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Everyone Should Read, Or Watch, "It Can't Happen Here" & "Plot Against America" Again... Before Nov

Authoritarianism Is Threatening To Swamp Democratic Principles




Not part of Mitch McConnell’s endorsement of Señor Trumpanzee Wednesday, albeit something he mentioned on the Senate floor, for whatever reason, in 2021: “Mr. President, January 6 was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of domestic business they did not like. Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the Vice President. They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth because he was angry he lost an election. Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful disgraceful-dereliction of duty.”


Former Brooklyn bank-robber and drug dealer-turned Ft Meyers/Naples Freedom Caucus congressman, Byron Donalds, boasted yesterday that if Trump hires him to be his running mate— “pick me, pick me”— he’ll decline to certify the election if Biden wins and Trump tells him to do what Mike Pence refused to do.


As Thomas Zimmer noted on Wednesday, democracy’s guardrails are failing. Like all of us, he’s concerned about a runaway right-wing Supreme Court enabling Trump and worried “because of America’s arcane election rules, the guy who wants to abolish democratic self-government doesn’t even need a majority of the vote to get back to power. Trump could not be clearer about his authoritarian desires, explicitly declaring his intent to establish a vindictive autocracy as soon as he’s back in the White House. And the American Right has come up with detailed plans for how to establish a much more efficient, more ruthless rightwing regime the next time around– plans for how to take over and transform American government into a machine that serves only two purposes: Autocratic revenge against the ‘woke’ enemy and the imposition of a reactionary vision for society against the will of the majority,” while way too many people are complacent.



[W]e already know what Trump’s reaction to losing the next election would be. The only election result he and his enablers on the Right are willing to accept as legitimate is one that puts them in power.
This has always been Trump’s secret power: Somehow, a lot of people– including many of those whose job it is to shape the nation’s opinion by presenting theirs in the country’s leading papers– steadfastly refuse to take his most radical, most aggressive announcements seriously, while at the same time insisting that Trump is a kind of political superweapon that must not be openly challenged. There are a lot of factors explaining why Trump is treated as such an exceptional force: There is an element of white innocence, as it allows for an apologist tale in which the people who vote for him are merely the victims of a genius demagogue who has put a devious spell on them. It is part of a self-exculpatory narrative that is attractive to elites who have not been willing and/or able to stop Trump’s rise: What could they have possibly done against such an outlandishly powerful foe? And there is volkish ideology underneath all that, according to which Trump channels and speaks for “real (read: reactionary white Christian patriarchal) America,” the Volk, and therefore he must be given wide latitude, as the will of the true people, which Trump supposedly embodies, must not be impeded.
The result is that almost no one ever brings the hammer down on Trump. What the American political system has offered so far in response to the Trumpian threat is, at best, a whole lot of handwringing: Since January 6, the discussion has disproportionally focused on the risk of doing something while often neglecting the considerable dangers of doing nothing. And more often, still, the system has been actively complicit and helped to shield Trump from any real accountability.
The guardrails are failing. They are failing not only to hold Trump accountable directly, but also, absent any serious legal and political consequences, to at least tell the people how exceptionally dangerous Trump and those who are fueling, enabling, and supporting him are. If someone assumes that this is still a country with functioning institutions, then it’s only logical for them to conclude that Trump walking free means his transgressions can’t be that bad. At some point, it becomes really hard to expect people to break through their routines and actively defend democracy, as is necessary in a situation of crisis, if the institutions we ask them to trust shy away from doing their part– if they instead continue to signal “normalcy,” that politics as usual is still an option or, at the very least, that exceptional, unprecedented measures would be “too extreme.”
To a significant degree, elections are decided by what people believe the question is they are being asked to decide on with their vote. Different questions– or framings– activate different parts of our political, social, and cultural identities, and whichever is the most salient at a given moment will shape our voting choice. Broadly speaking, there are three very different frameworks for the next presidential election, three very distinct questions:
First, forces on the Right want people to believe the question is whether or not it’s time to stop the “anti-American” onslaught from a “woke,” totalitarian Left. If they succeed in implementing that framing for enough people, Trump wins. That is how far-right regimes have usually been able to rise to power: With enough people on the Center-Right and establishment conservatives holding their noses and making common cause with rightwing extremists because they saw the “radical Left” as a more pressing threat.
Secondly, the default assumption of most people in America is that this is just a “normal” presidential election between two very flawed, very unpopular candidates. If that is the dominant framing in November, Trump, again, has a very good chance of winning. As poll after poll finds right now, there is a lot of frustration with the status quo out there, for various and often entirely justifiable reasons. In a “normal” election, that frustration is directed more towards the incumbent.
Finally, there is the question that I believe should override all else in American politics right now: Should the democratic experiment be continued and America be pushed towards realizing its promise of egalitarian multiracial pluralism– or should a radicalizing minority of white reactionaries be allowed to impose its vision on the country with the help of a vindictive autocrat in power? If that is the type of referendum we are having in November, Trump loses.
But how can we expect voters to accept this idea if the institutions that are tasked with upholding democracy and defending the fundamental rights of all people cannot consistently bring themselves to signal that those are indeed the stakes?


6 Comments


Guest
Mar 08

Before you read the recommended here, you really should take the time to read Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Nazi Reich" and realize the palpable parallels to this shithole today.


Also good would be a couple of fine PBS series on the same topic.


Then, when you read/watch "It Can't Happen Here", you'll have a clue what "IT" is.


And you'll also realize "IT" has already, mostly, happened. And the 100+ IQs among you might realize that "IT" has happened largely because YOU let it.

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Guest
Mar 08

typical of hatewatt. reflexive hate absent any and all thought.

I've answered your idiotic query many times. instead of reflexively puking up hate, maybe you might actually read one. ..um.. and maybe comprehend it. that's important too.

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Blue wave coming. Women will raise the waves. Have some hope people.

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Guest
Mar 08
Replying to

ok... and??? let's say your fantasy comes true. then what. everything gets fixed?

the problem with folks like you is that your end point is just failing to lose THIS election. Nothing beyond that.


The problem with this shithole is that NOTHING ever gets fixed. Not by your democraps. And all along the nazis are being allowed to break more stuff.


Am I truly the only one who really wants this shit to get fixed? ALL of this shit?

I already know I'm among a very few (0.7% in the last election) who knows that democraps cannot be counted on to fix jack shit.

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guestcrapper says, what will you FUCKING DO to fix this? Hey, guestcraphead, why don't you start by looking in your mirror and asking your own question instead of pointing fingers at everyone else and assigning blame like you think you're some GOD.

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Guest
Mar 08

Truth. But, as usual, not asking the right questions of the right people.

The guardrails are all but gone. And the institutions that should have been repairing and replacing them for the past half century have refused.


But, the fundamental issue: NOBODY who votes in this shithole has voted to empower those institutions to do so.


Nazis have been cutting away those guardrails for 15 decades. Democrats repaired and replaced them for only 9 or 10 of those decades. When your party decided to pull the bag over its head in 1968, YOU refused to either make them remove it or replace them with a movement that would do their jobs. Your ongoing refusal is why we are where…


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