(Thread) Fascist Lies

This thread started out as a 10 minute YouTube video:

I'll offer a Twitter summary here.

What I think struck all of us this week was the stunning audacity of some of the lies coming from Republican leaders.
1/ For example, Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted this after the Derick Chauvin verdict

Her tweet proven false in real time as residents of DC read her tweet, looked around, and posted photographs and testimonials to social media.
2/ A few other breathtaking lies:

Kayleigh McEnany chided Biden, saying presidents shouldn't "inflame tensions."

A keynote speaker at a Minnesota County GOP event told attendees that George Floyd’s murder was a hoax.

Or how about this one:
3/ The magnitude and audacity of the lies we’re seeing right now from right-wing leaders inspired me to reread @FinchelsteinF’s book⤵️

I haven’t done a Twitter Book Report for a while, so here we go.

Finchelstein takes a deep dive into how these lies work.
4/ One question he answers is: Do the liars know they are lying, or do they believe their own lies?

Some fascists, he acknowledges, are hypocrites who use these lies as a tool.

But not all. Some are willing to die for their lies. Why would someone die for a lie?
5/ Some fascists understand that they are lying in the sense that they know that their lies do not correspond to the factual world, but they believe their lies are in service to a higher truth or what Finchelstein calls a “simple absolute truth.”
6/ They intuit a "truth" about the world. This "truth" is articulated by the Leader. Then they lie in service to this higher truth. 

Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained. When fact-checker Daniel Dale pointed out another lie Trump had told, Sanders said:
7/ The problem is that their “higher truth” is not true.

The “higher truth” is the lie that there are superior and inferior races. It is based on the purely paranoiac fantasy that the weaker races aim to dominate the superior races.”
8/ This is what Tucker Carlson meant by his “replacement theory.”

This explains the Holocaust and cruelty fascists have toward minority communities: They believe they have to preemptively kill before they are killed.

They have to make sure others don't "replace" them.
9/ It occurs to me that this may be why they're obsessed with being “cancelled.”

It also explains what Laura Ingraham was getting at here:

Finchelstein explains something interesting: They create the reality they believe already exists.
10/ Example: The Nazis first called the Jews vermin, then put them in camps where they became disease-ridden. 

Another example: Police arresting Blacks for the slightest infraction while overlooking the wrongdoings of whites, creating a “high crime rate” among Blacks.
11/ Given that the fascist view is that people are hierarchical and those at the bottom are constantly seeking to displace those at the top, it makes sense that they reject democracy, which they see as a “lie.”
12/ There are religious overtones to fascist lies — they come close to worshipping the leader who articulates what they feel to be a transcendent truth (Clip #1)

Finchelstein also touches on how fascists equate truth with power. (Clip #2)
13/ Okay, so. Do they know they are lying?

Finchelstein quotes Goebbels definition of propaganda.

Goebbels doesn’t actually think he’s lying. He thinks he presenting this higher truth in a way that can be grasped by the masses.
14/ Next questions: How do we get the liars to stop lying?
How do we show them that what they are saying isn’t true?

It seems to me that if they actually believe these lies because they think the lies speak to some kind of “inner” truth, logic and facts won't work.
15/ All we can do is mobilize and outvote those who tell (and believe) these lies.

Similarly, if some of them are cynically telling big lies for political gain, no amount of argument or persuasion will stop them.

They’ll only stop when it’s politically expedient to do so.
16/ So what is their end goal as they double down? (@HC_Richardson)

The answer I come away with from @FinchelsteinF is that they are fanatics in their quest to set the world "right"

Yes, they're dangerous.

The consolation is they're a minority.
More people want democracy.
17/ When we accept as true that they are fanatics who will not give up their quest to create the world they believe does (or should) exist, we can stop despairing and mobilize to do the work to outvote and outnumber them.

This is also a blog post, here: terikanefield.com/fascist-lies/
Sorry about the video error. I flunk "how to upload the right video."

Will redo when I figure out how.
Here's the correct video. This thread is getting long, but I'd like to add a few of the comments to the thread.
h/t to @heidirielly: Exhibit A

“Bending the truth was for the greater good”

Kamala Harris answered this question during the election⤵️

They put up a barrier, we figure out a way around it. View it as a challenge.

Sometimes these laws backfire on the GOP. Exhibit: Wisconsin, April, 2020.
I'm seeing a lot of "we're doomed" comments.

Democracy isn't easy. It takes a lot of work and constant civic engagement by those who want it to work.

The idea that democracy will never have enemies is fantasy.

Fact: Democracy will always have enemies.

Good point. The exclusiveness of their position guarantees that they will remain a minority and their numbers will shrink-- never as much as we'd like, but demographics are working against them.
They do say it applies only to certain people. Some even say "not everyone SHOULD vote."

Sarah Palin talked about "real" Americans (small town or rural, and white). They believe deep down that America should belong to "real" Americans.
Lesson from Finchelstein: It's not just that they're being lied to. They embrace the lies because the lies conform to the world as they think it is, and perversely, the lies create the world they envision.

I know this thread is long (apologies) but so much is connected.

When Ingraham said that Biden's "insurrectionists" are trying to make us forget what made America great, she meant this ⤵️ myth that the whites made America great.

That's what MAGA means.

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More from @Teri_Kanefield

23 Apr
Today, April 23, is the day to remember Barbara Johns and the Moton student strike.

What? YOU don’t know who she was?

(Well, new followers might not)

On this day in 1951, in Farmville, VA, she led a walkout to protest the deplorable conditions of her segregated high school.
She was 16. She led her walkout more than 4 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, and before MLK, Jr. embraced nonviolence as the way to equality.

After she and her classmates turned the rural town of Farmville upside down, she called in the NAACP.

The NAACP took their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Barbara and her classmates became plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that ended segregation in America.

Their case was combined with cases from other states.

Read 8 tweets
20 Apr
Every every criminal defense appellate lawyer knows that appeals rarely succeed.

In California, the "success" rate is about 20%, but that includes "wins" that don't actually change the outcome much for the defendant.
There's also "harmless error." On appeal you have to show error, plus you have to show that the error might have actually changed the outcome. law.cornell.edu/wex/harmless_e…
Errors are common.
Errors that were not "harmless" are rare.
Actually, now that I poke around, that 20% is high. I haven't done appeals for about 6 years now.

I think the number is more like 10-15%, but again, that includes "wins" on something small that doesn't change the outcome.
Read 4 tweets
20 Apr
This is because so far we have only indictments and pretrial motions.

We haven't yet had any trials.

Prosecutors never put all their evidence into indictments. There is a lower standard of proof for indictments.

Moreover . . .
.. they are putting evidence of planning into the pretrial detention motions.

Indictments require only probable cause that a crime was committed. At trial, the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Moreover, investigations are ongoing.
A few people asked me about this. nbcnews.com/politics/justi…

You can see how the headline is based on speculation⤵️

Also, the prosecution has presented such evidence—but only when necessary. Image
Read 4 tweets
19 Apr
Last night, @HC_Richardson ended her thought-provoking letter by asking this:

"Last month, six in ten Republicans in a Reuters/Ipsos poll said they believed the election was stolen. Where do Republican lawmakers think this is going to end?"

Heather Cox Richardson is the author of⤵️, so the question comes from someone with a deep knowledge of party history.

It seems to me that the GOP leaders have no long-term plan, and no long-range ideas or visions.

They have a short-term plan: Win at any cost and hold power.

Scholar @jasonintrator defines fascism as a set of tactics for seizing and maintaining power."

The fascist wants power. They do what it takes to achieve that power.

It comes from cynicism: They think everyone is out for power.

Read 13 tweets
18 Apr
Here you go: More than you ever wanted to know about the history of the Second Amendment:

I did a short thread yesterday, but I think I'll expand it today into a more complete thread.

Stand by for an [edited] transcription if you prefer to read.
Transcription: terikanefield.com/wp-admin/post.…

So what do we learn from the history of the Second Amendment?

Takeaway #1: There have always been gun control laws in America.

Examples from this incredible work of scholarship by @MarkFrassetto papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
2/ This one, from Jamestown, 1631, makes it illegal to sell or give guns to Native Americans. Several other colonies passed similar laws.

White traders were profiting from the selling of guns, and the leaders of the colony said no. (Also "we want to be the only ones with guns").
Read 24 tweets
17 Apr
I just gave a talk on what we learn from the History of the Second Amendment to Lift Every Voice Oregon and The Youth Leadership Academy to end gun violence.

An [edited] transcription is here: terikanefield.com/what-we-learn-…

I will have an audio recording to post. Meanwhile . . .
The talk is too long for a Twitter thread (35 minutes plus questions!) but I can put a few takeaways here.

What do we learn from studying the history of the Second Amendment?

First, there have always been gun control laws . . .
. . . there were gun control laws in the U.S. before the ratification of the Second Amendment and immediately after. The idea that the Second Amendment was intended to allow unfettered access to guns is therefore nonsensical.
Read 10 tweets

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