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Republicans and Fascism


The Thriller

Well-Known Member
It’s disturbing to me that the right has given up on American democracy and is now embracing fascism. This isn’t the first or last time a major conservative outlet has produced something like this. Why is the right both globally and nationally becoming so comfortable with fascism? Why are they so angry at the culture? Why have they given up on liberal democracy? And why do so many voters fall for this garbage?

Overthrowing democracy is easy. Re-establishing one, the democratic norms, and the freedom and rights protected in liberal democracy isn’t easy.

This is from the Federalist whose editor is married to Megan Mccain. This isn’t some outlier conservative outlet. It’s a major one that influences conservative thought and Republican policy.

Key pts below:

Given the state of America in 2022, conservatives should stop calling themselves conservatives.

Why? Because the conservative project has largely failed, and it is time for a new approach. Conservatives have long defined their politics in terms of what they wish to conserve or preserve — individual rights, family values, religious freedom, and so on. Conservatives, we are told, want to preserve the rich traditions and civilizational achievements of the past, pass them on to the next generation, and defend them from the left. In America, conservatives and classical liberals alike rightly believe an ascendent left wants to dismantle our constitutional system and transform America into a woke dystopia. The task of conservatives, going back many decades now, has been to stop them. In an earlier era, this made sense. There was much to conserve.
Seriously? There’s nothing left to conserve in America? Like… seriously? Just because gays are recognized and racism is looked down upon by the majority of society that means that liberal democracy and American culture sucks?
Well, too late. Western civilization is dying. The traditions and practices that conservatives champion are, at best, being preserved only in an ever-shrinking private sphere. At worst, they are being trampled to dust. They certainly do not form the basis of our common culture or civic life, as they did for most of our nation’s history.

To talk now of “family values” is to assume that there are enough Americans able and willing to marry and raise children together for something like “family values” to matter in the public discourse, much less in the halls of power. To talk of defending “religious freedom” is to misapprehend that the real risk today is widespread irreligion, which will leave so few religious Americans in the coming generations that the government and large corporations will inevitably — and easily — persecute them.
Huh?

While it might be necessary, as Askonas argues, to enact a serious program of technological development to build a future that supports human flourishing, it is also the case that to do so on a scale sufficient to save our country will require political power — and the willingness to use it.
Ah here we go. We must wreck American democracy in order to save it.

So what kind of politics should conservatives today, as inheritors of a failed movement, adopt? For starters, they should stop thinking of themselves as conservatives (much less as Republicans) and start thinking of themselves as radicals, restorationists, and counterrevolutionaries.
Oh boy

Indeed, a willingness to embrace government power has been a topic of fruitful debate on the “New Right” in recent years, as it should be. However uncomfortable traditional “small-government” conservatives might be with Ahmari’s argument, it is more or less true.

Put bluntly, if conservatives want to save the country they are going to have to rebuild and in a sense re-found it, and that means getting used to the idea of wielding power, not despising it. Why? Because accommodation or compromise with the left is impossible
Whatever happened to winning at the marketplace of ideas? Overthrowing democracy because your ideas and policies suck just seems so lazy. Accommodation with the left is totally possible. The left is always looking to compromise.

The left will only stop when conservatives stop them, which means conservatives will have to discard outdated and irrelevant notions about “small government.” The government will have to become, in the hands of conservatives, an instrument of renewal in American life — and in some cases, a blunt instrument indeed.
And who will be crushed under this blunt instrument? When has this ever ended well for society?
To stop Big Tech, for example, will require using antitrust powers to break up the largest Silicon Valley firms. To stop universities from spreading poisonous ideologies will require state legislatures to starve them of public funds. To stop the disintegration of the family might require reversing the travesty of no-fault divorce, combined with generous subsidies for families with small children. Conservatives need not shy away from making these arguments because they betray some cherished libertarian fantasy about free markets and small government. It is time to clear our minds of cant.
Anyone here want to live in this society?
Conservatives had better be ready for it, and Republican politicians, if they want to stay in office, had better have an answer ready when they are asked what reasonable limits to abortion restrictions they would support. The answer is: none, for the same reason they would not support reasonable limits to restrictions on premeditated murder.

On the transgender question, conservatives will have to repudiate utterly the cowardly position of people like David French, in whose malformed worldview Drag Queen Story Hour at a taxpayer-funded library is a “blessing of liberty.” Conservatives need to get comfortable saying in reply to people like French that Drag Queen Story Hour should be outlawed; that parents who take their kids to drag shows should be arrested and charged with child abuse; that doctors who perform so-called “gender-affirming” interventions should be thrown in prison and have their medical licenses revoked; and that teachers who expose their students to sexually explicit material should not just be fired but be criminally prosecuted.
Who wants to live in this society?
To those who worry that power corrupts, and that once the right seizes power it too will be corrupted, they certainly have a point. If conservatives manage to save the country and rebuild our institutions, will they ever relinquish power and go the way of Cincinnatus? It is a fair question, and we should attend to it with care after we have won the war.

Can anyone cite an example from the modern day of a dictatorship willingly giving up its power to a liberal democracy?

Why have republicans given up on liberal democracy?
 
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str8line

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2019 Award Winner
John Daniel Davidson should be cast as a traitor and pariah for this very thinly veiled call for civil war. What a steaming pile of ****. He must have accidentally left out the part where we should keep the negroes out of our neighborhoods and schools and reclaim our assets from the jews.
 

Al-O-Meter

Well-Known Member
It’s disturbing to me that the right has given up on American democracy...
Way to kill your credibility right out of the gate. There is a democratic election coming up in mere weeks with plenty of republican candidates doing quite well at seeking votes. Republican participation in democracy is quite active. Far from abandoning democracy, republican candidates are set to receive the majority of votes. Your echo chamber visions of fascism are poisoning your brain.

Congratulations for finding someone on the internet with an opinion.
 

The Thriller

Well-Known Member
Supporting democracy only after your party has gerrymandered and suppressed the vote and only after your side wins and spreading doubt about election results when you lose isn’t supporting liberal democracy. Hell, even in Russia they still have “elections.” Completely eliminating elections isn’t how illiberal democracy and fascism work in the 21st century.

You have to be willfully blinded to not see the Fascism running rampant on the right these days.

The author talks about using the powers of the state to create a one party rule in America and using those powers to smash political and cultural enemies. One need not have a great imagination to know where this is heading.

@Red has posted extensively about this
 

The Thriller

Well-Known Member
John Daniel Davidson should be cast as a traitor and pariah for this very thinly veiled call for civil war. What a steaming pile of ****. He must have accidentally left out the part where we should keep the negroes out of our neighborhoods and schools and reclaim our assets from the jews.
He’s deplorable

Notice the contradictions too?

America is so lost but also we must turn to fascism to save it.
The family is under attack so we need to throw parents of trans children into prison.
The first amendment is lost so in order to restore it we need to intimidate and nationalize tech companies, starve universities, and otherwise bully our opponents into submission.
 

Gameface

PICKS = FLEXIBILITY
Contributor
2018 Award Winner
2020-21 Award Winner
@Thriller, I know you're using the term correctly but I think you're doing yourself and the arguments you're making a disservice by constantly referring to our system as "liberal democracy." As you have pointed out many many times Trump Republicans are less educated on average than, well than any other major political segment. It's educated Republicans who have pushed this "we're a Constitutional Republic" thing and I believe that in significant part it's because it contains the word "republic" instead of "democracy." The dumbest of the the Trumpers probably makes at the bare minimum a subconscious association between us being a republic with them being a Republican. Similarly, if you (correctly) refer to our society as being a "liberal democracy" they likely hear "librul demoncrats."

I'd honestly use positive buzz words like "liberty" and "personal freedom" and "constitutional" when describing opposition to what Trump Republicans are doing when speaking to people who might be sympathetic to Trumpism.

Just a thought.
 

Red

Well-Known Member
“Polls swing this way and that way, but the larger story they tell is unmistakable. With the midterm elections, Americans are being offered a clear choice between continued and expanded liberal democracy, on the one hand, and fascism, on the other. And it’s more or less a dead heat.

It is time to speak an uncomfortable truth: The pro-democracy side is at risk not just because of potential electoral rigging, voter suppression and other forms of unfair play by the right, as real as those things are. In America (as in various other countries), the pro-democracy cause — a coalition of progressives, liberals, moderates, even decent Republicans who still believe in free elections and facts — is struggling to win the battle for hearts and minds.

The pro-democracy side can still very much prevail. But it needs to go beyond its present modus operandi, a mix of fatalism and despair and living in perpetual reaction to the right and policy wonkiness and praying for indictments. It needs to build a new and improved movement — feisty, galvanizing, magnanimous, rooted and expansionary — that can outcompete the fascists and seize the age.

I believe pro-democracy forces can do this because I spent the past few years reporting on people full of hope who show a way forward, organizers who refuse to give in to fatalism about their country or its citizens. These organizers are doing yeoman’s work changing minds and expanding support for true multiracial democracy, and they recognize what more of their allies on the left must: The fascists are doing as well as they are because they understand people as they are and cater to deep unmet needs, and any pro-democracy movement worth its salt needs to match them at that — but for good.”…..

…..”Many leading political thinkers and doers argue that the right’s greatest strength isn’t its ideological positioning or policy ideas or rhetoric. It is putting a metaphorical roof over the head of adherents, giving them a sense of comfort and belonging to something larger than themselves.

“People want to find a place that they call home,” Alicia Garza, an activist prominent in the Black Lives Matter movement, told me. “Home for a lot of people means a place where you can feel safe and a place where someone is caring for your needs.

“The right deeply understands people,” Garza continued. “It gives them a reason for being, and it gives them answers to the question of ‘Why am I suffering?’ On the left, we think a lot about facts and figures and logic that we hope will change people’s minds. I think what’s real is actually much closer to Black feminist thinkers who have said things like ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’”

The Democratic Party establishment is abysmal at this kind of appeal. It is more comfortable sending emails asking you to chip in $5 to beat back the latest outrage than it is inviting you to participate in something. As Lara Putnam and Micah L. Sifry have observed in these pages, the left has invested little in “year-round structures in place to reach voters through trusted interlocutors,” opting instead for doom-and-chip-in emails, while the right channels its supporters’ energy “into local groups that have a lasting, visible presence in their communities, such as anti-abortion networks, Christian home-schoolers and gun clubs.”

This: The Uncomfortable Truths That Could Yet Defeat Fascism:

 
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Al-O-Meter

Well-Known Member
The [republicans] are doing as well as they are because they understand people as they are and cater to deep unmet needs
...like a good economy in which you aren't afraid of losing your job or being able to afford groceries. There is a reason the lower earning, rural parts of the country are generally favorable to Republicans while the higher earning coastal elites are more likely to elect Democrats. You can use labels like 'fascism' and 'pro-democracy' in an effort to scare or shame people but we all know they are just euphemisms for 'thing I like' and 'thing I don't like' rather than anything close to their literal definitions. This choice in this upcoming election is very clear. The democrat controlled house, democrat controlled senate, and democrat president ruined the economy. If the state of the economy causes some level of concern then don't reelect the democrats.
 

Red

Well-Known Member
“Polls swing this way and that way, but the larger story they tell is unmistakable. With the midterm elections, Americans are being offered a clear choice between continued and expanded liberal democracy, on the one hand, and fascism, on the other. And it’s more or less a dead heat.

It is time to speak an uncomfortable truth: The pro-democracy side is at risk not just because of potential electoral rigging, voter suppression and other forms of unfair play by the right, as real as those things are. In America (as in various other countries), the pro-democracy cause — a coalition of progressives, liberals, moderates, even decent Republicans who still believe in free elections and facts — is struggling to win the battle for hearts and minds.

The pro-democracy side can still very much prevail. But it needs to go beyond its present modus operandi, a mix of fatalism and despair and living in perpetual reaction to the right and policy wonkiness and praying for indictments. It needs to build a new and improved movement — feisty, galvanizing, magnanimous, rooted and expansionary — that can outcompete the fascists and seize the age.

I believe pro-democracy forces can do this because I spent the past few years reporting on people full of hope who show a way forward, organizers who refuse to give in to fatalism about their country or its citizens. These organizers are doing yeoman’s work changing minds and expanding support for true multiracial democracy, and they recognize what more of their allies on the left must: The fascists are doing as well as they are because they understand people as they are and cater to deep unmet needs, and any pro-democracy movement worth its salt needs to match them at that — but for good.”…..

…..”Many leading political thinkers and doers argue that the right’s greatest strength isn’t its ideological positioning or policy ideas or rhetoric. It is putting a metaphorical roof over the head of adherents, giving them a sense of comfort and belonging to something larger than themselves.

“People want to find a place that they call home,” Alicia Garza, an activist prominent in the Black Lives Matter movement, told me. “Home for a lot of people means a place where you can feel safe and a place where someone is caring for your needs.

“The right deeply understands people,” Garza continued. “It gives them a reason for being, and it gives them answers to the question of ‘Why am I suffering?’ On the left, we think a lot about facts and figures and logic that we hope will change people’s minds. I think what’s real is actually much closer to Black feminist thinkers who have said things like ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’”

The Democratic Party establishment is abysmal at this kind of appeal. It is more comfortable sending emails asking you to chip in $5 to beat back the latest outrage than it is inviting you to participate in something. As Lara Putnam and Micah L. Sifry have observed in these pages, the left has invested little in “year-round structures in place to reach voters through trusted interlocutors,” opting instead for doom-and-chip-in emails, while the right channels its supporters’ energy “into local groups that have a lasting, visible presence in their communities, such as anti-abortion networks, Christian home-schoolers and gun clubs.”

This: The Uncomfortable Truths That Could Yet Defeat Fascism:

In case one runs into a paywall, the author provided a “free link” here:

 

The Thriller

Well-Known Member
@Thriller, I know you're using the term correctly but I think you're doing yourself and the arguments you're making a disservice by constantly referring to our system as "liberal democracy." As you have pointed out many many times Trump Republicans are less educated on average than, well than any other major political segment. It's educated Republicans who have pushed this "we're a Constitutional Republic" thing and I believe that in significant part it's because it contains the word "republic" instead of "democracy." The dumbest of the the Trumpers probably makes at the bare minimum a subconscious association between us being a republic with them being a Republican. Similarly, if you (correctly) refer to our society as being a "liberal democracy" they likely hear "librul demoncrats."

I'd honestly use positive buzz words like "liberty" and "personal freedom" and "constitutional" when describing opposition to what Trump Republicans are doing when speaking to people who might be sympathetic to Trumpism.

Just a thought.
Are you speaking in general or referring to people on this website? If the latter, is there really anything any of us can say that’ll dislodge them from their preferred fantasies? At this point, posters like Al would lick my dog’s feces if Fox News or orange god king told them it was chocolate and it would trigger the libs.
 

Red

Well-Known Member
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’”

Lot of truth in these simple words. It’s the reason why I have always felt the best orators are those who have the ability to speak straight from the heart, and to the hearts of their listeners. That is how you move people. That is how you inspire people. By speaking from the heart. Recall an observation, often attributed, correctly, to a Native American approach. I forget precisely which native leader first said this, but the truth of it is the very reason why native rhetoric, right from the start, meaning straight out of the native oratory recorded by the 17th century New England colonists, encapsulated this approach to reaching people: “the white man thinks with his head; the Indian thinks with his heart”. And, as noted, that ability to speak from, and think with, the heart, was noted early on by the Europeans. The last words of Narragansett sachem Canonchet, upon learning he was to be put to death during King Philip’s War: “I like it well. I shall die before my heart is soft, or I have said anything of which Canonchet shall be ashamed." From the heart, words that are difficult to ever forget.

I’ve said in the past that what we need is a truly unifying leader. Such leaders do not bring their countrymen together by appeals to hate, anger, bigotry. They bring people together by appealing to our higher natures(assuming we do have such!!), our better selves. They unite us by helping us feel good about ourselves. “People will never forget how you make them feel”. That is precisely the gift the very best orators possess, and it is such leaders we need now. I cannot see it coming from Republican ranks, in 2022, in 2024, but all must be involved. I agree with the author that what is needed is a pro-democracy movement that will inspire all of us and create a new and welcome chapter in our history.
 
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LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
...like a good economy in which you aren't afraid of losing your job or being able to afford groceries. There is a reason the lower earning, rural parts of the country are generally favorable to Republicans while the higher earning coastal elites are more likely to elect Democrats. You can use labels like 'fascism' and 'pro-democracy' in an effort to scare or shame people but we all know they are just euphemisms for 'thing I like' and 'thing I don't like' rather than anything close to their literal definitions. This choice in this upcoming election is very clear. The democrat controlled house, democrat controlled senate, and democrat president ruined the economy. If the state of the economy causes some level of concern then don't reelect the democrats.
You act like there are switches that can be flipped that turn the economy on and off. Yeah Biden has done some ****, but most actions take a few years to materialize in effects in the macroeconomy as a whole. The groundwork for this was set during the Trump admin. His war with China did not help anyone nor the world economy and the rampant spending and tax cuts removed the backbone. Now they want to cut SS and medicare, and why? More tax cuts? Deregulation and largely republican policies for the past 5 decades have lead to record levels of income inequality and severe wage stagnation never before seen in our country since before the depression. We are finally bringing wages into line with corporate progress, but only through state laws mandating higher minimums. Yes it is also helping fuel higher prices as companies pass that straight along to consumers, as predicted, but we haven't had wage growth and real income growth at all levels like this in decades. Right now we are in a downturn. We had them before, we will have them again. Short-term there are some things that can be done, but we still need a leader to put forth something that sticks for the long term instead of everyone just dismantling everything done before them to start over again. The cycle we have been in for the last decade will destroy us overall, as we are pushing the extremes too far and too fast. The economy should be steered as a ship, with slow gradual turns, and only react heavily against severe outside forces, such as the global supply crisis brought on by the pandemic, but it seems more and more they want to steer the thing like a race car. It just won't work that way. Trump rode the wave of a good economy when he got elected, then did all he could to help his cronies and billionaire pals while destroying our international image and setting the groundwork for destabilizing the world economy. Now we are seeing the fruits of those efforts, exacerbated by Biden's ****** decisions and ******** timing. Is is the worst case scenario right now where one destructive and short-sighted president was followed by an inept one during a period of global economic upheaval. And with public opinion on most anything that might unite us completely in the *****er, there is no sign this will get any better, as politicians will just follow the wind to what gets them the most votes. No one in the pack right now is capable of handling this mess realistically, or cannot be trusted to do so. More tax cuts and loopholes for the obscenely wealthy funded by cuts to social security and Medicare are NOT the answer.
 


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