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(Thread) Why Republicans Lie

Doug Collins says that Democrats are in love with terrorists.

Mark Levin says the Democratic Party hates America.

@senatemajldr says he wants to enact the Clinton Senate trial rules.

They know these are lies. Spoiler: They're trying to destroy.
@senatemajldr 1/ The “again” in MAGA signifies reactionist politics (as opposed to conservative politics)

Reactionaries want to take us backwards. To do that, they need to dismantle and destroy.

For more on Conservatives v. Reactionaries, see:
@senatemajldr 2/ In particular, Trump wants to take us back to a time before the Civil Rights movement, before laws against insider trading, before the New Deal and federal agencies that regulate the commerce of plutocrats.

@senatemajldr 3/ It was a time of almost unbounded personal liberty— for white men.

🎵Those were the days🎵

What is standing in the way of returning to the Good Old Days?

All those laws and regulatory agencies that stop white men from doing whatever they please. (Like the FBI!)
@senatemajldr 4/ Aside: Reactionaries loved law enforcement when the main purpose of law enforcement was to put black men in jail.

But when the FBI started looking at the crimes of rich white men? Watch out!!
@senatemajldr 5/ When Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s lies by arguing that his false statements actually point to something true, she offered an explanation for why Trump supporters embrace transparent lies.
@senatemajldr 6/ “President Obama was born in Africa,” for example, is a provable lie, but it points toward what to Trump’s supporters see as a deeper truth: President Obama is black, and therefore, isn’t really a real American.

(Remember Sarah Palin's comment about "real" Americans?)
@senatemajldr 7/ “Democrats love terrorists” points to what Collins sees as a deeper truth: Democrats like [don’t hate] brown-skinned people from the middle east.

“Democrats hate America” makes sense in the context of Sarah Palin's comment about "real" Americans.

@senatemajldr 8/ “Real Americans” are small town or rural and white.

Hahl, Kim, and Sivan, in “The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue,” explain that those who want to destroy the “political establishment” embrace a liar because they know the lies destroy.

@senatemajldr 9/ Lest you think the Republican liars are unaware that they are lying, Steve Bannon openly explains the tactic: “Flood the zone with shit.”

If this sounds to you like standard fascist propaganda. . . you're right! It is. Same thing.

@senatemajldr 10/ Hofstadter explains the same dynamic in his classic book.

Hofstadter conducted a thorough review of American politics from before the founding of the nation through McCarthyism and noticed a pattern among a small impassioned minority on the fringes of the political spectrum.
@senatemajldr 11/ He called their behavior the “paranoid style” in politics.
Those embracing the paranoid style of politics believe that unseen satanic forces are trying to destroy something larger in which they belong.

They “feel dispossessed."
@senatemajldr 12/ The feel that “America has been largely taken away from them and their kind.”

They are “determined to repossess it and prevent the final act of subversion.” 

They therefore adopt extreme measures. They will stop at nothing to prevent what they see as an impending calamity.
@senatemajldr 13/ Lying is just one of the tricks in their bag of tricks. Lying and cheating.

Here's the thing to remember about these lies: They're trying to send you into a spin. They're trying to frustrate you.

Liars have an advantage. They can reel off dozens in a short time.
@senatemajldr 14/ Responding to each takes time. You can spend all day playing whack a lie.

In previous threads I've talked about how combat this.

BTW Steve Bannon coached Bolsonaro (the Brazilian Trump) to do the same thing. mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-…
They're pals and learn from each other.
@senatemajldr 15/ A solution, in one tweet:

The antidote to the "Firehose of Falsehoods" method ⤵️is to put raincoats on the population so the lies just roll off.

We shrug and say, “There they go again. Lying. Pay no attention.”

The public sphere remains intact.
@senatemajldr 16/ A landslide in 2020 will help send them back to the fringes where they belong.

They'll never go away. We'll always have the paranoid element trying to destroy.

We will need better ways of dealing with them in the future, but first things first.

@senatemajldr 17/ Same way it happened in 2018 and 2019.

Democrats won in 2018 by 8 points. 10 points is a landslide.

I'll remind you of something important: One goal of active measures is to cause people to lose confidence in democratic systems. . .

@senatemajldr 18/ Cynicism—the belief that nothing we do matters because the outcome is ordained—will kill democracy faster than hackers.

There is no situation that we can't get out of.

My husband and his family experienced the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. They also experienced . . .
@senatemajldr 19/ . . . the transition back to a functioning democracy.

Was it easy? No. But people did the work. I have a thread on how Chile (peacefully) transitioned from dictatorship to democracy.

We can surely get out of this. Check out my list of things to do:

@senatemajldr I get to add a compliment, right?

(We all like them 😉. Offsets the inevitable Twitter Hate)
@senatemajldr Thank you for this.

After I posted #18, I realized I was sloppy. I wrote quickly and equated cynicism with nihilism. One leads to the other.

If you read MAGA tweets with "cynicism" in mind, you can see that the MAGA mindset drips with cynicism.

@senatemajldr Dealing with this puts us into very sensitive territory because motivations vary.
For many, it's completely innocent. They're scared. They tweet their fright, which scares others more deeply.

People tend to equate "this can" with "this is likely" . . .
@senatemajldr I suspect tweets that arouse strong emotions get more likes. Unfortunately, it's the same dynamic that enables demagoguery.

More nefarious (but less common) Hofstadter explains that paranoia exists on the far left as well as the far right. It's also there, but less dangerous.
@senatemajldr My threads are also blog posts. This one is here: terikanefield-blog.com/republican-lie…
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