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Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield
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(Thread) Liberal democracy v. authoritarianism

RWAs (right wing authoritarians / fascists) have baked-in advantages over proponents of liberal democracy.

Advantage #1: RWAs fall in line.
Liberals are by nature splintered and disorganized.
1/ By liberal democracy, I mean representative government operating under the principles of classical liberalism (meaning elected officials are constrained by rule of law).

I tend use the word “liberal” loosely in the classical sense to mean anyone opposed to authoritarianism.
2/ My information about the RWA personality comes from “RWA Scale” (Saunders & Ngo) and CAN IT HAPPEN HERE?👇

RWAs are averse to complexity (this includes diversity)
Conservatives are averse to change.
Liberals are comfortable with nuance, complexity, diversity AND change.
3/ Those on the far right tend fall in line behind a leader.
They move in lockstep and like to have sort of uniform or identifying clothing (Source: Paxton 👇) Red MAGA caps, perhaps?

They will give up their individuality for the sake of the group.
4/ Consider the well-oiled media loop including Fox, Trump, Hannity, and those energetic Russian bots and Fox Viewers.

Conspiracy theories happen on both ends of the political spectrum, but in America, those in the right are more dangerous and extreme:…
5/ When the leader arouses their fears and anger, RWAs can be violent and cruel. An example is what is happening on our border.
For more on that👇

The RWA tendency to fall in line, and the ability to be cruel, is how a minority can control the majority
6/ Psychologists tell us that 33% of the population is inclined toward Right Wing Authoritarianism. (Saunders & Neo)

Stats back this up: Hitler came to power with 33% approval. Huey Long & Joe McCarthy had 30-35% approval (Levitsky)
7/ Prior to 1980, RWAs in America were spread between both parties. Now, they are not only concentrated in one party, they have taken over that party.

If you think the GOP is still a conservative party, start reading here:
8/ Because liberals are comfortable with nuance and complexity, they tend to splinter.
They value individuality, so they tend not to fall in line behind a single leader.
They like to debate, pontificate, split hairs, and analyze.

This gives RWAs a clear advantage.
9/ Another advantage RWAS have:
They are seeking to overthrow the system, so they will freely break rules, norms, and laws.
Trump has said "all our laws are stupid" and has vowed to "fight back" against Mueller (obstruct justice.)…
10/ Those who want to save liberal democracy, on the other hand, have no real choice but to follow the rules and norms. Otherwise both sides are destroying the rule of law.

Obviously cheaters have an advantage.
11/ Harvard Profs Levitsky and Ziblatt explain that the GOP has become radicalized and dangerous because it consists largely of white Christians, who once controlled all of aspects of America — and ethnic majorities rarely give up their majority status without a fight. 👇
12/ Many in the GOP feel like the country they grew up in is being taken from them.
They feel they're the "real Americans" and that America itself is being lost.

When people feel their political opponents are an existential threat, they resort to extreme measures.
(source 👇)
13/ Because many in the GOP feel that the Democratic coalition, by its very nature, is destroying the "real" America, they'll resort to extreme measures: gerrymandering, refusing to allow Obama to appoint a Justice, and yeah, conspiring with Russia to fix the election.
14/ Of course, there's good news for liberals and opponents of authoritarianism:

There are WAY more of us.

We have the majority (which is partly why white Christians GOP members feel victimized).
15/ If proponents of liberal democracy vote as a bloc, liberal democracy will win.

If we split into factions in Nov. or 2020, it will take decades to undo the damage.
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