On the same day Breonna Taylor's killers went free, the president said he wouldn't accept a peaceful transition of power.

American authoritarianism is exhausting, violent, and confusing. To bring some clarity to the chaos, I'm compiling trusted writing on the subject here:
Forgive me for starting with my own writing -- I just happen to know what I'm talking about. I've been writing on the subject of American authoritarianism and democratic decline from various angles for years. The work has all held up.
I founded a nonprofit with the mission of helping Americans adapt to the new reality of American authoritarianism, by chipping away at the ignorance American exceptionalism, and pushing us to resist and oppose in productive ways. This is our early work:
My most recent writing argues that Trumpism is part of a global backlash against women's rights, and that grassroots feminist organizing is our best hope against the anti-gender movement.
I met @C_Stroop online in 2017. We bonded over our shared view that personal, institutional, and authoritarian abuse are related. As survivors and academics, we knew this truth intellectually and personally. Now she's a @Convo_ist columnist on the evangelical right. Some faves:
With the help of other ex-evangelicals, @C_Stroop began the #EmptyThePews movement to raise awareness of how fundamentalist Christianity is polarizing the national discourse. Essential reading. conversationalist.org/2019/11/14/if-…
On #NeverTrumpers and elite evangelicals who built their careers on the culture wars that propelled Trump into office. @C_Stroop: Sustained public pressure over their lack of accountability will be necessary if the US wants a healthy democratic future. conversationalist.org/2020/08/28/the…
Chrissy Stroop foresaw the theocracy threatening us, and she has ideas for what to do about it. You can read all @C_Stroop's columns here - on Falwell Jr., Liberty University, the courts, and the plan to sabotage coronavirus relief: conversationalist.org/writer/chrissy…
More brilliant, insightful writers left to share who’s words have taught and guided me, and whose research and critical thinking I deeply admire. They helped me stay relatively sane and anchored through the years-long onslaught of propaganda and gaslighting. TBC tomorrow. 💜
Grateful for the response to the work. I’ve been preparing for this, hoping to help cushion the pain, disillusionment and panic people are feeling, to show, you’re not alone, people have been working hard on these issues for you. Before I go on, as a quick thanks, my dog Niko: Image
The primary barrier to covering right-wing Christianity fairly is the legacy media’s unspoken taboo on critical examination of views that prominent Christians say are the product of 'sincerely held religious belief.' - @C_Stroop poking the bear once again conversationalist.org/2020/09/24/the…
This gem of an interview between Russia experts @NataliaAntonova and @peterpomeranzev took place in December 2016. Pomerantsev works on propaganda and media development, and has advice for Americans as someone who's seen this trainwreck before.
Non-white, non-western scholarship is necessary to breaking through American exceptionalism and seeing American white supremacy clearly. No one gets this as well as @Russian_Starr. He's shown me what decolonizing foreign policy really looks like. conversationalist.org/2019/06/21/ame…
This brilliant piece from @ksvarnon explores how American anti-Black racism entered the Russian lexicon. There's a new phenomenon of anti-Putin white nationalist mimicking the American alt-right, including the offensive "Russian Lives Matter" hashtag. conversationalist.org/2020/09/17/rus…
As people take to the streets once again to protest Breonna Taylor's murder, and the impunity with which white supremacist police and the criminal justice system brutalize Black lives, Dr. Shadee Malaklou explores what it means to say "burn it all down!" conversationalist.org/2020/06/05/the…
At @Convo_ist, we’ve tried to reframe and think critically about the ideological narratives Americans are fed. Obedience will get you far in most institutions. They reward people who can put aside personal reservations and implement from above. It’s a closed feedback loop.
Finding the taboos, the areas where people self-censor, both in life and in the media — those are the soft spots to pay attention to, the vulnerabilities and toxic wrongs that won’t heal. In the US, the violence of indigenous genocide and chattel slavery haunts everything we do.
We’re armed to the teeth obsessed with private property. Could white America be violently insecure about its title to stolen land, or its hold on an economic system built off of enslaved Black people’s labor? This is obvs not a new point, but it’s worth repeating again and again.
Thanks for sticking with me. SO. I hate it when American politicians make xenophobic comments about other countries to distract from domestic collapse. Don't make fun of the government corruption other people suffer under when you're responsible for ours. In that vein:
Yeah @MittRomney, this isn't Minsk. Belarusians are risking their lives to fight corruption like yours. Via @NataliaAntonova: Lukashenko’s response shows how a cornered rat behaves — with mass arrests, death threats, and attempts to shut down the internet. conversationalist.org/2020/08/13/why…
The world isn't America-centric. From @kshaheen: The Middle Eastern conflagration that American pundits claim to be so concerned about Soleimani’s death sparking has already been raging for a decade, with hundreds of thousands of civilians paying in blood. conversationalist.org/2020/01/10/dea…
Paging @PeteButtigieg: your xenophobic disdain is ignorant. As @wiczipedia writes, "While westerners are arguing about whether disinformation really exists, central and eastern Europeans have been fighting it for years with serious policy implementation." conversationalist.org/2019/03/22/if-…
The idea that American exceptionalism is at the root of our demise is going to take awhile to catch on, bc we've been so immersed in the ideology, and bc our leadership made their careers arguing that our institutions are uniquely strong, especially since the Cold War ended.
One thing we can all agree on - social media has hastened democracy's decline. At @Convo_ist we've been blessed with the brilliance of @mariafarrell, who's grasp on the systemic issues in tech is unmatched. Her work is an education:
We are in an abusive relationship with our phones. They tell us they work for and care about us, and if we just treat them right then we can learn to trust them. But all the evidence shows the opposite is true. - @mariafarrell conversationalist.org/2019/09/13/fem…
You can't understand Trump or tech or Russia or climate change if you don't understand the dynamics of abuse, which is why feminism is such a powerful lens through which to examine our current situation.
Right-favoring ideas, incentives and ways of organizing are baked into social media’s business models. A platform that makes more money from lies than from truth will by definition make social democracy impossible. @mariafarrell
Before #SocialDilemma amplified them, @mariafarrell coined them - "Prodigal Tech Bros": they got rich working for the big tech companies—but then, they say, they saw the light. Perhaps the reformed techbros should work a bit harder for forgiveness. conversationalist.org/2020/03/05/the…
I'm going to pause this for now, bc life is important. Last thing before I do -- if you're enjoying @Convo_ist articles, appreciating their breadth, depth, curiosity, and clarity, credit goes to @lisang, our brilliant editor. Love you, Lisa! So so proud of this work.
Trump's taxes dropped since I last added to this repository on American authoritarianism, so I want to revisit money laundering. I start with Trump Tower Baku because it's so openly, perversely criminal, it would be too much if it weren't real.
Adam Davidson and David Farenthold have done a great job covering Trump's businesses, or as I call it "biznes."
Most of the people who caught on to Trump's criminality early on either hailed from or studied the former Soviet Union. Everyone read Masha Gessen's piece in NYRB when it came out, but it probably hits differently now. nybooks.com/daily/2016/11/…
Trump, the loud, brash, predatory buffoon, is a familiar character to people who know authoritarianism. The money laundering is a given. Four years later, and Americans are still missing an entire global narrative because we can't spot crime. newyorker.com/magazine/2017/…
Many people have been sounding the transnational crime alarm. My work w/ @NataliaAntonova is at the top of the thread. @sarahkendzior and @AndreaChalupa have been digging into Trump and shady oligarchs for years. @DavidKlion placed it within leftist foreign policy.
I have to remind myself regularly that Americans still don't get how violated Putin felt by the Panama Papers, and how that fueled his animosity towards Obama and Clinton. When people wonder what Putin and Trump have in common, I want to scream, "shell corporations!"
If you want to understand Trump, you need to understand this world, and his place within it: icij.org/investigations…
If you're just joining me, there are hills I've been dying on for years which are 💯 real, but people dismiss. I expect to be fully vindicated: 1) Trump the money launderer (see, taxes) 2) Trump the trafficker (eg, see below) time.com/5039109/donald…
America would be able to spot the gangster with the 70K toupee if it weren't so racist. Hard to see your flaws when you insist you're exceptional. Still, now that the veneer is gone, @AdamSerwer has more hope. theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…
This is why we needed to see his taxes. Trump got $21 million in one-off payments from the Las Vegas hotel he owns with Phil Ruffin, which coincided with a mysterious $10 million infusion into his own campaign in 2016.

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More from @alindguzik

31 Dec 20
Apropos of everything, when I was younger and would try and confide in well-meaning people about my home life, too many shut me down without listening. The most common response I got was “but he’s your parent! He’s got your best interest at heart. I’m sure he means well.”
They couldn’t fathom a parent treating a child in the ways I’d described, so they denied my reality. It was too painful to expand their daily world to accommodate abuse, and much easier to make me out as a girl who made herself suffer.
I’ve lived in split realities before, and seen cults of personality first hand. I’ve seen people double down on insane rationalizations as a way maintain proximity to power, protect their image of themselves as good people, and bolster their beliefs about the way the world works.
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb 20
I want to expand on this issue of women who aren't able to express their political opinions safely at home, because I lived that way for years. It's hard for people who've only met me in the last five years to imagine that I was once mostly silent about politics and gender.
In my home, feminism was a dirty word. Hillary Clinton was a regular substitute for my mom and I when my father got tired of making sexist comments just about us and wanted a generic female punching bag. Describing Obama in a positive light was an act of war.
Fox News was on multiple screens, running even at night on mute. One time, when I was in law school, my dad was driving me to the airport to catch my flight East, when he asked me about Glenn Beck's take on Constitutional history. It was a trap meant to derail my trip.
Read 11 tweets
10 Aug 18
Greetings from Istanbul. For the last week I've watched my friends' anxiety rise as the Turkish lira plummets. We've naturally been comparing notes on the egomaniacs running our respective countries. #Turkey
I'm not a currency expert, and I can't speak with confidence about how this crisis affects Erdogan's standing at home, but I do know that authoritarians plan for the short term and benefit from chaos.
This is especially true when, as in Turkey, there's no real opposition left, the media is effectively under government control, and the possibility of a power vacuum frightens everyone more than continued repression.
Read 11 tweets
5 Jun 18
People, including Trump last night, have been joking about Melania’s disappearance, but I don't find it funny. Maybe you’ll understand why if I tell you about a time that I disappeared against my will.
From ages 5 until 17, I lived part-time in a stunning hilltop house in Palo Alto with a clear view of Hoover Tower. When I was still a toddler, my abuser wrangled Mondays and every other weekend from my mom.
This arrangement lasted until middle school, when family court considered me old enough to have my own opinion. Like many men who treat women as property, my abuser felt ownership over my opinion. He was ready to coerce me by any means necessary into flipping the arrangement.
Read 24 tweets
16 Jan 18
I'm a survivor of child abuse which lasted well into adulthood.
Fear has dominated my entire life until now. We haven't spoken since 2011, but I only blocked his number in 2015. It took until two weeks ago for me to come out about the abuse publicly.
Hell, I took a Klonopin now just so I could write this thread. I suffer from Complex PTSD, which is the result of repeated trauma and confinement. It's an affliction common to victims of domestic violence and prison camps.
Read 35 tweets

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