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Amanda Marcotte @AmandaMarcotte
, 5 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter… I think this piece is right that conservatives traffic in liberal outrage — my book, Troll Nation, is all about this — but I think it’s wrong to assume this means that Coulter, Erickson, Lahren, Yiannopoulos etc. don’t mean the awful things they say.
I don’t think it’s preposterous to assume a number of right wing figures mean it when they say they’d like to see political opponents murdered. Pinochet wasn’t joking when he threw people from helicopters, and Erickson wasn’t joking when he fantasized about it.
There is no reason to think Americans are uniquely incapable of turning to the viciousness that other countries have endured at the hands of authoritarians who gain power. Indeed, we’ve already seen a journalist murdered, and Trump is actively trying to cover it up.
Look to our own past: Slavery, lynching, sending dogs after civil rights activists. The violence isn’t unimaginable. The open fantasizing about it is likely just what it seems: Authoritarians testing the waters, seeing if they can push us in that direction again.
The main thing holding back the authoritarian right isn't a sense of morality. It's a fear that getting violent means losing their comfortable lifestyle. If that equation changes, the violence won't be "jokes" anymore.
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