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Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield
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(Thread) Modern American fascism

Yes, it can happen here.

It is happening.

The modern American fascist era opened with this speech: “Our country is in serious trouble. . . When Mexico sends it’s people . . . they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. . .”…
2/ That speech (and others like it) ignited what Profs. Stenner and Haidt call an “authoritarian dynamic.” Info from their essay in 👇

An authoritarian dynamic occurs when a person with an authoritarian disposition is faced with a normative threat.
3/ A person with an authoritarian disposition is averse to complexity (which includes diversity) They tend to fall in line behind an authoritarian figure.

About a third of the population is inclined toward authoritarianism. (Info from RWA Scale, Ngo and Saunders, and 👇 )
4/ When faced with a normative threat, authoritarians have a powerful reaction.

They become fearful and angry. They can be violent and cruel. They tolerate cruelty in others.

Trump gets people to follow him by creating what Paxton calls a cult of leadership.
5/ Followers believe the leader’s instincts are superior to the logic use by “elites.”

Fascism is about “us” versus “them” outlook. We are good. They are evil, and corrupting the purity of the nation.

In an echo of Nazis calling Jews vermin, Trump used the word “infest"👇.
6/ Jonathan Blitzer (NYer) reported that the lesson the Trump administration learned from the family separation debacle wasn’t that they went too far in separating families, but “we need to be smarter if we want to implement something on this scale” again.
7/ Next, Trump and Stephen Miller targeted legal immigrants👇.…

In a liberal democracy, the government’s purpose is to improve the lives of the people. When the government spends money, it’s to create jobs or improve healthcare and education, etc.
8/ The purpose of a fascist government is the opposite: The government doesn’t improve the lives of citizens.

The government protects citizens from their “enemies.”

Fearful people are willing to give up their individuality and freedom for protection.
(info from 👇)
9/ That’s why a fascist nation pours resources into fighting “enemies” instead of services like cancer research.👇

Fearful people are fine with the fascist leaders controlling the nation’s wealth and resources.…
10/ Fascism leads to a static society with those at the top controlling all the wealth.

The fascist creates a static world: people stop thinking about how to improve their futures. They want to fight the enemy. They're happy knowing they are better off then their enemies.
11/ To create a static world, the leader creates constant crisis and spectacle.

This is why Trump lurches from crisis to crisis.

Some of the crises seem to endanger Trump.

"Look what he did now! He's going DOWN!"
Don't be fooled. That's to pull his enemies into the story.
12/ Many of the rank and file GOP don’t fully understand that they’re voting for a world in which they have no hope of economic advancement.

But if we try to tell them, they won’t believe us. We’re the enemies. We’re the liberals.
13/ Adding in response to several comments.

Yes, America has a long history of fascism. We could start this with the KKK, or Gingrich, etc.

But it seems to me the "modern era" kicked off by Trump's speech marks something new.

For more, see:
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