This is utter nonsense, of course, if you read it as an empirical claim about America’s past or present.

But as an ideological statement of Christian nationalism and white supremacy, it is perfect. And absolutely terrifying.
Just ignoring this won’t work, because it’s not coming from some rightwing troll, but a Republican elected official - and it’s impossible to adequately understand American politics without grappling in earnest with why her radicalism is widely seen as justified on the Right.
No use making fun of it either. This should be read as a statement of intent: “America belongs to us white Christians, we have a right to dominate this country, and we are determined to keep it that way by whatever means necessary.” Nothing funny about that.
It is crucial to understand that she’s not expressing some fringe sentiment, but a clear - albeit bizarre - distillation of the white Christian nationalism that animates the American Right and defines the Republican Party’s political project.
This ideology is incompatible with both religious freedom and multiracial, pluralistic democracy. And she’s not elevated to a position of political power despite holding such beliefs, but precisely because she does and because she is aggressively championing them.
I’m sure the exact language Rogers uses might be slightly crasser than what some conservatives are comfortable with, and some Republicans might disagree with some aspects of the public image she projects. But these differences don’t matter to the Right.
The Right isn’t getting distracted by debates over whether Wendy Rogers’ militant extremism or Mitch McConnell’s extreme cynicism are the right approach to preventing multiracial pluralistic democracy. They are united in the quest to entrench white reactionary rule.
How do we know Rogers isn’t just a crazy outlier? Because Republicans don’t treat her like one. Neither her extremist views nor her embrace of this kind of white supremacist, Christian nationalist symbolism get her in trouble within the GOP. On the contrary, she is elevated.
Her statements are well in line with the GOP’s central political project. And conservatives see her radicalism as justified - necessary even! - because they believe themselves to be in a noble war to defend “real” (read: white Christian) America against an insidious enemy.
The Republican Party has made its choice long ago: If democracy starts interfering with white Christian domination, then democracy has got to go. Donald Trump, Wendy Rogers, Marjorie Taylor Greene: They’re not the cause, but the logical result of that fundamental decision.

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More from @tzimmer_history

27 Dec
A horrible thing indeed.

But it’s worth being specific: The forces that have come to dominate the GOP haven’t changed their mind about anything. Their acceptance of democracy was always conditional: “As long as it keeps people like us in power, fine; otherwise, it has to go.”
The distinction matters greatly. At the core of modern conservatism is a vision that is steadfastly opposed to multiracial, pluralistic democracy and committed to the order that was the historical norm in this country until quite recently: Democracy for white Christian men only.
Too many observers and pundits tend to base their analysis of the current situation on the assumption that the country used to be a functioning liberal democracy, with an electorate of (small-d) democratic voters, and that this has somehow changed just very recently.
Read 11 tweets
25 Dec
Completely agree - but due to the pervasive pathologies of journalistic and political culture, when they do take a look in the mirror, they’re likely to tell themselves “You are doing a great job by not giving in to ‘partisanship,’ and by staying ‘neutral’ and above the fray!”
…and considering the existing incentive structures in journalism and politics, they’re also likely looking at someone who - strictly in terms of advancing their own careers - is doing everything right. That needs to change.
The “neutrality” dogma demands this kind of coverage: As defined by too many journalists and political observers, it means keeping equidistance from #BothSides. But with the GOP rapidly radicalizing, the “neutral” position provides cover for extremism and leads to distortions.
Read 7 tweets
24 Dec
Calling Crenshaw a “stalwart conservative” is actually fine - because the type of disdain for democracy Crenshaw has displayed is well in line with the long-standing anti-democratic impulses and tendencies that have always defined modern U.S. conservatism.
This Politico piece is, of course, not at all interested in informing the audience about these anti-democratic traditions, and how Trump fits right in, and why Crenshaw doesn’t have to be a “Trump loyalist” to be on board with the authoritarian onslaught on democracy.
It does the exact opposite: Politico wants to cling to the myth of “respectable” conservatism so bad that they are happy to legitimize the sort of anti-democratic tendencies Crenshaw embodies. This kind of constant normalization in centrist media is a massive problem.
Read 5 tweets
22 Dec
As 2021 comes to an end, what is the state of American democracy?

The reactionary counter-mobilization against democracy has accelerated. It’s happening on so many fronts simultaneously that it’s easy to lose sight of how things are connected. Thoughts on the big picture: 1/
So many things are happening at the federal, state, and local levels all around the country that are directly tied to the broader struggle over whether or not America should finally realize the promise of multiracial, pluralistic democracy. That’s the defining conflict. 2/
In Washington, Republicans have adopted a position of total obstruction (what else is new?), very much including the obstruction of any attempt to investigate a violent attack on the Capitol. But it’s the state level where the reactionary project has accelerated most. 3/
Read 22 tweets
20 Dec
Unfortunately, we have to talk about Joe Manchin. Again. Still.

I wrote this a few months ago – my attempt to unpack Manchin’s core political project of status quo fundamentalism and what animates a man who seems all too willing to let democracy perish. Still relevant, sadly:
I think approaches that focus entirely on a mixture of opportunism and corruption must fall short. These are obviously important pieces of this puzzle. But ideology always circumscribes and defines the realm of opportunity – which makes Manchin *more*, not less of a problem.
“The world should be run by wealthy white (Christian) men” has always been the reactionary credo, shaping the American project from the start. And it has always extended well beyond the American Right, and extends beyond today’s Republican Party. It is also Joe Manchin’s credo.
Read 5 tweets
18 Dec
“This strange mixture of normalcy and emergency”

I wrote this 21 months ago, at the start of the #Covid pandemic. I would slightly amend it now: It’s the bizarre mixture of (en)forced normalcy and (yet again escalating) emergency that is utterly disorienting and exhausting.
Almost two years in and all the professional demands have long ago ramped back up to “normal.” But we’ve lived through a world-historic emergency, are still suffering through it - no time, though, society says: You have to function normally through the emergency!
I live in DC, where the incidence is rising rapidly and more new infections are detected than ever before. But the mayor ended the indoors mask mandate just a few weeks ago, so when I go to the grocery story, I’m breathing the same air as people who can’t be bothered to mask up.
Read 6 tweets

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