Hey. So, we need to talk about Russian interference, US intelligence, the Iranian Coup of 1953, the myth of American exceptionalism, and why we address any of our problems and actually get better. 1/
Following Russia's interference in '16 we've all kind of looked at this thing in horror and waited on someone, anyone, to do something about it. The results have been outrage, silence, and, with Trump, quiet support. But we're unable to REALLY talk about it because of our past 2/
Russia actively interfered. They spread misinformation, paid people to disrupt our national discourse, probably influenced our votes. Most of this has been proven time and again. We agree it's wrong, but the conversation has been stunted because America does this same stuff. 3/
Right now I'm researching the 1953 coup in Iran where Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown, after being democratically elected, because he interfered in oil production. Britain, US, and BP were mighty concerned. So, they interfered. 4/
What they did was they spread constant misinformation, propaganda, sowed discord, and eventually paid people to behave like communist hordes intended to takeover the country. They were plants, puppets, and their opposition was paid and arranged as well. 5/
Eventually, Mosaddegh is thrown out in favor of the Shah of Iran, which, as we al know, leads to another revolution, this one presenting the problem we have now and the problem that has plagued us for decades. We created that. That's ours. 6/
What we need to learn from Iran '53 is that America has played a role in these attacks for one reason or another, and because that's a stain we're not able to actually address what's happening to us because we can't address who we actually are and who we have been. 7/
When we discuss this, when our media and commentators talk about Russia interference, there's a certain level of discourse that can't be reached because we can't address our long and dirty history of interference in democracy around the world. We're stunted. 8/
As a result, our discussions on the most pressing issues of our time are stunted and incapable of addressing what's actually happening. We'd have to completely relearn who we are, what our history is, what our actual values are. 9/
The conversations we have, in the media, in politics, are shorthand, simplified explanations of what has happened through a lens of American exceptionalism. Our history is uneven, propaganda unto itself, and because we don't have access to reality, we can't address reality. 10/
Any actual conversation about Russian interference would have to also include major nation interference throughout the years, the idea that powers have assumed the right to override democracy. That? That's a HUGE conversation we're not capable of right now. 11/
To get better, to progress, to actually move forward as a society, we're going to have to unwind the past, tear myth from fact, and start to understand the longterm influences and problems that have been unleashed. Relying on myths and simplified stories got us to Trump. 12/
What happened is that simple patriotism and simple history can be weaponized and taken over by anyone willing to repeat the slogans. That's what Trump does. We have to get more complicated, we have to get to the bone of what happened and what's happening. 13/
Americans have to look at our faults head on if we want to get past this crisis. We have to start from the beginning and relearn all of it, get new perspectives, find the faults and heal them. Otherwise, we're going to continue to be immobilized and powerless. 14/14

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More from @JYSexton

Aug 10
Fallout from the Mar-a-Lago search is making it clear the GOP believes the law doesn't apply to them.

Let's dive into the history of conservatism and religious authoritarianism.

Here's what I learned writing my new book THE MIDNIGHT KINGDOM.


Yesterday I wrote about the fact that all Republicans, save for a few wild-eyed true-believers, understand the search was legal and justified but used it for their own benefit regardless.

Now we need to get into why we're in the middle of a crisis.


As I always say, Donald Trump is a symptom of a larger disease in the body politic, and the fallout from the search at Mar-a-Lago is a great jumping off point to get into what the GOP *actually* believes and why things are deteriorating so quickly.

3/ Image
Read 28 tweets
Aug 9
Even Republicans know the search of Mar-a-Lago was lawful and warranted.

But already the GOP and Fox News are capitalizing on the event to boost fundraising and prepare the base for antidemocratic actions.

We need to talk about what's at stake here.


To start, it takes a lot of gall to take a search of a luxury resort owned by a former president with a penchant for illegal activity and pretend like it represents an existential threat to freedom.

But the GOP has only one strategy and this is how it works.

Undoubtedly there are Republicans like MTG who are true believers and might not understand this was an above-board operation cleared with incredible caution.

But most Republicans know full and well what this was, and their strategy is incredibly cynical.

Read 22 tweets
Aug 9
Everyone within the GOP framework, save for a small cadre of true believers, understands full and well the search at Mar-a-Lago was legal and necessary.

They're simply pretending to be outraged to drive fundraising and bolster support heading into midterms.
The GOP outrage is performative, which would be disturbing by itself but is exponentially worse considering the conspiracy theories and radicalizing rhetoric has already motivated violence.

They are, once more, playing with fire here, and they are choosing consciously to do so.
Almost every Republican, with the exception of those true believers, is jumping on social media and Fox News to talk about "banana republics" and "Nazi tactics," knowing, the entire time that Trump was harboring these documents and the DOJ had every reason to go in.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 8
If you look at the GOP’s record it has nothing in terms of bettering life for anyone besides a slim and wealthy elite.

Everything else is predicated on conspiracy theories and the construction of a violent, prejudiced system of control and punishment.
I’ve got serious problems with the Democratic Party, but the record is clear. Republicans are systematically dismantling democracy and progress to reinforce hierarchical control by disenfranchisement, eradicating rights and protections, and pushing tax cuts for the wealthy.
There’s a difference between wrestling with where Democrats get it wrong, are too beholden to the wrong interests, don’t go far enough, or are wrong about the state of play.

The GOP has moved beyond actual electoral politics and embraced the role of destroyer on behalf of wealth
Read 5 tweets
Aug 5
We have to talk about the GOP welcoming authoritarian Viktor Orbán to CPAC this week and lavishing him with standing ovations.

Orbán is teaching Republicans, step-by-step, how to destroy democracy and assert unquestioned control.


For all of the coverage of Republican extremism, one thing that continually gets lost is that their radicalization is part of a larger, international project to literally destroy liberal democracy.

This is a traceable project and it's vital we understand and recognize it.

For years now Orbán's illiberal state in Hungary has been welcoming Republicans to come and glimpse what is possible should they overthrow democracy.

That relationship was consummated in Dallas and is speeding toward a list of achievable goals.

Read 25 tweets
Aug 4
Let’s not mince words. The GOP invited Viktor Orbán to give the keynote at CPAC because he is a white supremacist authoritarian strongman.

For years now they have followed his blueprint and this is a continuation of a concentrated attack on democracy.

Coverage of the GOP should be full of indisputable evidence that they have formed an ideological alliance with authoritarian movements around the world, including with Orbán and Putin.

These ties aren’t coincidental. It’s part of a larger project to pursue authoritarian ends.
Treating MAGA or the GOP’s descent into conspiratorial authoritarianism as aberrations or spontaneous events obscures a larger, more disturbing, more pressing truth.

This is part of a massive push to eliminate representative government in favor of unchecked power and dominance.
Read 4 tweets

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