AOC has everyone repeating “tax the rich” today and people are confused why she went?
Shoutout to the people who hold it against her that inequality wasn’t solved last night, or who suggest that this one appearance is the sum of her work. Meanwhile, everyone’s going to have an opinion on this dress. Think of all the conversations.
“Messaging alone won’t create systemic change.” True. Good messaging is necessary but not sufficient. Propaganda is complementary to organizing, legislating, litigating, investigating, voting. There are lots of ways to put pressure on power, and it’s not zero sum.
One of my dad's constant complaints to me as a kid was that Americans, myself included, were too obsessed with fairness. He was born Jewish in Odessa in the 1930s. To him, fairness was a joke at best, repressive at worst.
"WTF is this fairness? Nothing's fair."
His attitude is partly explained by malignant narcissism, but it's also wisdom from having survived Hitler and the USSR.
To him, it was important that I paid attention to who had the power to do what, how pressure gets applied, and what the consequences are.
His lessons weren't just theoretical. He was a bully, and his aggressions played out in custody battles with my mom, and fights with my teachers, relatives, people that mattered to me. To harden me.
It wasn't fair. And yet, my mom and other's advocacy for me made a difference.
We've been sleepwalking into Christian autocracy for years. The GOP has entrenched themselves at every level of the system for purposes of minority rule. They don't care about bad optics. They're not accountable to them. They propagandize their base while othering the rest of us.
Those of us who saw this clearly and said so have been marginalized and trashed as unpatriotic hysterics for years, as if discussing authoritarianism somehow makes it worse. That has to stop. No more eggshells, no more sugar coating.
The abusive relationship between Democrats and Republicans has to end. Democrats need to set boundaries, and be ready to walk when they're violated. Because we know they'll be violated. Bc abusers are predictable AF.
Hello new followers. I'm sorry to be meeting you under such sad circumstances, but I'm glad you're here. I joined Twitter in the wake of Trump's election with the express goal of helping Americans come to terms with rising authoritarianism.
I changed careers in 2015. Until then, I was going to be an academic, trained in intl human rights law (genocide, refugees, trafficking, gender violence) followed by training to be a Soviet legal historian, studying authoritarian abuses via defamation, copyright, censorship.
I'm also the survivor of a lifetime of narcissistic abuse, which sadly cost me my academic career. After disclosing CPTSD, my advisor tossed me out like a dented trophy. All of which left me free in 2016 to respond to Trumpism.
If the GOP’s strategy is to pack the courts, overturn elections, incite mobs, gerrymander, suppress votes, and otherwise harass the vulnerable, then the size of its base is not as relevant a concern. conversationalist.org/2021/05/27/the…
Republicans have been on the path toward authoritarianism for more than two decades. (Reasonable people/historians will disagree on how far back to go.)Trump just speeded up the journey and helped them blossom into their worst selves.
What’s so sad is that people are only now giving this attack on democracy the urgency it deserves, late in the game with extremists deeply entrenched in our system.
January 20th won’t solve the fascist problem in America. Instead of chaos coming from the executive, it’ll be state GOP parties and local police harassing Democrats and marginalized people, suppressing votes, passing racist laws and ordinances, inciting violence.
Stop demanding Republicans do the right thing, or telling them what they should do. Force them. It’s the only way.
Why are Democrats so terrified of hard power? Use it.
The world won’t end if you upset your (treasonous) Republicans colleagues by forcing their hand, but it can get much bloodier if you don’t. Succession crises can spiral in all kinds of ways, expected and unexpected. Do something, don’t sit on this.
One of the biggest disconnects I’ve observed between white Americans and everyone else is the enduring belief in an inevitable happy ending. That delusion needs to be punctured, fast.
Good things don’t come to the complacent. We have to fight to preserve our rights and institutions.
There are downsides to being the most powerful country in the world - no one has the power to call you on your bullshit, and you stop questioning things. You come up with inane ideologies like American exceptionalism to justify whatever arises.
I speak from experience. Growing up w/ an abusive narcissist, I was brainwashed. I believed garbage about myself and the world, incl right wing propaganda. It was meant to terrorize me and my mom into compliance and complicity. I began deprogramming at 17 when I was kicked out.
A big part of that deprogramming was learning to get my own anger under control. Abused people are prone to become abusers, and my anger used to scare me at times. I’ve never lifted a finger, but I have his talent for cruel words when I’m in pain. That’s on me, not him.
Took a lot of trial and error, a ton of therapy, and very loving, patient friends to help me work through my PTSD triggers and learn to talk about what bothered me. Talking about issues early and often stopped rage in its tracks.
In Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt advocated for strict liability for crimes against humanity. It sidestepped the thorny issue of intent. Strict liability made it difficult for those who benefitted from the regime to then disavow it later, as “so-called inner emigrants.”
“[Inner emigrants] were people who frequently had held positions, even high ones, in the Third Reich and who, after the end of the war, told themselves and the world at large that they had always been “inwardly opposed” to the regime.”
“The question here is not whether or not they are telling the truth; the point is, rather, that no secret in the secret-ridden atmosphere of the Hitler regime was better kept than such “inward opposition.””
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.