Conservatives: If there had to be a dictator, what would you want him/her to be like?

In the past, when there were such threads, some Dopers dodged the hypothetical by replying, “I don’t want there to be a dictator, period.”

So - suppose we bypass that for a moment - if there had to be a dictator - no dodging this - what would you want him (or her!) to be like? You get to choose the attributes of such a dictator.

Would you prefer this dictator come into power through popular appeal to a majority of your compatriots, or would you prefer they seize and maintain power through force? Or neither? Like, maybe you’d like this dictator to subvert democratic processes and get just a large enough following to continue to rule through fear, but resorting to only minimal violence, primarily just intimidation tactics?

Would you prefer this be a dictator who hates people for the circumstances of their birth, but then leaves everyone else to their own devices and does not do anything to them? (the analogy of the “if you’re in, you’re in” kind of dictator)

Would you prefer this dictator be tolerant of the circumstances people are born into, but seek to censor what they can say, perhaps even go after their beliefs if they run counter to their (and possibly your) own personal beliefs?

Would you prefer a strongman dictator who oppresses out groups, whether by birth or belief, by blaming disease, crime, injury, death or suffering on them?

Etc. Etc. What about taxes, should such a dictator levy taxes, or should state income derive solely from the imposition of fines and confiscation of property? (that could be fines for trivial offenses, total forfeiture for felonies, whatever)

This is a safe thread for conservatives to post their thoughts in, but please don’t dodge the hypothetical. What kind of dictator do you want, Conservative dopers?

If conservatives had to have a dictator, my guess is they would choose someone genuinely weak and stupid, with a history of business failures and squandering both an immense inherited fortune, and a random television windfall.

They’d want him to be sexist, and preferably a serial sexual assaulter / rapist. With bonus points if he likes 'em underage. They’d want him to be an arrogant blowhard, with a feeble vocabulary, and utterly cringy inept speeches, that he’d do constantly in an attempt to have the cheers fill the emptiness in his heart.

They’d love it if he kept fucking up a pandemic response. Massively cut taxes for the already wealthy, and made it much harder for poor people to live. He’d need to whine a lot. Like super a lot. If he tortures children, all the better. Oh, and he needs to dress like Wimpy from Popeye, and probably use some hyper-masculine bronzer.


Replying to Lobohan, still haven’t mastered this new board.

Weird Al.

Dare to be Stupid could be the new national anthem.

These answers are all cute…and they have all pretty much guaranteed that no conservative will participate in this thread.

I realize this thread is a parody of my atheists and god thread, so I might as well jump in…

In a weird way, I find extremists on both sides preferable to the centrists in the middle. I don’t want Obamacare; I want full-fledged single-payer universal healthcare. I want high taxes on the wealthy. I want full-fledged free speech. I want most guns confiscated. I want carbon emissions drastically reduced, I want most abortions gone, I want a big crackdown on unethical media.

So, my Hypothetical Conservative Dictator would be:

  • Controls the media, but keeps it free of BS. No Qanon or nonsense allowed, no slanted reporting - just the facts. It isn’t his personal mouthpiece, it is just state-controlled, factual, objective media.
  • Crack down on all fake news, whether from one’s opponents or supporters.
  • Don’t torture.
  • Pro-military, but keeps the military out of needless wars. Fully committed to NATO and other U.S. allies abroad.
  • Taxes the wealthy steeply, but still keep marginal tax rates (something like 60-80 percent tax on all personal income above a million dollars a year). Corporate taxes can be reasonably low, in order to keep the nation competitive in terms of drawing in investment and companies.
  • Don’t have gold curtains in the Oval Office; make it something like red or blue.
  • If one must tweet, make the tweets sound dignified and well-articulated.
  • Don’t tolerate corruption among underlings.
  • Pro-life, but also puts in a great deal of effort to make sure pregnant women are taken care of, and also understands that abstinence rarely works because of circumstances and also that sex is just a very powerful motivator.
  • Single-payer healthcare. Do away with Obamacare, most of the private insurance ripoff and predatory practices; just have a system like Canada’s or the UK’s, but doubly-well funded and staffed, so much so that there are short specialist wait times. There would still have to be some deductible/copay though, just as a deterrent against frivolous use.
  • Don’t golf.
  • Don’t hold pointless rallies.
  • Take pandemics extremely seriously.
  • Don’t execute people without good cause. Don’t jail them frivolously, either.
  • Don’t eat fast food. Watch the carbs, eat those fruits and veggies.
  • Enact gun control. Not only good in itself, but also makes the population less able to revolt.
  • Control the Internet, but still let people watch most of their YouTube, social media, etc.
  • Stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar.
  • Bring back semiconductor chip manufacturing from abroad.
  • Have a $10/hour national minimum wage. More practical than fifteen dollars per hour, and much easier for calculations of wages earned.
  • Sweeping criminal-justice and prison reform.
  • Have a robust social net. Also decriminalize marijuana and many recreational drugs; let the masses chill.
  • Massive expansion of renewable/nuclear energy.

Benevolent despot.
Recognizes that the condition of the country is entirely dependant on the health, happiness, and productivity of the people.

I’ll pitch in because, even though my ilk is now basically extinct in the Republican party, I was raised in a family that was moderately conservative.

I actually agree with many of those points, which reminds me of something I once read for a social studies class which stated, in theory at least, that the best form of government would be a “benign dictatorship”.

Havelock Vetinari 2024.
One man, one vote.

Vetinari was that man … and he had that vote!

(In case posters haven’t read any Pratchett :fearful:)

The thread title already did that. You might as well start a thread asking conservatives which method they’d prefer to beat their wives if it became necessary. The target demographic will never voluntarily participate since doing so is an admission of guilt. This thread is just a way to gripe about the right’s embrace of an attempted dictatorship.

I agree with the spirit of this thread. What the fuck? Many elements of the right are actively and blatantly trying to seize power by eliminating the democratic process, and the majority of the Republican Party members are at best staying quiet about it. Only a rare few people on that side are speaking out about how horrible this is. Not many things in politics will legitimately piss me off, because the political game is what it is, but this really does piss me off. A lot. That almost never happens.

No, no. That’s not it at all. This is a serious thread for conservatives willing to entertain the hypothetical. If I’d wanted to troll, I’d have put this in Great Debates.

If this was meant to be serious you’re an idiot.

Excuse me!? It’s not like I’m asking atheists what kind of god they (would like to) believe in…

No, you’re expecting people to seriously participate what kind of dictator they would like to rule over them. While that may be what many conservatives are doing, in a sense, they aren’t going to be self-aware enough to realize that, and nobody is going to openly state they want a dictator ruling them. And by specifically calling out conservatives it is a (IMHO warranted) insult and attack on them.

And really, you are doing the equivalent of asking atheists what god they would like to believe in. Conservatives openly and thoroughly reject dictatorships, or they think they do at any rate. Conservative principles are founded on a small, unobtrusive government which allows personal freedom. Now, you can argue that those principles are betrayed by policy decisions and specific beliefs but a dictator is still antithetical to conservatives. Or they at least believe that it is.

I could get behind this in principle, but… do you think this is at all practical? i.e., can you tell me what a fact is? How does the state know what a fact is?

For purposes of this thread, maybe defining “fact” is too much to ask. But if we assume we know exactly what “fact” means, does that mean that the media shall be prohibited from publishing opinions? What if we label it as “definitely not fact, entertainment only for lulz”, but people like it so much that they operate as if it were factual?

No, he isn’t - if you want to see what asking atheists what god they would like to believe in, look no further than right here:

You’re 100% correct. If you’ve got an hour and are interested in this problem, I recommend:

I’m thinking one of two approaches:

  • Either the state runs all media directly, such that stories are carefully vetted for factual accuracy before going out, so it’s more of an employer-employee thing;


  • Allow private news broadcasters and TV stations to do their thing, but have a “Fact Commission” set up to fact-check all news. These private media networks would be informed that any stories found to be un-factual would lead to severe fines or penalties.

Innocent mistakes wouldn’t be penalized; if there is a deadly new virus coming out of China and it is mistakenly believed at first that the virus isn’t airborne transmissible but later turns out it is indeed, then nobody is penalized, but the outlets will be required to publish corrective info to that end.

As for what is a “fact” and what isn’t - there will be fuzzy grey lines, of course. If someone ludicrously claims that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was abducted by space aliens, then that will of course bring the ire of the Fact Commission. But if someone wants to debate whether there is life in outer space, or the age of the Earth and Universe, or where Amelia Earhart crashed, that can’t and won’t be regulated as tightly.