These charts are a perfect visual representation of the concrete harm caused by the radicalized GOP. This is not about“polarization,” this is about one party building a brand and a culture around defying science and denying reality.
Here’s some good reporting from on the ground in one of those MAGA counties. And this is even one of the more highly vaxxed ones. opb.org/article/2021/1…
This podcast noted how Fauci gets sporadic waves of hateful calls, many with death threats. The host chalked it up to “polarization.” NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING. It is right wing radicalization. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pos…
This thread by @tzimmer_history effectively makes the case for why “polarization” is a misleading framework for understanding our present moment.

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More from @SethCotlar

24 Nov
An appeal made by a right wing anti-communist group in Portland, March 1963. Pretty sure one could reprint this verbatim, send it out as an email to the GOP mailing list today, and no one could tell the difference.
That appeal is from the National Eagle, edited by Walter Huss. The same month it appeared, the newspaper was filled with stories about Operation Water Moccasin, which was like the Jade Helm of 1963, only with extra racism.
The story of Operation Water Moccasin is a useful reminder that the Alex Jonesification or Mike Lindellification of our political culture is not without precedent.
Read 5 tweets
24 Nov
Has anyone done the equivalent of the "Trump voter in a Johnstown diner" story, only this time about the "Trump voter in a Johnstown diner who, like the majority of Trump voters, has gotten vaccinated despite the barrage of right wing anti-vaxx propaganda?"
I ask this because I'm curious as to what drove them to get vaccinated despite the headwinds they likely faced from their peers and the media they consume. Was it because they just trusted their doctors on this, like they do with other health-related matters?
How many got vaccinated reluctantly and only because there was a mandate? How many "did their own research" but in this case relied on sources that were science and reality based?
Read 7 tweets
23 Nov
With all this talk about the "radicalism of the right," we should bring some balance to the conversation and talk about the dangerous, radical left. ImageImage
Look at this list of wild eyed radicals!!! Do you know who was present at the founding of the ADA in 1947? HUBERT H. HUMPHREY!!! Need I say more? ImageImage
If you want to do something about this outrageous leftist radicalism, you can go down to the Joe McCarthy bookstore in South Boston, named for that great American patriot, and buy a pamphlet that'll show you what you can do to combat the real threat to America, the radical left. Image
Read 9 tweets
22 Nov
If you don't believe this, consider how Reconstruction was taught in most American schools for the entirety of the 20th century--as a tyrannical overreach by vindictive northerners that was finally remedied in 1877 when the "outrages" of Reconstruction finally came to an end.
This dominant take on "the abuses of Reconstruction" wasn't just in history textbooks and classrooms, it also played a central role in US popular culture. Two films considered foundational "classics" for much of the 20th century were Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind.
Listen to George Wallace tell this story about the "oppressive" nature of Reconstruction...and then listen to Bill Buckley at 19:30 (who was no fan of Wallace's) decry the North's "persecution of the South" after the Civil War.
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
In 1965 a group of social scientists conducted a survey of John Birch Society members. Take a second to imagine what you *would expect* the educational, occupational, and economic demographics of this far right group to look like. Then look at this data. It might surprise you.
The full study is available to be borrowed for free on the amazing Internet Archive if you want to read it. archive.org/details/americ…
Based on how I had been socialized in the 1980s and 90s to think about the John Birch Society, I would NOT have assumed that they were far wealthier, more well educated, and more white collar than the average American.
Read 9 tweets
20 Nov
This is why the conservative take on the case—“it’s not about race because his victims were all white!”—totally (and deliberately I’d argue) misses the point.
Imagine someone saying “but Rev. James Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were white! Racism had nothing to do with their deaths!”
One dominant theme in this predictably reactionary conversation is that this is all the fault of “the liberal media” that inflames racial tensions when America is a nation where racism is largely non-existent, except for the anti-white racism on “the CRT loving left.”
Read 6 tweets

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