mike Lee tweeted that the United States is not a democracy during the vice presidential debate on Wednesday, adding that "the objective" is "liberty."

Utah Sen. Mike Lee spent much of Wednesday night’s debate live-tweeting and, at one point, made a particularly bold declaration: “We’re not a democracy.”

Less than an hour into the debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, Lee shared his interpretation of the American government:

Lee was not commenting on his party’s widespread voter suppression efforts; instead, he was supporting the right-wing political argument that the United States is a “republic” and not a “democracy.”

That claim is used by Republicans not to “describe who we are, but to claim and co-opt the founding for right-wing politics — to naturalize political inequality and make it the proper order of things. What lies behind that quip, in other words, is an impulse against democratic representation,” Jamelle Bouie wrote in The New York Times last year.

The argument is based on the belief that in the United States — which is very much a democracy because the people are, in fact, responsible for electing those in power — the general concept of liberty should supersede all other political considerations.

The senator expressed this idea when he briefly elaborated in a follow-up tweet:

Such a brazen admission only confirms what many already know: Conservative efforts to suppress voters, gerrymander districts, and skew the census are all part of a strategy to remove power from voters and concentrate it in one party, the GOP. This, critics argued, was an admission by Lee of his sympathies for fascism, which seeks the absolute rule of a one-party state.

Lee’s tweets were quickly ratioed, and many called the senator a fascist: