The American Constitutional Rights Union defines a crisis tyrant as a leader who uses a crisis — like the COVID-19 pandemic — to justify and grease the skids of their tyrannical behavior. The “crisis” element adds a layer or two of “despicable” as the exercise of power comes on the backs of those enduring a crisis or tragedy.
In the late 1960s, my oldest brother brought our entire family to the attention of the FBI. He ran an underground newspaper in Flint, Michigan, that questioned authority and advocated for legalizing Marijuana and ending the Vietnam War. Unlike some radicals of the time, my brother was a veteran who loved America and shunned communism. But exercising free speech and questioning authority can bring trouble. As a little girl I was aware that my big brother was under scrutiny for criticism of government officials. My parents may not have agreed with all of his views, but they didn’t shield me from them.