Timothy Snyder said that shock is "pre-helpless."

The idea that doom is inevitable unless X happens removes our agency and makes us helpless. In fact, what we do makes a difference.

The closest we have to a magic bullet is a Democratic sweep in 2022, including local elections.
This person also misunderstood me.

The only thing standing between us and the return of the Trump regime is the Democratic Party -- so maybe trashing and battering the Democratic Party isn't smart.

Of course, everyone is free to talk about Democratic failures . . .
. . .but if a majority of voters believe the Democratic Party is a failure (or they believe the Democrats are responsible for Republican law-breaking because they stubbornly refused to Do that Something that will solve the problem) I can't see Democrats winning in 2022.
Here's the thing about democracy: at any given time, a majority of citizens can decide to end the democracy.

It's easy, actually: Just elect leaders who promise to smash democratic institutions. Like Trump.

Modern-day fascists come to power through elections . . .
. .. and then find ways to stay in power.

In this thread, I argue that nothing will change the minds of die-hard MAGAs.

Single-issue GOP voters have proven they'll overlook any amount of lawbreaking to get politicians who will push their issues...
That's why I think that Left Twitter issuing unreasonable demands with unrealistic timelines and then bashing the Democrats as failures for not meeting these demands and timelines is unwise.
A problem with building a brand on "I told you it would be this bad," and "Democrats are cowardly and don't do enough," is that they can never admit a Democratic success because that will ruin their brand.

That's why I say no consequences will ever be enough for them
People who are cashing in on rage have an incentive to keep stirring it.

Finally, I think rage is not productive. It wears people out.

Democracy requires a lot of its citizens, and people spinning with rage can't be productive.

Rant over.
Let me be clear. Discussing problems and solutions is necessary. I'm not talking about that.

I'm talking about this sort of thing: "Nothing has happened yet because Merrick Garland is corrupt and compromised."

Left-wing conspiracy theories . . .
I'm talking about statements that are simply untrue, like this: "There have been no consequences."

Or using language in such an imprecise way that the statement can evoke rage without having any real meaning.

Democracy requires an informed citizenry and depends on facts.
If people are feeling deflated and weary since January 20, 2020, maybe it's because of how the news is presented.

Trump was ousted. Democrats have been passing historical legislation that will change lives. I'm back to living a normal life (with mask).

If people are feeling weary and deflated maybe that's because they expect all political problems to be solved within 10 months. Maybe they have unrealistic expectations and demands.

If Trump had remained in power, I'd understand feeling deflated and weary.
I was reading my son's AP American History book (me=🤓)

According to this textbook, the Spanish-American war happened because newspapers wanted to sell lots of copies so they sensationalized (lied) about what was happening to stir people to rage.
Negativity sells. ⤵️Rage sells. Fear sells.

(That's the Fox model: Simply complex situations, present the 'news' in a way that induces rage and keeps people hooked.)

Real leaders don't preach doom.

MLK, Jr. had a DREAM
I can understand people are enraged and frustrated if they think:

🔹At any time, Biden could "fix" USPS but he's "refusing," and
🔹as a result, a new COVID outbreak will be "thanks to" Biden.

The truth is much more nuanced and complex.
This is a rage-inducing simplification.
Right, but without picking on individual things wrong with some of these Biden is a Failure tweets (coming from Left Twitter) the overall tone is important.

Democracy frustrates a lot of people because it moves slowly. That's a feature, not a bug. . .
The Constitution spreads power around.

Checks and balances mean that the government moves slowly.

This is good because it makes it harder for an authoritarian to consolidate power. It's those checks and balances and power-spread-widely that stopped Trump.
It also makes it harder to get things done.

Authoritarianism is attractive because it can move swiftly.

Democracy, in contrast, is grinding, frustrating work.

(Yes I know I wrote 'rant over' a while back and kept ranting 🤣)

I can guarantee that when the framers of the Constitution outlined our current government, they never thought maintaining a democracy would be easy.

They knew that tyrants would arise would try to consolidate power. (Their word was "tyrant.")
Right ⤵️

One problem is defining "normalcy." People who first became aware of politics in 2016 may have a distorted view of what is "normal."

American politics has always been messy and hard and right-wing extremism has always been a problem.
Still adding:

We've never actually been "safe."

Before the Civil War, slavery was legal. That wasn't safe.

Before 1954, racial segregation was legal. That wasn't safe.

Since 1955, the right-wing backlash to desegregation has been gaining momentum.

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More from @Teri_Kanefield

28 Nov
Yes, the Republican Party is radicalized and will stop at nothing to get power.

I am suggesting that this is not new, and that trying to
achieve a true liberal democracy is a constant battle.

The problem is one of expectations.

People who have been following me for a while will find this threat repetitious, but I have new followers, so here goes.

One way to see the current Republican Party is that they want to return to the 1920s (or earlier!)

But let's take the 1920s.

White men ruled all of our institutions: Universities, governor's mansions, both political parties, labor unions, Congress, the press, etc.

There were no laws against fixing prices, or manipulating markets, or insider trading.

Read 15 tweets
28 Nov
The best way to save your sanity is to get busy as a volunteer.

You work with like-minded people.
You are strengthening democracy.
And you lift yourself out of the exhausting daily news cycle.

There is plenty to do: terikanefield.com/things-to-do/
I practice what I preach:

Past 6 years: I worked in several elections (in 3 different states) as a voter protection volunteer lawyer.

I spent several weeks in a detention center offering legal advice to asylum seekers through @RAICESTEXAS

I worked in a polling place . . .
. . .in the CA recall because I was afraid enough people wouldn't volunteer because the poll workers were facing so many threats and so much violence.

When you're busy you have less time to doom scroll.
Read 4 tweets
28 Nov
It's easier to bash than build.
It's easy to jump to conclusions without all the information.

I've seen this reasoning: "There's no reason for this to take so long, therefore, Garland is either incompetent or corrupt."

The flaw logical flaw lies in: there is "no" reason.
When I took philosophy courses in college, I was taught that it's easy to criticize and find flaws, but first, try to understand.

When I taught English at the college level I found that students were quick to judge characters.

It's easy to bash.

Some of this comes from the nature of social media.

If you missed the video Timothy Snyder posted yesterday, please see it. In the second Tweet, I linked to the thread in which I tackled the same issues before seeing his video.
Read 5 tweets
27 Nov
I feel so misunderstood.
I know, right?

But don't you all worry. I've raised kids and survived teenagers.

True story . . .

Son returns from summer camp. Within an hour he rolls his eyes at me 3 times.

Me: Wasn't it nice at camp when you didn't have to roll your eyes?

Him: I rolled them anyway because I knew somewhere you were being annoying.

You'd think Twitter trolls could at least be funny.
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov
The planners of the insurrection intend to cast themselves as persecuted victims of a foreign plot coordinated with FBI and Antifa.

Instead of worrying about legal defenses (which they won’t have) they’ll focus on creating an alternate reality.
The danger would be if a significant enough portion of the population comes to believe this.

My opinion is that the gravest danger to democracy is the spread of this kind of disinformation.

(By the way, one thing Flynn says is "we don't trust the institutions.")
This isn't a backup plan because they have nothing else.

This is the plan.

Democracy (the form of authority based on rule of law) depends on facts and shared factuality.

Fascism (the form of authority based on a powerful leader) is based on myth.
Read 13 tweets
25 Nov
🔹The committee will be finished before November. They're aiming for Spring.
🔹The DOJ will have all the material and it continues until 2024.
🔹If the Republicans take the House, the select committee "dead in the water" isn't the problem.

I suspect the panic over the DOJ / investigation timeline comes from this idea ⤵️

First, notice the authoritarian strong-man view of the world. Must be Tough. Must LOCK THEM UP.

Second, people forget the trial stage. We don't leap from indictment to "locking 'em up."

Third, this is all based on the delusion that the criminal justice system can solve the problem of right-wing extremism.

If people think that, refer them to this video (transcript on my blog).

Wanna prevent the Republicans from taking the House?

Read 6 tweets

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