When it comes to the idea that conservatism has embraced fascism and supremacy, nobody is more persuasive than conservatives themselves. An essay on bullies and the margins of permission in the USA.
I shared this with 3 of my SM sites. It makes some excellent points. My take on the MAGA / christo-fascist movement is that it is based in a sort of mental / social illness. Bullying is a big part of this. The movement pushes some susceptible peoples resentment & anger buttons & keeps them triggered. The fundamentalist faction is also quite delusional. Fixing this, I fear, will be like emptying the ocean with a spoon. You cannot reason with a triggered lizard brain. But maybe, just maybe we can speak to them in a way they will understand & they will back down. Placating them or normalizing their bullying will only reap worse behavior.
Extraordinary essay. I'm going to share it with many.
[mainstreammedia] One side wants to set books (and eventually people) on fire, but the other side thinks that no one and nothing should be set on fire at all, which is exactly as extreme, but in the opposite direction. I cannot decide which is worse. Can't we come together as a nation and compromise on this? Remember compromise? [/mainstreammedia]
This was a great article. I hadn’t thought about a sliding scale of permission before.
Side note: in the following passage, should “finally” be “finely”?
If it went down the way I remembered, what happened in the story is that permission changed, and my bully, finally attuned to permission, noticed.
I am persuaded.
As far as I'm concerned, if I'm looking at ten Republicans then I'm looking at ten Nazis. By the same measure, if I'm looking at ten so-called "moderate" Republicans then I'm looking at ten Nazis. Same thing for Republican voters. If you vote for a Nazi, even if you say that you disagree with their more extreme positions/policies, then you're a Nazi -- because Nazism about *doing* rather than being.
This is a little long but I read it all the way through. I think I am maybe a decade older than you, so I watched the Nixon impeachment hearings. The things his team were doing seemed like incompetent fascism. Then we had Gerald Ford, who seemed like a fairly nice guy. Reagan, however, had a mean supremacist attitude that was unfortunately effective.
Mr. Flamethrower Guy might discover the limits of his permission if he's not elected Governor of Missouri. Honestly, up til now I haven't seen anything else that works: More people voting for Biden than Trump, more people voting for Katie Hobbs than Kari Lake. Actually, that's not quite right, imprisoning the law-breakers has also done some good, Enrique Tarrio probably has a much better understanding today of the limits of his permission.
Defeat the ones who run for office, imprison the ones who break the law, rinse, repeat. Sorry I don't have anything more original than that to offer.
#ProEmpathyFreedomVoters are the solution, because they are also #AntiFascistFighters. Great piece. Keep up the great work.
I wish every Democratic office-holder in this country would read this article. It is that good. I shall share it far and wide.
I don’t know about “smiling” at the fascist band, but we definitely need to uncover a hard, cold, clenched fist in their direction. Let us begin by finishing the prosecutions and jailing of the January 6 conspirators and the former Thief in Chief.
I too had a bully. And after probably a week or so I fought back--very ineffectively, just comic flailing really.
And after that, she not only stopped bullying me, she tried to befriend me. We didn’t become friends, bc I was still afraid of her, but we were friendly acquaintances. What I learned is that yes, bullies test the waters. And certainly some bullies are irredeemable. But some are people who fear and despise apparent weakness, and project their own fear into others, and want above all to be seen rather than ignored. Knowing that has been very helpful in my life.
I've been asking the adherents and acolytes of the alleged "opposition" party to actually oppose this phenomenon since at least 2001. Imagine how far we might be on the road towards stamping this out semi-permanently if they had listened and acted appropriately back then instead of spending 20+ years appeasing fascists and trying to find compromise with them.
I have never felt the need to own a gun. I don't hunt, and I believe the statistics that show having a gun around the house "for protection" makes you, on the whole, less safe.
I have been rethinking that philosophy, of late, precisely because the bullies on the right have been itching for permission to start shooting people who aren't part of their fascist club. And because we came within a hair's breadth of that permission being formally and explicitly granted on January 6.
How far are we from Republican presidents and governors offering pre-emptive pardons to those who murder their political enemies? And, given the rightward tilt of law enforcement and military personnel in the US, who do we turn to for protection when they inevitably do?
Is it possible that gun ownership by liberals and progressives may be the equivalent of that smile that you gave to "Jake"?
This is a little tangential, forgive me. The detail that "Jake" wanted hang out, and apparently had forgotten about bullying you, interests me. I've seen this same dynamic many times. And I have a vague idea that bullies acquire an emotional attachment to their targets, but that they also have some inability to admit to their cruelty. I don't really know what to do with this, but it seems like there is something important, here, about that emotional connection?
Marvelous! I have been asking this question for several years now: Why doesn’t anyone stand up to this? It will just get worse and worse. And it has.
I am curious: Did you, in fact, go out with Jake/Jeremy and his wife? No judgement either way, because I have no axe to grind here. I can see forgiving him or not forgiving him as equally valid since I wasn’t the one wronged.