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Republicans would "rather end democracy" than turn away from Trump, says Harvard professor

Republicans would "rather end democracy" than turn away from Trump, says Harvard professor

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8to24

Republicans have lost the popular vote in 4 straight general elections and 7 of the last 8. That's despite Citizens United, Shelby County v Holder, and the group of right wing conspiracy. Republicans understand ending Democracy is the only they can stay in power.


CaptainNoBoat

And when they win elections, they do nothing but enrich the wealthy, confirm judges, and gerrymander/suppress as much as possible. Come to think of it, I'm struggling to think of a piece of the Republican platform that has anything to do with governing and isn't directly related to consolidating power.


GhostofMarat

Trumps big accomplishment was tax cuts for rich people. Bush's big accomplishment was tax cuts for rich people and disastrous unnecessary wars. Bush Srs big accomplishment was.... nothing. And Reagan's big accomplishment was tax cuts for rich people foreign proxy wars.


That_One_Cat_Guy

You forgot that Reagan "cut government spending" by closing all government run mental health institutions; causing a massive increase in homelessness, prison population, crime, and suicides.


Ozymandias12

>You forgot that Reagan "cut government spending" And he still oversaw the most massive increase in the deficit of any president in the 20th century.


JimWilliams423

Furthermore, Clinton achieved the *supposed* holy grail of the GOP - a balanced budget. But every single republican in congress at the time voted against his budget. Despite him watering it down to appease them. The Ds have been appeasing the Rs for decades, every time they give an inch, the Rs take a mile and then shriek about how horrible the Ds are.


Traiklin

And now the Rs are turning that mile into 1,000 miles because who is going to stop them? Trump is making money hand over fist and he isn't running for anything, he has achieved what everyone in politics wishes they could do when out of office. Plus he has managed to make those people believe that he gives two shits about them, he's an Evangelical Preacher with his own religion.


That_One_Cat_Guy

[he's an Evangelical Preacher with his own religion] He's a cult leader.


netsrak

I mean he's certainly going to run. I think he is running until he gets a second term or dies. I doubt the Republican party can get the kind of support they need for a general election without Trump.


Mike20878

It's pretty sick how we ended up like this. Maybe his arteries will clog up on McDonald's before 2024.


m4star1

Don’t forget cutting school lunch programs too


marshmallowgiraffe

Ketchup is a vegetable!


Dotlinefever4

But he turned ketchup into a vegetable.


BillOfArimathea

... providing justification for more police, less oversight of police, more "war on crime", more racist law enforcement,..... Almost like it was on purpose.


VanillaLifestyle

"On purpose" might be generous to these myopic, selfish twats, but it was certainly useful. My Occam's Razor explanation is just that corruption breeds corruption. Lowering standards results in further erosion of standards. Breaking the trust in government creates lower expectations for government, which creates less trustworthy government, which circularly lowers the trust again. To create a race to the bottom, you only need a starting gun. People will do the rest.


hagantic42

No the war on drugs was engineered to be racist. The staffer that came up with the idea has openly said so.


boyuber

His name is John Ehrlichman and here is the quote: >"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities."


obviousoctopus

A bit tangential but also "the war on drugs" - see this wonderful quote > The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday. > > “You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” > >Ehrlichman’s comment is the first time the war on drugs has been plainly characterized as a political assault designed to help Nixon win, and keep, the White House. Source: https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/index.html


AlpinFane

There used to be mental health institutions, like genuinely helpful ones, run for I assume free by the government? (Reagan was before I was born I never heard of this if so)


Dorf_Durfson

My uncle was institutionalized in one. He needed to be. But, it was indeed poorly administered because people thought “psychos and r****ds” didn’t deserve legitimate care. When Regan VERY suddenly cut off funding for most of these, the institution closed, and it did not notify my grandparents about it or my uncle. We have never recovered his remains or whereabouts. For all we know he wandered off into the woods and died.


That_One_Cat_Guy

That is horrible and I'm truly sorry that happened to you and your family.


melpomenestits

Also fucked the second amendment to spite the Panthers, added ridiculously wasteful means testing to government programs, gutted the social safety net, created the crack epidemic (yes. Along with bush Sr; I think he was cia head at the time?) Along with the modern hyper militarized incarnation of the war on drugs, destabilized huge chunks of south america (again, bush Cheney rumsfeld north stone Gingrich and the rest of the gang helped) ruined already tense relations with Iran... Dude did a lot. And they all fed the bloated military industrial complex


Traiklin

Also started the downward trend of Unions losing power. Actually made it illegal for the FAA union to go on strike.


mortalcoil1

Reagan tore down the solar panels on top of the White House.


Exciting_Photo_8103

You underestimate the legacy of Reagan. He opened all the worst doors permanently. Killing labor unions, and striking down fair wage labor laws. He eliminated the fairness doctrine which paved the way for the modern spread of misinformation we have today, Fox News couldn’t have existed without him. He opened the doors to all our manufacturing being exported to China and Taiwan. Ronnie single-handedly brought democracy and capitalism in the US to its knees.


Etrigone

>Killing labor unions, and striking down fair wage labor laws. And in a way that got Joe Sixpack to go "Yeah! More of that!" even when you could objectively show how it hurt them. I'll never forget the ATC situation.


creesto

Speaking to truth here. He was so bad that he birthed Newt Gingrich


Exciting_Photo_8103

Yup. That lead directly to our current mentality of “deficits don’t matter” and “trickle down” economics which is just fancy talk for my kids are screwed.


TrumpCanGoToHell

Bush Sr.'s continued occupation of land/bases in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Southern Watch led directly to 9/11. Muslims in the area were enraged over the continued presence of westerners, and led directly to the creation of Al Qaeda. Although I still agree that Bush Sr. was the best Republican president in my lifetime. That's not really saying much.


Janus_Grayden

Summarizing another comment I made, he was also the CIA Director who ran [Operation Condor](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor) and pardoned key people involved in Iran-Contra as one of his last acts as president.


dieinafirenazi

Trump's big accomplishment was packing the Supreme Court. Or one could say the biggest accomplishment of the GOP under Trump was packing the Supreme Court, it was more of a McConnell joint. Trump's complete incompetence makes it hard to point to something he himself accomplished.


inspectoroverthemine

This is why I like Bush Sr. The best Republican president since Eisenhower. Admittedly a low bar.


Kulladar

Imagine how low the bar has to be that a malignantly evil sack of shit like HW Bush is the "best".


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pliney_

They actually invaded Kuwait while he was President though. He didn't attack them because of fantasy weapons of mass destruction.


8to24

When your campaign slogan is "Govt is terrible and needs to stay out of the way" you aren't looking to govern.


CaptainNoBoat

Even worse and in addition to that, both the 2016 and 2020 RNC [Republican platform resolution](https://ballotpedia.org/The_Republican_Party_Platform,_2020) were basically: "Whatever Trump says."


Dahhhkness

The GOP couldn’t even be bothered to write a new party platform in 2020—they reused 2016’s. Sit with that a minute. That is how utterly meaningless actual governance is to the modern Republican Party, because governance no longer matters to their base, only spite, rage, and revenge. The GOP slept with crazy. And crazy doesn't just leave when you tell them you're breaking it off.


x445xb

The funny part was the platform was critical of the president. When they reused it for 2020 it was still complaining about the president who was Trump at that point.


Paddy_Tanninger

And the only people who notice or care were already staunchly opposed to Agent Orange anyway.


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nighthawk_something

It's terrifying to know that they work


TheGrandExquisitor

The NAZIs used similar tactics. One to look for is the "Effective Moron," tactic. NAZI propaganda would paint Jews as both mentally and physically inferior and somehow the greatest evil masterminds who managed to infiltrate high society and the intelligentsia. I remember seeing one film where they show some poor guy with a serious mental disability and talk about how stupid Jews are, and then immediately segue into a lie about Jews infiltrating high society and showing all these fancy people at a party and how they are also manipulating universities. So, they are both DUMB and SMART at the same time. Sure sign of agitprop.


Malakai0013

Schroedingers Jew. They do this with socialists and communists too. They are too stupid stupid understand anything, but also completely capable of running the entire world from behind the scenes without anyone noticing.


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Stonerjoe68

The GOP also has a lot of what I like to call Republican robots. People that take no interest whatsoever in politics and actively choose not to stay informed but will without fail vote R every time in every election.


_barack_

How do you know my parents?


UrsusRenata

My entire damn family as well as my community (west US). Hell, a single conversation reveals how ignorant they are about issues or any of the people in power like Trump. But they vote straight R because gay marriage and abortion. Gee, do you think they are being distracted via social sleight of hand while the R robs them blind?


Stonerjoe68

>because gay marriage and abortion Don’t forget guns


strahlungsfluss

But if the Dems suddenly were anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion and good gun loving Christians they would find another reason to hate them.


BrownEggs93

God yes. Old and white automatons. They change their spots every election to conform to what the current gop says/wants. People still use the word "conservative" to describe republicans. They are no such thing! They are republicans, and that means whatever.


Stonerjoe68

It’s mind blowing to me they still claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility while doing nothing but increasing the deficit each and every time they are in power


Self-Awarican

And then lying about doing it. Trump literally raised the national debt more in 4 years than Obama did in 8.


graysontattoos

After promising to eliminate said debt "very, very easily" while on the campaign trail, lol.


sunnyspiders

It’s called an abusive relationship.


stewartm0205

I love you, that's why I beat you.


ThePortalsOfFrenzy

They've completely gaslighted their base.


ChebyshevsBeard

Conservatism in the US means conserving aristocratic, white, male, and Christian power, generally in that order.


AlariLeanbow

Don't forget heterosexual (unless their preferred age range is sub-18, then all bets are off).


rnuggets123

Unfortunately lots of young ones too


Kraelman

Could be worse. They could have recycled the [2012 Texas GOP platform](https://s3.amazonaws.com/texasgop_pre/assets/original/2012Platform_Final.pdf) where they accidentally said all the [quiet parts out loud](https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2012/07/01/texas-gop-platform/).


pleasedothenerdful

Give it a few years.


Paddy_Tanninger

"Promises made, promises kept!" "Oh btw our platform is the same in 2020 as 2016 cause we didn't actually do a fucking thing other than grift and pass a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and corporations."


sonofpicard

When did any GOP'ers ever try to break it off w/ the crazy? They've been courting crazy for decades and seem to be in a very stable and happy relationship w/ it now that will last for the foreseeable future.


Cyclonitron

And like every other toxic relationship the GOP never learns that it can't control crazy and that crazy's gonna do what crazy's gonna do. But it can't leave crazy because no one else will have a relationship with the GOP because of its own shitty behavior.


Weirdsauce

Go find and watch the PBS Frontline documentary - Boogie Man. The Lee Atwater Story. So many things will start to make sense to you. It utterly transformed the way I understood conservatives and their ideology. It also demonstrates that this GOP is nothing to do with the GOP of Eisenhower or Goldwater.


TrumpCanGoToHell

I'm with you on Eisenhower, but you can draw a straight line starting with Goldwater that leads to Trumpism.


[deleted]

Trump gave us the Goldwater/Wallace presidencies we never had


nagemada

Actually just 2020. The only change they made to the platform for Trump in 2016 was removing " Asserting recognition of Crimea as territory of Ukraine." Haha, so weird for that to be the only thing he wanted changed.


Halo_cT

haha so random, right? 👀


netheroth

Security analysts must have been as pissed off as the kompromat ladies were pissed on.


d0ctorzaius

Didn't even need the Trump Kompromat for that. Paul Manafort apparently made that change Bc (let's make sure I'm reading this right) HE WAS ON A RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS PAYROLL


eyekwah2

And recently, scrubbing any mention of a deal with the Taliban to exit Afghanistan, so that they can all pretend what a horrible idea it was for Biden to choose to do that. Absolutely 0 accountability.


ConstantGeographer

My favorite was in the Texas GOP platform for 2012 where on page 37 they literally argued against teaching critical thinking skills because it would create conflict in the home and church as kids gained knowledge that put them in conflict with what their parents and preachers told them. The GOP wants government control and spending when it suits them and them alone to drive their Christofascist state.


BasicDesignAdvice

Because they are fully aware that what Trump says is what the ultra-wealthy/international syndicate of oligarchs want; society to fracture in the West to re-create the conditions of the formation of the Russian Federation globally. The formation of the Russian Federation being the first Corpo-Mafia State.


cool_temperatures

They say that but even that's not true. Their "wanting government out of the way" amounts to them not wanting business regulated or for the rich to pay taxes. They want to control everyone else.


hexydes

War on Terror. $2 trillion. War on Drugs. $1 trillion. When a Republican tells you they want "small government", laugh in their face.


Ashendarei

Not to mention the 2.8 trillion for the [war in Afghanistan ](https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/09/01/how-much-did-war-afghanistan-cost-how-many-people-died/5669656001/): >The war in Afghanistan has cost $2.3 trillion so far, according to Wednesday’s release from Brown University’s Costs of War Project.


BasicDesignAdvice

They want a Corpo-Mafia state like the Russian Federation. Robert Mueller wrote a major paper years ago about the rise of Corporate-Mafia entities rising up in The West. If the West fractures they can sell off anything publicly owned to these entities through their shells corporation and give the oligarchs the power they want. De-regulation and low taxes of course being included in all this.


ThisAmericanRepublic

CPAC is holding a conference in Budapest and conservatives have been open about their admiration for Orban’s authoritarian mafia state. If you haven’t already, you should read “Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary” by Bálint Magyar. It’s a very telling book.


8to24

Yep!!! Govt should stay out of people's lives but Police are okay to shoot people dead if those people are not obedient enough to orders.


BasicDesignAdvice

"people", wink wink...


xinorez1

They want freedom like in the King Leopold's Congo Free State; freedom from oversight or consideration.


makemejelly49

A group whom the law protects, but does not bind, and a group whom the law binds, but does not protect.


strahlungsfluss

if they wanted freedom they would let women control their bodies without government oversight.


Pwnch

"Government is the problem! Vote for us and we'll prove it!" -Roy Zimmerman (my hero)


schrod

Agreed, except, not 'staying out of the way' when it comes to the occupation of women's vaginas, or when, essentially mandating the spread of covid against all common sense.


CaptainCAAAVEMAAAAAN

> your campaign slogan is "Govt is terrible and needs to stay out of the way" Unless it has to do with lady parts then the GOP is all up in there!


twistedlimb

just a tool to get evangelicals to vote for penthouse living wife raping philandering new york elites who will lower taxes, workers rights, and environmental standards.


furious_20

"Only if my wife is there to supervise me." -Mike Pence, probably


Blanketsburg

God forbid a private business wants to enforce mandates to prevent the spread of an infectious disease. Texas just can't allow that to happen.


BioweaponVaccine

They're not even saying "We intend to reduce the scope and scale of the US Federal Government." They're actually saying "We intend to destroy the Government which was established by the U.S. Constitution."


Beingabumner

But they do, though. They have a clear vision of what society should be like and you reach that through governing. They want a 'Christian' neo-feudalist white ethnostate, preferably with women as an underclass as well. No rights for anyone but the ultra-rich with some symbolic bones thrown to their white male supporters to keep their boot on everyone else. What they want is something similar to Nazi Germany, but in America the way to get there is with anti-government rhetoric. The thing is that once they have the power, they aren't beholden to any of their supporters to actually *be* anti-government. And their supporters will accept it since they consider themselves the in-crowd (which they won't be).


Starship_Coyote

You'd think they would have learned after old Donny left them to fend for themselves against the justice system but of course they won't until they're actually the ones in prison and even then only a small percentage have enough introspection to understand their own wrong doing. It's really sad it's like the dog who is constantly beaten down by his master but stays loyal and lashes out at everyone else.


makemejelly49

Everyone who wants authoritarian rule thinks that they'll be given some kind of power, then cry foul when they are the ones being lined up against the wall. Especially the supporters. Just ask the Brownshirts what the reward for their loyalty was. The only silver they got was the knife in their backs.


silverbax

I'm pretty sure the GOP's platform is 'no taxes on big businesses or the ultra-wealthy' and that's it. How they pitch that is 'AOC wants YOU, average person to pay mileage taxes and OWN NO PROPERTY!!! BE AFRAID!!! ALSO immigrants are taking all of your FREE HEALTHCARE and UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS (that don't exist but apparently are freely available to non-US citizens for some reason that is never explained). They have a platform, it only seems to be chaotic because they are wildly trying to spin it for 'the common man' when it clearly isn't.


JohnDivney

Which is why this is such a volatile mix. We are going to have very immiserated GOP voters thinking that the solution is to destroy the party that wants to help them. That's the key to Fascism, not leadership, but a populace who screams to destroy their native enemy within, and the criteria of 'enemy' simply being somebody not aligned with the program. Add to this the paramilitarization of ordinary rednecks, like, *lots* of them, all dressing and signaling they are ready for war. What the fuck do people think is going to happen?


SasparillaTango

Build the bbw, big beautiful wall? Abortion bounty hunting? Anti anti vaccine mandates? Because Republicans feel government should stay out of people's business except when people and private companies do things those stupid fucks don't like.


CaptainNoBoat

Funny how fast the wall faded from conversation. Even Trump stopped talking about it towards the end of his term. It's almost as if it was a catchy campaign slogan that appealed to xenophobes and racists that was never actually intended to be implemented because it's basically what a 5-year-old would propose to deal with illegal immigration.


Ralod

And the tiny bit he did build, by giving a sweetheart deal to some right wing construction company, has fallen apart. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/23/trump-border-wall-reportedly-severe-disrepair-arizona


WDBeezie

Thom Hartmann has had a challenge to his viewers and listeners for years. He will give them $1000 if they can name a piece of legislation passed by republicans in the last 40 years that helped the middle class/poor. Haven’t heard of anyone winning it.


Watch_me_give

That’s insane. I never knew that, even if I intuitively I guessed as much. This needs to be talked about more.


PepeBabinski

There isn't one, the party of small government is a lie. They reduce regulations for profit while expanding control over individuals.


SeekingImmortality

And by 'enrich the wealthy' you mean 'actively destroy the environment and the middle class / poor in order to enrich the wealthy' as opposed to 'lift up everyone in the country and in doing so result in the wealthy becoming enriched'


Jengaleng422

They refuse to reduce the rate in which the wealthy continue to enrich themselves.


JohnWicksAnimeWaifu

They prefer speeding that process up so the rich will give them more campaign contributions


PepeBabinski

That is why we should abolish the electoral college. America should not have a President that doesn't win the popular vote. We've seen what life is like under the tyranny of the minority and it should not continue to happen as democracy will fall under minority extremism. The founding fathers did not foresee the fatal flaw of the electoral college but it is there and it is slowing eroding the democratic institutions in America.


robywar

> The founding fathers did not foresee the fatal flaw of the electoral college Or the Senate for that matter. There's zero reason a senator from California and one from South Dakota should have equal say.


lonewolfman

The senate is an even bigger problem because of the seat cap on the house. If the house hadn't been capped, we'd have a near constant Democrat majority in it, like there's a pretty constant republican majority in the Senate. It'd mean more stalemates, but stalemates are better than going backwards.


Archbound

Very true, the point of the senate was to make sure States like South Dakota did not get wholesale ignored because states like California run roughshod over them. However having both houses have that higher minority power (minority as in republicans) is a serious issue. Uncap the house!


GrayEidolon

That's because the point of conservatism is to mitigate the consequences of democracy. ***** Conservatism (big C) has always had one goal and little c “general” conservatism is a myth. Conservatism has the related goals of maintaining a de facto aristocracy that inherits political power and pushing outsiders down to enforce an under class. In support of that is a morality based on a person’s inherent status as good or bad - not their actions. The thing that determines if someone is good or bad is whether they inhabit the aristocracy. Another way, Conservatives - those who wish to maintain a class system - assign moral value to people and not actions. Those not in the aristocracy are immoral and therefore deserve punishment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4CI2vk3ugk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agzNANfNlTs its a ret con https://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/agre/conservatism.html Part of this is posted a lot: https://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/21/liberals-against-progressives/#comment-729288 I like the concept of Conservatism vs. anything else. ***** A Bush speech writer takes the assertion for granted: It's all about the upper class vs. democracy. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/why-do-democracies-fail/530949/ To paraphrase: “Democracy fails when the Elites are overly shorn of power.” Read here: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/conservatism/ and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservatism#History and see that all of the major thought leaders in Conservatism have always opposed one specific change (democracy at the expense of aristocratic power). At some point non-Conservative intellectuals and/or lying Conservatives tried to apply the arguments of conservatism to generalized “change.” The philosophic definition of something should include criticism. The Stanford page (despite taking pains to justify small c conservatism) includes criticisms. Involving those we can conclude generalized conservatism (small c) is a myth at best and a Trojan Horse at worst. ***** Incase you don’t want to read the David Frum piece here is a highlight that democracy only exists at the leisure of the elite represented by Conservatism. >The most crucial variable predicting the success of a democratic transition is the self-confidence of the incumbent elites. If they feel able to compete under democratic conditions, they will accept democracy. If they do not, they will not. And the single thing that most accurately predicts elite self-confidence, as Ziblatt marshals powerful statistical and electoral evidence to argue, is the ability to build an effective, competitive conservative political party before the transition to democracy occurs. Conservatism, manifest as a political party is simply the effort of the Elites to maintain their privileged status. One prior attempt at rebuttal blocked me when we got to: why is it that specifically Conservative parties align with the interests of the Elite? ***** There is a key difference between conservatives and others that is often overlooked. For liberals, actions are good, bad, moral, etc and people are judged based on their actions. For Conservatives, people are good, bad, moral, etc and the status of the person is what dictates how an action is viewed. In the world view of the actual Conservative leadership - those with true wealth or political power - , the aristocracy is moral by definition and the working class is immoral by definition and deserving of punishment for that immorality. This is where the laws don't apply trope comes from or all you’ll often see “rules for thee and not for me.” The aristocracy doesn't need laws since they are inherently moral. Consider the divinely ordained king: he can do no wrong because he is king, because he is king at God’s behest. The anti-poor aristocratic elite still feel that way. This is also why people can be wealthy and looked down on: if Bill Gates tries to help the poor or improve worker rights too much he is working against the aristocracy. ***** If we extend analysis to the voter base: conservative voters view other conservative voters as moral and good by the state of being labeled conservative because they adhere to status morality and social classes. It's the ultimate virtue signaling. They signal to each other that they are inherently moral. It’s why voter base conservatives think “so what” whenever any of these assholes do nasty anti democratic things. It’s why Christians seem to ignore Christ. While a non-conservative would see a fair or moral or immoral action and judge the person undertaking the action, a conservative sees a fair or good person and applies the fair status to the action. To the conservative, a conservative who did something illegal or something that would be bad on the part of someone else - must have been doing good. Simply because they can’t do bad. To them Donald Trump is inherently a good person as a member of the aristocracy. The conservative isn’t lying or being a hypocrite or even being "unfair" because - and this is key - for conservatives past actions have no bearing on current actions and current actions have no bearing on future actions so long as the aristocracy is being protected. Lindsey Graham is "good" so he says to delay SCOTUS confirmations that is good. When he says to move forward: that is good. To reiterate: All that matters to conservatives is the intrinsic moral state of the actor (and the intrinsic moral state that matters is being part of the aristocracy). Obama was intrinsically immoral and therefore any action on his part was “bad.” Going further - Trump, or the media rebranding we call Mitt Romney, or Moscow Mitch are all intrinsically moral and therefore they can’t do “bad” things. The one bad thing they can do is betray the class system. ***** The consequences of the central goal of conservatism and the corresponding actor state morality are the simple political goals to do nothing when problems arise and to dismantle labor & consumer protections. The non-aristocratic are immoral, inherently deserve punishment, and certainly don’t deserve help. They *want* the working class to get fucked by global warming. They *want* people to die from COVID19. Etc. Montage of McConnell laughing at suffering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTqMGDocbVM&ab_channel=HuffPost OH LOOK, months after I first wrote this it turns out to be validated by conservatives themselves: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/16/trump-appointee-demanded-herd-immunity-strategy-446408 Why do the conservative voters seem to vote against their own interest? Why does /selfawarewolves and /leopardsatemyface happen? They simply think they are higher on the social ladder than they really are and want to punish those below them for the immorality. Absolutely everything Conservatives say and do makes sense when applying the above. This is powerful because you can now predict with good specificity what a conservative political actor will do. ***** We still need to address more familiar definitions of conservatism (small c) which are a weird mash-up including personal responsibility and incremental change. Neither of those makes sense applied to policy issues. The only opposed change that really matters is the destruction of the aristocracy in favor of democracy. For some reason the arguments were white washed into a general “opposition to change.” * This year a few women can vote, next year a few more, until in 100 years all women can vote? * This year a few kids can stop working in mines, next year a few more... * We should test the waters of COVID relief by sending a 1200 dollar check to 500 families. If that goes well we’ll do 1500 families next month. * But it’s all in when they want to separate migrant families to punish them. It’s all in when they want to invade the Middle East for literal generations. The incremental change argument is asinine. It’s propaganda to avoid concessions to labor. The personal responsibility argument falls apart with the "keep government out of my medicare thing." Personal responsibility just means “I deserve free things, but people of lower in the hierarchy don’t.” Look: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yTwpBLzxe4U ***** For good measure I found video and sources intersecting on an overlapping topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vymeTZkiKD0 ***** Some links incase anyone doubts that the contemporary American voter base was purposefully machined and manipulated into its mangle of abortion, guns, war, and “fiscal responsibility.” What does fiscal responsibility even mean? No one describes themselves as fiscally irresponsible? Atwater opening up. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy/ https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2013/03/27/58058/the-religious-right-wasnt-created-to-battle-abortion/ a little academic abstract to supporting conservatives at the time not caring about abortion. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-policy-history/article/abs/gops-abortion-strategy-why-prochoice-republicans-became-prolife-in-the-1970s/C7EC0E0C0F5FF1F4488AA47C787DEC01 They were trying to rile a voter base up and abortion didn't do it. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/02/05/race-not-abortion-was-founding-issue-religious-right/A5rnmClvuAU7EaThaNLAnK/story.html Religion and institutionalized racism. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/03/27/pastors-not-politicians-turned-dixie-republican/?sh=31e33816695f https://www.salon.com/2019/07/01/the-long-southern-strategy-how-southern-white-women-drove-the-gop-to-donald-trum/ The best: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133


Direwolf0110

I agree with most if this except the idea that incrementalism is always bad for policy issues. It's very contextual, and sometimes incremental approaches are more reasonable and responsible if we do not have a full idea of how a policy will impact. A systems theory approach based on policy feedback can be essential for problems that (I can't stress this enough) *do not impose an immediate existential threat to the public*. Which almost all of the issues you bring up do directly impact the public very negatively, such as too low of a minimum wage. Otherwise, yeah. Incrementalism is incredibly poor at addressing immediately critical issues, I've argued as much in my public administration term papers. We heavily overuse the concept as a justification to do nothing and suppress lower classes. I just think it's important to show it's the *application* of incrementalism that's the problem here, rather than then method itself.


FootofGod

Imagine being such a loser that you cheat and lose. To Democrats. It's like using a chess engine and still managing to lose to your uncle who plays every now and then


Badfickle

Uh no. It's not the only way they can stay in power. They can change their policies to appeal to a wider audience of voters.


8to24

Democrats believe is governance. Democrats accept that as challenges change, markets change, populations change, etc so to must policy ideas. Republicans behave more like a religion which it is blasphemy to change ones policies.


thebadpixel

No shit! We need to move beyond this and actually do something about it before it’s too late.


crackdup

In fairness, the author of this book is an expert on how democracies decline and laying out all the familiar steps/signs along the way.. he's doing everything he can to raise awareness and is basically sharing the blueprint and what needs to be done to avoid any further decline.. When one entire party is fully committed to rolling back democracy and is completely backed by their vast media ecosystem.. it's incumbent upon the other party and other media sources to act.. but if Dems can't use their trifecta to even pass basic electoral reforms or hold any of the extremists to accountability.. there's not much else this author can do


thebadpixel

Yes, the blueprint for what needs to be done is the part that's really useful. We just need those actions to be started. It feels like we're walking around an obviously burning building still trying to gather proof that a fire was started. Meanwhile, Republicans are still standing outside pouring gas and lighting more matches. Frustrating.


microcosmic5447

> We just need those actions to be started. Here's the kicker: Ask yourself what would realistically have to happen before the steps to preserve democracy are taken? Whatever your answer to that question -- how plausible is it, if you look at the world around you and really try to be honest? Because when I do those things, I am left with the conclusion that the path to fascist autocracy is already laid and being walked, that nobody who wants to stop it is able, and that nobody able to stop it wants to. To prevent the slide we'd have to shore up the courts and fix gerrymandering and suppression, which is impossible until we fix gerrymandering and suppression and shore up the courts.


MadDogTannen

I agree. I think there are two things at play, and they are related. 1. What is needed to stop the rise of fascism is for everyone who opposes it, both democrats and republicans, to publicly come out against Trump, and use all of the authority they have to stop him and hold him to account. That isn't happening though. Too many republicans are playing along to appease the base and hold onto power, and too many other republicans have quietly exited politics, ceding control of the party and the government to the MAGAverse. 2. Social media is becoming weaponized faster than we can defend ourselves from it. Misinformation and propaganda are rampant, and they are extremely sophisticated at sucking people in. There is financial disincentives for social media companies to police misinformation so nothing is being done about it. They are related, because as the base becomes radicalized via misinformation and propaganda, it becomes more difficult for republican politicians to survive if they stand up to Trump.


crackdup

Very well said.. the actions from Dems are not rising to the need of the hour.. they love doing things by the book without regard to time constraints, and the centrist wing of the Dems will try to slow down all accountability in the name of bipartisanship, no matter how heinous the crime.. which is further acting as an incentive for extremists to go all out the next time


daretoeatapeach

When trump was first elected I wrote a series on fascism to share with those who didn't see the signs. But at a certain point I came to the same realization as your comment. So I wrote this [guide to direct action](https://subversas.com/direct-action/) and this [guide to grassroots organizing](https://subversas.com/plan-effective-protest) and share both as often as I can.


GenesisDoesnt

What do you think we should do about it? How can we stop Republicans from ending democracy?


thebadpixel

Honestly, I can't see a path that doesn't lead to the nation eventually fracturing. I'm hoping there are smarter people than I working to keep that from happening. A democratic country can't function with half its government trying to prove that government is bad and a dictatorship would be better.


spyson

I feel horrible thinking about it, but I honestly think violent armed conflicts will happen in the future. We've hit new levels of crazy and if people refuse to believe in facts than I don't see a way out of this.


k4f123

I ain’t go to Harvard or shit, but even I knew this


Lamont-Cranston

>We believed there was a faction in the Republican Party, particularly in the Senate, that would be able and willing to draw a line that they wouldn't let Trump cross. And we were wrong about that. The speed and the extent to which the Republican Party has been Trumpified is way beyond anything that we expected. Trump spent the 4 years of his presidency clowning around and showboating. The real work was done by Pence and McConnell, and they served the parties powerful backers. He and his followers are a symptom of a much deeper problem. The Koch/Republican [network](https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/10/10/state-for-sale) is [taking](https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/how-the-gop-rigs-elections-121907/) - [over](http://time.com/4830145/supreme-court-gerrymandering-wisconsin/) - [state](https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/wisconsin-used-to-be-progressive-dan-kaufman-on-what-happened.html) - [legislatures](https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/emails-suggest-republicans-gerrymandered-michigan-weaken-dem-garbage) - [across](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/us/michigan-gerrymandering.html) the [country](http://www.brennancenter.org/new-voting-restrictions-america): [closing](https://newsok.com/article/feed/4872600/aclu-slams-proposal-to-close-many-polls-in-georgia-county) voting stations in [minority](https://lawandcrime.com/civil-rights/gop-removes-sole-polling-place-from-famous-hispanic-majority-city-in-kansas/) areas, [purging](https://www.vox.com/2018/7/20/17595024/voter-purge-report-supreme-court-voting-rights-act) voters, engaging in [extreme](https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/extreme-gerrymandering-2018-midterm) [gerrymandering](http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/state/pennsylvania-gerrymandering-case-congressional-redistricting-map-coverage-guide-20180308.html) of [districts](https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/06/27/ratfcked-the-influence-of-redistricting) and efforts to oppose this through [popular ballots](https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/driveway-driveway-these-volunteers-aim-end-gerrymandering-michigan) are [restricted](https://apnews.com/5cd1d5ab62834fdfbb259479d197978f), [disenfranchising](https://artvoice.com/2017/11/07/kris-kobach-americas-greatest-threat-democracy-jamie-moses/#.W2fclMsayK1) voters, engaging in ["vote caging"](https://milwaukeecourieronline.com/index.php/2010/10/02/gop-joins-with-tea-party-in-illegal-effort-to-steal-election/), preventing [students from voting](https://www.iowapublicradio.org/post/republican-senators-advance-wide-ranging-changes-iowa-election-laws), enacting nebulous [signature mismatch rules](https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/brian-kemp-voter-mismatch-georgia-stolen-election.html), as well as [onerous](http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/alabama-dmv-closings-draw-call-federal-voting-rights-probe)[^1](https://www.citylab.com/equity/2015/10/what-effect-will-shuttering-alabama-dmv-offices-have-on-black-voters/408571/)[^2](https://www.npr.org/2018/10/13/657125819/many-native-ids-wont-be-accepted-at-north-dakota-polling-places) [Voter ID](http://theuptake.org/2012/04/05/mn-voter-photo-id-is-a-cut-and-paste-alec-creation-says-common-cause/)[^1](http://hpr1.com/index.php/feature/news/alec-backed-legislators-behind-suppressing-vote/) and [early voting](https://thinkprogress.org/native-tribes-denial-7e0315de3810/) laws, often targeting minorities with [surgical precision](https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/15/528457693/supreme-court-declines-republican-bid-to-revive-north-carolina-voter-id-law), [written](https://washingtonspectator.org/party-lincoln-takes-aim-black-voters/) by ALEC a group that also [hosts](https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/alec-meeting-gerrymandering-audio-recording.html)[^1](https://documented.net/2019/12/alec-redistricting-workshops-dec2019/) gerrymandering [tutorials](https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2020/05/14/alec-holds-tutorial-republicans-chief-authority-redistricting-amidst-pandemic/), [changing](http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-north-carolina-governor-20180126-story.html) the [rules of governance](https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2018/07/10/koch-brothers-group-out-kill-arizonas-chance-vote-dark-money-disclosure-outlaw-dirty-money/773006002/) to make their control permanent and legal, and at a Council for National Policy seminar the need to bring back 'poll watcher' intimidation tactics has been [discussed](https://theintercept.com/2020/04/11/republican-poll-watchers-vote-by-mail-voter-fraud/). Should they manage to lose elections in spite of all these efforts they [vow to redouble them](https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2018/11/16/after-blue-wave-wisconsins-gerrymandered-legislature-already-up-to-dirty-tricks/) using [lame duck sessions](http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/in-11th-hour-power-grab-republicans-in-wisconsin-and-michigan-use-koch-playbook-to-subvert-the-will-of-voters/) before the changeover to [impede](https://www.newsweek.com/defeated-state-republicans-scramble-pass-unpopular-laws-1221052) the new government, strip Governors of power, and reassign legislative authority; some become [angry](https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/12/02/billionaire-heiress-lashes-out-unions-because-her-fortune-didnt-buy-election) and [paranoid](https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a25004772/republicans-count-all-votes-florida-georgia-arizona/) and start advocating [violence](https://thinkprogress.org/mike-lee-civil-war-highways-86be306e06b9/?fbclid=IwAR34IiBDBPPXqW7q_jstBZXSeXFLth965Dzzja-qBeW2dik3usWrAKCv5r8), others brazenly [admit](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBweZMNIm2M) what they are [doing](https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cindy-hyde-smith-voter-suppression_us_5beea9b7e4b0c19de3fecb10). A Heritage Foundation fellow addressing the Council for National Policy [candidly admits](https://theintercept.com/2019/02/27/hr1-bill-voting-rights-republicans/) that Republican Party results would be hampered by Voting Rights protections and non-partisan districting. In states they no longer have a majority they simply resort to [wrecking the legislative process](https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/oregon-climate-battle-gop-walkout-violence-852643/?fbclid=IwAR1OIDIjkv9guyvnaHHxNgNIrZf0oetGAKgqnmc8Kp0fhHTPIx7ZvHcougY). On the other hand in North Carolina despite having gerrymandered a majority in the legislature and congressional districts they have bizarrely insisted on engaging in unnecessary [electoral fraud](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_North_Carolina%27s_9th_congressional_district_election), while in Florida they [ran a bogus candidate to confuse voters](https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/03/19/florida-fraud-artiles-rodriguez-election/). Enough does not seem to be enough. Amidst the chaos of 2020 President Trumps administration and state Republican law makers are trying to introduce a range of measures to [prohibit mail-in voting](https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2020/09/16/an-all-out-assault-gop-aligned-groups-attack-voting-rights-from-all-angles/), limit mail-in drop boxes to [one per county](https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/01/politics/texas-governor-drop-off-locations-ballots/index.html) or [ban them](https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/florida-lawmakers-move-to-ban-absentee-ballot-drop-boxes/2021/03/10/320db944-81ea-11eb-be22-32d331d87530_story.html) (because I guess fraud won’t occur if you drop your ballot in a mailbox but will occur if you put it in a special ballot drop box located outside an election board?), requiring a [witness signature](https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/519177-south-carolina-republicans-ask-supreme-court-to-reinstate-witness) for mail-in votes, and [other initiatives](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/18/us/2020-voting-litigation-election.html) include [filming people](https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-campaign-pennsylvania-surveillance) dropping off ballots and trying to prevent providing assistance to others to get to polling stations, [restricting late ballots from being received after Election Day](https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pennsylvania-mail-ballots-supreme-court/2020/09/22/2446ffc0-fd0e-11ea-9ceb-061d646d9c67_story.html), [insisting](https://couriernewsroom.com/2020/11/04/pa-ballot-delay/) on counting mail-in ballots counting only begin on Election Day which combined with all their efforts to delay their collection or inhibit their use sure does look like an effort to create the impression of falsification, or just plain demanding they not be counted [because reasons](https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2020/09/24/republicans-ask-court-order-delaware-not-count-vote-mail-ballots/3503009001/). Attempts are being made to demand the result be called on Election Day. And to cap it all off the USPS has had key mail sorting infrastructure [shut down or dismantled](https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/21/politics/usps-mail-sorting-machines-photos-trnd/index.html) which will delay the collection and delivery of mail-in ballots – all adding up to ensure many mail-in votes would go uncounted due to being delayed or a lack of time to process them. Now there are reports that they are trying to get [electors appointed to the Electoral College that will disregard the results](https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refuses-concede/616424/).


Lamont-Cranston

Now in [2021](https://inthesetimes.com/article/democrats-filibuster-joe-manchin-permanent-minority-rule) just as in the wake of the 2018 midterms they are furious at their electoral loss and are unleashing a [wave](https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/02/24/republicans-introduce-a-torrent-of-new-laws-to-restrict-voting)[^1](https://www.salon.com/2021/02/27/republicans-roll-out-tidal-wave-of-voter-suppression-253-restrictive-bills-in-43-states/) of new [voter suppression](https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/republican-voter-suppression/): [**253 bills** with provisions that restrict voting access in *43 states*](https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/state-voting-bills-tracker-2021). One Arizona lawyer told the Supreme Court that striking down a proposed restriction ["(would put) us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats"](https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/03/blaring-quiet-part-out-loud-gop-lawyer-admits-supreme-court-easier-voting-puts), the ultimate goal appears to be nullifying the [Voting Rights Act](https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/03/republicans-are-trying-to-kill-whats-left-of-the-voting-rights-act/). While in Georgia a law [prohibiting providing food and water](https://truthout.org/articles/georgia-bill-would-criminalize-giving-water-to-voters-waiting-in-long-lines/) to people waiting in long lines has garnered a great deal of attention a far more dangerous provision allows the legislature to [disregard an electoral result](https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/03/after-trump-failed-georgia-republicans-pass-bill-to-make-it-easier-to-overturn-elections/) they do not like and make their own decision, and [Georgia is not the only state introducing this](https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-politics-legislature-local-elections-bills-73b331234cec8c966bb2308f6ed1696e). They have also bused in protesters from outside the state to rally at [Senator Joe Manchins office](https://substack.documented.net/p/manchin-rally-hr1) to oppose HR1. All of this is being carried out by state legislators, Secretaries of State, [Attorneys General](https://www.prwatch.org/news/2018/07/13372/koch-justice-billionaires-expand-influence-law-enforcement-courts-2018), and [Governors](https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/matt-bevins-kentucky-win-is-the-end-of-an-eraand-that-should-scare-democrats-everywhere/449199/)[^1](https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/3/20/1843510/-Alaska-Governor-Announces-Koch-Funded-Americans-for-Prosperity-Orchestrated-Public-Meetings) that are members of introducing bills written by ALEC and the Kochs have contributed to and directed their network of fake grassroots fronts like Americans for Prosperity to campaign for them. [Some](https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2016/10/13/20161013new-attorney-general-in-georgia-formerly-koch-corp-lawyer-and-koch-backed-think-tank-vice-president/) even come directly from the Koch network. [ALEC](https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/04/03/alec-american-legislative-exchange-council-model-bills-republican-conservative-devos-gingrich/3162357002/) is the American Legislative Exchange Council a policy institute/'model legislation' generating body staffed with industry lobbyists and elected representatives, it was founded in the 1970s by Paul Weyrich, the co-founder of The Heritage Foundation and the Council for National Policy who famously [declared at a meeting of Republican Party representatives that he did not want everyone to vote and that in order for the party to win elections they need fewer people to vote](https://youtube.com/watch?v=8GBAsFwPglw). ALEC takes advantage of the fact that most states legislators sit short and infrequent sessions making reading and debating bills difficult, are provided few or no staff or interns that could summarize bills or perform research or draft laws, and are paid [relatively little](https://ballotpedia.org/Comparison_of_state_legislative_salaries) (as the publics general lack of attention on state politics) to provide its member-legislators with pre-written 'model legislation' along with all the necessary talking points, fact sheet handouts, scholarly reports, and experts to come in and advise committees all for just a $50 annual membership fee - ALECs operating expenses are covered by its corporate members who must pay to join its taskforces, pay even more to be able to vote on the taskforces activities, and still more again to be able to lead them and set their agenda. The more a corporation pays ALEC the more influence it has on the type of laws it produces for its legislative members to introduce. Today it is heavily funded by both Koch Industries and the Kochs personal foundations, it coordinates with their networks agenda through the State Policy Network an organization founded by ALEC members to coordinate the work of state-level think tanks, and the Koch-founded and funded Americans for Prosperity campaigns for its members. The process can be summed up as a triumvirate: * ALEC writes the legislation. * SPN provides the state-level think tank reports and academics to support the legislation. * AFP campaigns on behalf of the legislators and the legislation with grassroots campaigning and providing its members to attend rallies, door knock, phone bank, etc


Lamont-Cranston

Once legislators have achieved office and solidified power with the campaign of voter disenfranchisement and gerrymandering they begin a new second campaign of serving their powerful backers introducing legislation [written by ALEC](http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21378/alec_agenda_american_legislative_exchange_council_janus) ranging from taxcuts for the rich which coupled with [supermajority](https://qz.com/1245033/this-koch-brothers-backed-law-stops-states-from-raising-teacher-salaries/) laws is the cause of the drop in [rural healthcare](https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/25/north-carolina-rural-hospitals-closing-vidant-health) and education funding, which is then used to [rationalize](https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/ky-general-assembly/2017/03/22/matt-bevin-signs-charter-schools-bill-into-law/99489126/) the privatization of education through charter schools and even push [re-segregation](https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/koch-brothers-school-segregation-americans-prosperity/), workplace OH&S and environmental deregulation, [oppose](https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/07/03/schuette-americans-prosperity-california-donors/755069002/) and even [criminalize](https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2018/11/30/michigan-senate-crime-political-nonprofits-disclose-donors/2161433002/) Dark Money disclosure - now [ramping up across the country in 2021](https://readsludge.com/2021/06/15/new-laws-preventing-dark-money-disclosure-are-sweeping-the-nation/), tougher criminal sentencing and prison privatization, Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine and Conceal/Carry laws, [stack the judiciary](https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2018/07/23/koch-justice-billionaires-expand-influence-law-enforcement-courts-2018/), and gerrymander Congress so their [preferred candidates](http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21558/koch-brothers-super-pac-janus-unions-midterm-election-americans-prosperity) get into federal politics. There is a particular emphasis on going after unions, public sector unions especially and teachers unions most of all, with reforms tearing up bargaining agreements, hampering the collection of dues, requiring them to re-certify every year, and of course [right to work](https://mic.com/articles/21409/michigan-right-to-work-law-was-the-brainchild-of-alec-the-most-dangerous-group-in-politics#.1oibaPfRX) to cut into their membership and funding and prevent them from forming a successful counterweight to this agenda. And with all the money they pump in there is particular attention to laws benefiting Koch Industries like [criminalizing](https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/01/the-koch-brothers-protest-in-america/)[^1](https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fossil-fuel-protest_n_602c1ff6c5b6c95056f3f6af) oil pipeline protests, [limiting liability claims for workers at its subsidiaries](https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2018/06/19/alec-deadly-asbestos-agenda-benefits-koch-industries/), freezing [renewable energy and efficiency standards](https://www.ecowatch.com/ohio-newspapers-remain-silent-on-alec-as-group-influences-state-senate-1881915597.html), and even placing legislative restrictions on [public transportation](https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kbzwdm/the-koch-brothers-are-trying-to-ban-an-entire-transit-technology). Because their economic and regulatory agenda if stated openly would have little support they have had to resort to appealing instead to conservative '[moral issues](https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/15/republicans-control-us-states-democrats)' and motivating a fringe bloc of the electorate around this. A byproduct of this process is [religious fundamentalists](https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/02/how-gerrymandering-undermines-democracy-us-elections) and [extreme far right](https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2019/12/20/alecs-washington-state-chair-engaged-domestic-terrorism-report-concludes/) elements gain positions in state legislatures through serving elite corporate interests and use the enormous legislative power now amassed to carry out their [own agenda](https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/01/texas-shows-us-what-post-democracy-america-would-look-like/) which these economic interests seem willing to tolerate as a transaction to achieve their goals. You fight this in the court and either they've stacked them with [judges that have attended Heritage-run courses at the Koch-funded George Mason University](https://theintercept.com/2018/10/23/federal-judiciary-henry-manne-law-economics/) or if the judges do happen to rule in your favor then they just appeal and [replace](https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/us/north-carolina-republicans-gerrymander-judges-.html) the [judges](https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/north-carolina-republicans-pass-bill-to-strip-state-supreme-court-candidate-chris-anglin-of-his-gop-affiliation.html), and if they don't like how their elections turn out they'll [fix that](https://www.salon.com/2021/04/02/texas-gop-moves-to-gerrymander-state-courts-after-democrats-sweep-key-judicial-elections/) too. If it goes to the federal courts, [long biased against the Voting Rights Act](https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/john-roberts-voting-rights-act-121222/) either they rule in [their favor](https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/republican-voting-rights-supreme-court-id/) or it is litigated for so long [the courts declare it is too late to change](https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/04/politics/north-carolina-court-gerrymander-midterms/index.html). Meaning that in North Carolina a 50.3% electoral result grants them [10 of the 13 Congressional seats](https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article221282920.html#storylink=mainstage), and in Wisconsin they gain [63% of the state legislature on 46% of the vote](https://i.redd.it/t3b7gicquud31.jpg). So of course they [now try to delay changing for the 2020 election](https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/01/north-carolina-republicans-gerrymander-anita-earls.html). In Georgia a judicial election [was simply cancelled and the new judge appointed by the governor](https://www.vox.com/2020/5/19/21262376/georgia-republicans-cancel-election-state-supreme-court-barrow-kemp-blackwell). All of this is being carried out under the accusation that *other people* are committing voter fraud, which courts have dismissed as [conjecture](https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/federal-judge-rules-against-cook-county-gop-e2-80-99s-effort-to-prevent-expanded-vote-by-mail/ar-BB199YVY) and [fiction](https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/01/after-trump-and-rnc-fail-cite-single-instance-fraud-federal-judge-rejects-effort).


Lamont-Cranston

For the previous four years they had been doing the same thing nationally. Trumps [Vice President](https://insideclimatenews.org/news/31082020/candidate-profile-mike-pence-climate-change-election-2020)[^1](https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/is-trump-ok/), [Secretary of State](https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pompeo-draws-liberal-groups-ire/2011/03/10/ABogK33_story.html?utm_term=.3ff6d4b7ff57)[^1](https://www.wsj.com/articles/pompeo-discusses-senate-race-in-kansas-with-koch-11572116305), [Attorney General](https://imgur.com/gallery/x09ZkI9), and numerous [administration positions](https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/30/donald-trump-george-monbiot-misinformation) were staffed with Koch cronies. More were appointed to the [Federal Reserve](https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/26/stephen-moore-really), regulatory and oversight positions at the [Department of Energy](https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/07/09/another-koch-cadet-alex-fitzsimmons-trump-department-energy), [Department of the Interior](https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/420632-former-koch-adviser-to-take-over-interiors-foia-requests) where they shut down reports by declaring "[science is a Democrat thing](https://www.salon.com/2019/04/10/science-is-a-democrat-thing-mantra-of-the-trump-administration-revealed/)" and at the [EPA](https://thinkprogress.org/koch-epa-industry-david-dunlap-chemical-water-1f08cfa2fb01/) where they ushered in corporate friendly [deregulation](https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/trump-put-a-koch-official-in-charge-of-americas-drinking-water) benefiting their former employers and [endangering lives](https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/17/koch-dunlap-epa-formaldehyde-049060)[^1](https://theintercept.com/2021/04/16/epa-cancer-ethylene-oxide-bill-wehrum/), the [FCC](https://tytnetwork.com/2018/05/24/two-koch-insiders-are-creating-a-new-office-inside-the-fcc/), and [NOAA](https://www.npr.org/2020/09/12/912301325/longtime-climate-science-denier-hired-at-noaa). And [supporting his Supreme Court nominations](https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/09/26/koch-network-campaign-for-support-trump-supreme-court-nominee.html)[^1](https://maplight.org/story/dark-money-group-leading-kavanaugh-confirmation-not-authorized-to-operate-in-d-c/)[^2](https://www.salon.com/2018/02/05/the-koch-brothers-are-plotting-a-right-wing-takeover-of-americas-judicial-system_partner/)[^3](https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/mitch-mcconnell-just-won-the-biggest-battle-yet-in-his-long-war-on-democracy/). In 2021 they have ruled to [strike down](https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2021/07/01/voting-rights-may-not-survive-arizona-laws-supreme-court-ruling/7819121002/) key elements of the Voting Rights Act and to [prohibit states collecting](https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-07-01/supreme-court-california-koch-backed-charity-to-reveal-its-big-donors) the identities of donors to Dark Money organizations. Key components of the Trump administrations policies came straight out of the Koch agenda. Trumps original tax plan while it did include numerous taxcuts for the rich also included a Border Adjustment Tax that would have rendered them revenue neutral so as not to add to the deficit and encourage domestic manufacturing. You have to give the devil his due. After lobbying from the Koch network this was removed and the Paul Ryan plan was pure taxcuts for the rich, increasing the deficit by a trillion and personally saved the Kochs a billion dollars. And adding [tax increases for everyone else](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/31/opinion/republicans-biden-taxes.html) in 2021. The attacks on [Medicaid and food stamps](https://truthout.org/articles/charles-koch-is-funding-a-campaign-to-kill-food-stamps-and-medicaid/), [rollback of auto emission standards](https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/climate/cafe-emissions-rollback-oil-industry.html), attacks on environmental regulation, and disastrous cutbacks to the [CDC](https://theintercept.com/2020/03/26/americans-for-prosperity-cdc-coronavirus/) all come straight from their playbook. They spent 400 million on the 2018 midterms and across the country they are lobbying for 'right to work' laws and organizing campaigns [against Public Transit ballots](https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/climate/koch-brothers-public-transit.html). The [question Trumps Commerce Secretary wished to include into the 2020 Census regarding citizenship status](https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/civil-rights-groups-ask-federal-judge-to-reconsider-conspiracy-ruling-on-census-citizenship-question/2019/06/04/b1ce19fa-86e0-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html?utm_term=.1339ff080e40) originate from the same Republican strategist that designed the REDMAP [gerrymandering initiative](https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/402489-pioneer-of-modern-redistricting-dies-at-75) and his own research concluded the question would favor rural white citizens over others via intimidating minorities into not participating, ensuring Census data would be skewed allowing for district boundaries to be further gerrymandered as well as Electoral College votes + federal spending to be apportioned incorrectly. Even with just weeks left to the Trump presidency they have [continued to try to manipulate the census data](https://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2020/11/28/Trump-wants-changes-to-census/stories/202011290123) in their favor.


Lamont-Cranston

What else do they want, how far does this go? A key influence on the Kochs was the economist [James McGill Buchanan](https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/meet-the-economist-behind-the-one-percents-stealth-takeover-of-America), he and earlier Austrian economists advocated that for the free market to truly be free then democracy must be limited. He advocated for legislative and constitutional ["locks and bolts"](https://np.reddit.com/r/KochWatch/comments/8t0bxy/the_kochpinochet_connection/?st=jjy2ijn7&sh=82088938) to limit the publics democratic ability to influence government and it to respond. This has [merged with](https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/11/republicans-voter-suppression-trump-election) the existential fears of the Republican Party and can be seen expressed in efforts like requiring a supermajority for measures like raising taxes, then securing that majority for themselves through voter disenfranchisement and gerrymandering legislatures to ensure it can never be accomplished. The ultimate goal is to hardwire this into the Constitution itself and the Koch network has been active in campaigning for a [Constitutional Convention](https://apnews.com/e84cdca5b568402398eabfcd2b6ada07). They have three items on the agenda for it already: * Repealing the [17th Amendment](https://www.thenation.com/article/alec-wants-to-to-change-the-way-senators-are-elected-and-take-away-your-vote/). The right to vote for Senators. It will revert to state appointment. Suppose you have a state like Wisconsin or North Carolina where the legislature is gerrymandered and they have a 2/3rd majority on less than 50% of the vote, they've also stacked the state courts, and they've gerrymandered the Congressional districts - and now they also get to appoint the Senate. What role do you now play? What sort of government is that? What's more there are 32 Republican states, that's 64 Republican Senators. Just three shy of a 2/3 majority. * Repealing the income tax and [estate tax](https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/01/28/top-gop-senators-propose-repealing-estate-tax-which-is-expected-be-paid-by-fewer-than-americans-year). * A [balanced budget amendment](https://www.voanews.com/usa/budget-hawks-hatch-plan-force-us-constitutional-convention). Will they balance the budget by cutting the military budget or raising taxes? As we have seen in state legislatures this will mean Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, the Department of Education, etc and all Federal regulatory agencies like the SEC, FDA, EPA, FEC, etc - everything the right have had a bee in their bonnet about since the 1930s - will have to be shut down or privatized because there will be no means to fund them and they wont raise taxes or cut the military budget to do so. In any other country you'd call this a soft coup. How do you stop this? You can't vote them out, the gerrymandering and disenfranchisement ensure their minority has a majority of power. Where is the Democratic Party while all this goes on? They have no focus on state politics at all and simply do not acknowledge what is being done across the country in multiple state legislatures with gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement. They focus on ever shrinking margins in the Senate and Congress, trade insults with President Trump, hand wringing about Russia, and when presented with an [opportunity](https://www.newsweek.com/biden-administration-wont-prosecute-wilbur-ross-over-misrepresenting-census-question-1611087) to prosecute some of this chose not to. So what the hell do you do?


djarvis77

The republicans see the dictatorship model (as long as they are the ones in charge) as stable. They look at chinas communist party as a goal. Which is ironic considering they call everything they don't like communist. Their ideal govt seems to be a combination of a sort of christian taliban and the ccp. They hate democracy as much as they hate democrats. And they are willing to crash the economy in order to achieve their goal (as evidenced by their votes concerning the debt ceiling this year vs. the previous 4 years).


hexydes

> They look at chinas communist party as a goal. Which is ironic considering they call everything they don't like communist. The only thing the Republican party doesn't like about China is that it's competition. Anything else about how China governs is *exactly* what the Republican party wants, just on their own terms. Surveillance. Social control. Minority suppression. Monetary control. Autocratic rule. Everything.


inspectoroverthemine

> The only thing the Republican party doesn't like about China Thats not the _only_ thing. They're also scared of anyone who isn't white.


Whyevenbotherbeing

You could be non-white but you’d have to tick all the other boxes. They absolutely love when a black man acts just like them, it’s proves many things.


inspectoroverthemine

Reminds me of the black youtuber who would wear a MAGA hat when he had to go somewhere really redneck. They'd fawn all over him instead of treat him like a criminal. Don't blame him at all. I'd do the same thing if I had to deal with it.


AnarchRocker

That's incredible. Makes total sense in this fucked up reality we live in. But I hadn't thought about how a single article of clothing could radically change mob mentality.


hexydes

"He's one of the good ones."


DatsyoupZetterburger

Don't confuse "uses" with "loves."


LibraryGeek

yes, some believe that our society needs to be blown up in order to make way for their (regressive, often religious, fascist ) type of government and then everything will be roses.


juanzy

> The republicans see the dictatorship model (as long as they are the ones in charge) as stable. They look at chinas communist party as a goal. Which is ironic considering they call everything they don't like communist. Because the wealth divide is so vast, and benefits of our current system are so concentrated at the top, that if they lost the fear baiting, Zealotry and Cult of Personality they would probably lose several decades of elections before getting back (if they ever did). Not sure I agree with the GOP (not Trump Cult) wanting a Christain Taliban, their end goal is money, plain and simple. The fire they played with created a Trump Cult instead of the Romney/McCain cult they wanted. We need to find a way to end this with no sympathy of the GOP members it steps on.


ControlOfNature

Because those places have regimes that reinforce and stabilize the “natural” hierarchy, which is the fundamental tenet of conservatism. That’s what they want to conserve, whether it’s religious, racial, economic, gender etc etc


TrumpCanGoToHell

Yeps. The "natural order", which is fundamental to all dangerous religious doctrine. You can use natural order to justify anything.


Fig1024

Pretty sure they are trying to follow the Russian oligarchy model, not China's.


ct_2004

Hungary or Poland are better examples. Go through the motions of being a democracy, without actually giving the other side a chance to win.


tardisBlueEyes

I've seen this quote posted on reddit many times before, but it seem to have more weight and a great sense of impending doom behind it these days: > “If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.” > >― David Frum, Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic


T1mac

David Frum, who I disagree with almost all of his political positions, and was a Neo-con and lied us into war, but he turned the corner on Trump and he absolutely nailed it with this observation.


gmb92

Frum, to his credit, also called out Republican obstructionism on ACA in 2009, and got fired for it because Republicans were trying to craft a specific narrative and could tolerate no dissent. His writing on that has been excellent. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-republican-waterloo/520833/


ItsaRickinabox

Neo-cons are rat-fucking warhawks, but they are very strong institutionalists. Thats not really a compliment, just trying to show where they’re coming from in all this, and why they ubiquitously hate Trump.


agentfelix

>...but they are very strong institutionalists. I don't mind someone with differing views, as long as they play by the rules and try not to force their BS onto me. I've disagreed with Frum *many* times, but I still respect him. Republicans are just making shit up as we go to force their shitty Americanized version of the Taliban, while breaking every fucking rule. Like children making shit up and lying as we all are trying to have fun and play a game.


MeetingParticular857

There's playing the game and there's burning down the court when you don't win.


majorpurpskurp

This has effectively already happened through PACs, gerrymandering, and voter suppression


thomascgalvin

Trump is the last, desperate gasp of a dying ideology. Demographics are leaving the GOP behind. Not everyone in the younger generations are as progressive as Bernie or AOC, but moderates are well represented by people like Biden, and even conservative people can find someone they agree with in people like Manchin. The GOP isn't the party of conservatism, or fiscal responsibility, or family values. *All* of that belongs to the Democrats, despite their unwillingness to market themselves that way. That leaves the Republicans with regressive policies fueled by hatred, rage, and despair. The GOP is now entirely made up of people who believe *someone* took *something* from them, and needs to be punished for it. If your marriage isn't going well, it's probably because gays can get married now. If your factory closed, it's because the minimum wage is too high, not because the union was busted. If you're too poor to retire, it's probably because black people can afford cell phones now. Trump spread this message better than anyone if the last fifty years. He was bald-faced about it, completely open about his racism, sexism, hatred, and denial of science. Trump showed the Republicans that they don't need to dog whistle anymore; they can be openly awful, in plain sight, and the mainstream media will refuse to call them on it, and Fox News will actively cover for them. The demographic that believes in this is mostly old and mostly white. Every year, we get closer to leaving them in history's trash heap. When Texas finally flips blue, it's all over. Trump is the only one that excites the hateful demographic enough that they can hold on to power for a little while longer. Nobody was lining up to cheer for Mitch McConnell.


08232021

> Trump is the last, desperate gasp of a dying ideology. Don't fool yourself. Authoritarians, fascists and oligarchs will always be with us.


geoffbowman

Yeah I was going to say... narcissism and greed aren't going anywhere... there will always be another trump and another crowd desperate to follow him... democrats need to stop just waiting for the other shoe to drop and be the change they want people to keep voting for in the world.


Piousunyn

Democrats have always played the enabler, so Trump is confusing to them.


Dahhhkness

Trump has proven that an American fascist movement, with the right leader, would face almost no opposition if it tried to dismantle the Rule of Law. Trump's sheer incompetence and lack of subtlety was the only reason he wasn't successful the first time around.


Njdevils11

This is the thought that keeps me up at night. Trump was/is horrendously stupid and wildly inexperienced. Just imagine what someone with some actual knowhow could accomplish...


Zyphin

What gives me some comfort was the little fact that Trump being an idiot was the "Special Sauce" that made it work. The thing that kept his core so solid was his complete lack of shame and insight. These people have delt with cloak and dagger style double speak for decades and they gravitated towards him because he didn't dress it up or make it "P.C.". That is the ultimate weakness to these movements. They need an idiot


Indon_Dasani

So over in the UK, their fascism is being driven by a smart person who just *pretends* to be stupid. You think that'd be so hard for an American to do?


robotixonic

This is what has me concerned about Ron DeSantis.


need2burn

That fascist's name is Tom Cotton.


mrgabest

No need to imagine; there are many historical figures that fit the bill, but most recently Newt Gingrich is directly responsible for the dismantling of American democracy during the last ~40 years.


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[удалено]


b0w3n

Trump's incompetance is likely what kept everything together fortunately. Someone more like DeSantis would cause active civil unrust to the point of riots and likely civil war. The result of the 2024 election will probably be the make or break for our republic.


ArrowheadDZ

100% this. The single greatest threat to democracy, bar none, is this recurring belief that this is the last time, we’re just one last victory away from having authoritarianism behind us. This will never be true. Our natural or “entropic” state appears to be authoritarian-led tribalism. It takes an enormous amount of energy on the part of many, many millions of people to maintain democratic rule, and the jury is still very much out about whether humans as a species are capable of sustainable democratic social order. There has been a palpable global shift towards higher degrees of nationalism and authoritarianism over the past few years, and we are profoundly underestimating how serious the threat is. We are nowhere near over the hump, you can’t even see the hump from here yet. We steel ourselves for one last push, certain that this next victory wins the game. This isn’t a soccer match or a baseball game. There is no end zone, there is no final inning. There is no last lap and then we take a break. There is no end to the fight. Ever. The fight required to sustain self rule has no finish line, and our continued belief it does will be our demise. If it’s not worth fighting forever for, then we can’t have it and don’t deserve it.


daretoeatapeach

I agree with your first paragraph entirely. Reading Zinn's A People's History gave me that epiphany, that the struggle for justice never ends. However I must push back on this: >Our natural or “entropic” state appears to be authoritarian-led tribalism. You're falling into the trap of seeing the way things are as the way they must always be. People are falling for fascism because they're frightened of change. In a functional democracy with a healthy economy, fascism wouldn't stand a chance (e.g. Nixon tried to pull this nonsense and America booted him out). Humans are adaptable if anything. If they're raised to be untrusting, suspicious, and competitive they will build a culture that reflects that. It's not inherent, and you can easily see that in our relationships. Despite being cultured to distrust and compete, most of us are generous and democratic in our personal relationships. And people who aren't, people who are abusive and selfish in their relationships, are seen as defective. >It takes an enormous amount of energy on the part of many, many millions of people to maintain democratic rule I wonder what makes you think this. I don't have any trouble organizing a democratically-run pot luck, or protest, or trade organization. Ocuppy was able to organize hundreds of people using consensus. Bigger isn't better when it comes to democracy. It's only when groups get big enough that one makes decisions for people they can't see and don't know that these cruelties emerge. Because they lose sight of the pain their actions cause. It's difficult to be humane when the consequences of your actions are far away. You don't have to be a sociopath to turn a blind eye, and the bigger the country the easier that is to do. I encourage you to thoughtfully reconsider the assumption that large nation states are more democratic.


Doctor-Malcom

I have firsthand witnessed the decline of democratic ideals and policies across the world. The largest countries where it’s obvious fascism and authoritarianism are the new norm are Brazil, Poland, India, and MAGA Land. That period between 1945 and 2001 was an outlier due to the projection of American ideals in a world devastated by war. After 9/11 and the widespread internet/social media adoption, tribalism and xenophobia began increasing as people accepted the top-down media narrative of a Clash of Civilizations and immigration being a scapegoat of pro-1% globalization’s harms. It’s not a coincidence that blue collar workers in northern England sound just like people in America’s Rust Belt. They love their Thatcher and Tories there the way we love Reagan and the Republicans here. China’s dominance also sells their creed. It’s obvious which country is more advanced and functional when you land in PKX vs IAD.


mdj1359

>The demographic that believes in this is mostly old and mostly white Look at Jan 6 or any Trump rally, I am not sure that they are mostly old. It looks to me like they are churning out new ones.


LibraryGeek

yep, some of my cousins' kids are racist af unfortunately, following in the steps of their grandparents. They are high school and college age now.


beefstewforyou

I was a hardcore conservative and essentially “Christian Taliban” when I was a teenager. I’m deeply embarrassed by how I used to be but I’m also aware of was a byproduct of an extremely sheltered upbringing. Today I’m the mod of /r/regretjoining and I immigrated to Canada a few years ago.


iksworbeZ

is it like a weird back and forth generational swing that happens?? i feel lik emy generation had racist af parents and grew up not being that, and i am seeing the younger kids going back to those shitty old values alsmot to rebel agaisnt our inclusiveness... (i am in my 40s)


ImaginaryDisplay3

No, it's just that you don't mature ideologically until like 30, at least. A lot of 20-year-olds hold horrendous beliefs but when you check in on them 4 years later, they are completely different people. College helps. Working with people with diverse background helps. Time away from toxic parents helps.


Sloth_love_Chunk

I’m from Canada and let’s be honest, in some ways we’re a mirror of the states. I’m from a very blue, right wing province (can you guess which one). Basically a liberal drowning in a sea of conservatives. It’s the young ones we need to worry about. The most extreme, radicalized conservatives are mostly the under 40s. The older ones like my parents tend to be more moderate. Like for example I know a lot of older conservatives here that are pro vaccine/mandates. These are the people that still remember when conservatives politicians were still basically decent people. And liberals were still your friends, just with a different viewpoint. Younger conservatives seem to be more open to the radical ideas. Like I really want that idea to be true. But the days of thinking conservatism as we knew it would end when the old people die out are over. In canada our only hope (and there are some signs of this happening) is that conservatives will divide themselves between the hardcores and the regulars. At least for the near future.


____candied_yams____

Lost me on the first sentence. Trump got 71 million votes. also only conservative people like Manchin.


nmarshall23

I do agree that it's a smaller demographic then we have been lead to believe. But your fooling yourself if you think it's going away. We need to discredit conservatism. It's always been a tool of the wealthy to preserve their power. I would go a step farther and say that Democracy is incompatible with right wing political philosophy. We don't need an aristocracy that keeps the people in check. Conservatives have accomplished nothing in over 40 years.


Based_Moderate_

I don’t think we can count on Texas flipping blue. https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/democrats-losing-texas-latinos-trump/ “ In Starr County, just upriver from McAllen, Republicans increased their turnout by almost 300 percent between 2016 and 2020. While Hillary Clinton won there by sixty points, Joe Biden barely scraped out a five-point victory. In Webb County, home of Laredo, Trump cut his 2016 margin of defeat by more than half. And in Zapata County, which didn’t even have a local Republican party, Trump became the first GOP presidential candidate to win since Warren G. Harding was on the ballot a century ago. ”


Njdevils11

2020: 46.5% 2016: 43.2% 2012: 41.4% 2008: 43.7% 2004: 38.2% 2000: 38% This is the percent of Texas that voted Democrat in presidential elections in the last 20 years. There is definitely a little trend there and if memory serves there's a small trend for Texas US Senators as well. IDK if Texas actually will flip, but there is some cause to think it might despite what your article says. The Texas state legislatures might be hopelessly red for any foreseeable future but for statewide elections that may not be the case.


usalsfyre

>Zapata County Zapata County has 14,000 people. Texas has more counties than any other state in the nation. A lot of these are extremely rural, Loving County famously has a population of 64. You can’t really use counties as a measure of Texas political activity.


RunDNA

My reaction to the Republicans fawning over Trump is a bit like Michael Bluth's reaction to Ann Veal: **Him?**


MomentOfHesitation

It makes a little more sense when you realize Trump supporters don't actually have principles, and just want democrats to suffer. That's all they want.


eekanurse

This is true. They've been trained by their elected politicians for so long that government shouldn't work, that they see it all as a game. They don't even know what they are or aren't voting for.


EmmaLouLove

"Five years ago I would have laughed you out of the room if you suggested our democracy could die." But today, he added, we see the Republican Party apparently focused on breaking our democracy. In a nutshell, Levitsky believes … the GOP is desperate to retain its fading power in the face of hostile demographic change.” Accurate. The Republican Party is full stop a fascist cult desperate to hold onto power by any means necessary. They will continue to do this through silence or pushing forward Trump’s lies.


013ander

Considering how rare it is for them to have a president win the popular vote, I doubt they’ve supported actual democracy any time in the last few decades. Conservatives are a minority that can’t accept that the majority of Americans disagree with them.


nykiek

"They gave up and didn't pass the bill, and immediately the former Confederate states, Southern states, started enacting constitutional forums and electoral forums that disenfranchised African Americans, who were almost half the population in the South. It ushered in 80 years of authoritarianism in the South because we didn't pass that democracy bill in 1890. I don't think things would get quite as bad this time around…" He seems awfully optimistic to me.


johnny_moist

Because a functioning democracy would fast bring about the end of the Republican party


gsturgill12

The days of Neoconservatism died with the Bush administration. Not that that was much better, but this, this is just ridiculous. Fake populism should never have been tolerated.


weekendatbernies20

[It’s white nationalism.](https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/10/the-first-white-president-ta-nehisi-coates/537909/)


PepeBabinski

White Nationalism ideology is so mainstream that some people embraces parts of it without realizing it. It’s conversion therapy and it comes with slow indoctrination in things like ‘immigrants are bringing responsible for spreading covid across the US” and other BS.


gsturgill12

Yep, that as well. He didn't create it though. He just banked on their insecurities and fears.


Raspberry-Famous

Trump is a direct result of Bush. After Iraq, Katrina, and the economic crash the Republican party had to either embrace its craziest elements or cease to exist.


puzdawg

Democracy isn't really a thing for Republicans anymore.


LGAFG

Looking back, I'm convinced they've been trying to undermine it since Reagan. Possibly earlier.


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PepeBabinski

>Levitsky describes today's GOP as "clearly an authoritarian party." Worse yet, it's no longer all about Trump. He sees the GOP continuing on its anti-democratic path for years to come, saying that even the contested term "fascist" is becoming more defensible given the GOP's defense or denial of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The GOP is now the cult of Trump and everything that happened after the 2020 election shows they are willing to destroy democracy to remain in power.


MisallocatedRacism

And what is being done to stop them from doing exactly that in 2024? If they retake the House in 2022, they can simply ignore the results and claim "fraud". Meanwhile the left is still squabbling over who's more woke and whether 1 trillion vs 3 trillion is the biggest problem our country is facing. A full *third* of this country cannot agree on a bedrock of reality, and foreign influencers are increasing this percentage every day. Do you know what happens when a *significant* chunk of a country loses faith in it's democratic process? The Troubles. Authoritarianism. We have 1 fucking year to get this right and I don't see that roadmap.


Breaklance

>If they retake the House in 2022, they can simply ignore the results and claim "fraud". Thats the backup plan. Theyre going to send different electors to the House than what the public voted for and certify the election from the top down. Unless Biden and Garland take immediate decisive and politically unpalatable action....we are already past the point of no return. Theyve learned nothing from Mueller and 2 (failed) impeachments.


Macsfixed

They know they've lost most every issue and debate. They're rather burn the nation down than accept this obvious truth. We're in serious trouble.


10ThousandDaze

I think it's time to stop calling these people "Republicans" and start calling them what they really are. Far Right Religious Extremists.