Jennifer Mercieca Profile picture
Pulling back the curtain to explain anti-democratic rhetorical tricks. Award winning #teamrhetoric professor & author. Literary representation: @AllisonDevereux
Ella Sanders Profile picture Ken Tancrous Ⓥ 🌱 Joshua Cypess Profile picture AlgoCompSynth by znmeb Profile picture Anson Kennedy Profile picture 22 added to My Authors
May 19 4 tweets 1 min read
This is so important to understand>>

Obviously the Disinformation Board was a high value target in the information wars. By its very nature it was always going to be. Gov should have been more prepared, that it wasn't is further proof of the need for the Disinformation Board. Like, if FDR created the Drought Relief Service, but didn't realize that the staff would face the drought themselves and would need to be supplied with water.

Did the administration not understand that we are in an information war?
May 16 4 tweets 1 min read
When you use a conceptual metaphor like "doubled down" to refer to a politician deploying fascist rhetoric you are reenforcing a "game" or "gambling" frame. Race-hate is not a game or a gamble, it's fascist. I'm hearing that some of you really like your "game" conceptual metaphor. That's interesting.
May 16 5 tweets 1 min read
Normalization is when an unthinkable, abhorrent practice (denying baby formula to immigrant infants, murdering non-whites) is placed in a new context where it's seen less as abhorrent and more like common sense. Radicalization is when an unthinkable, abhorrent practice (denying baby formula to immigrant infants, murdering non-whites) becomes something that you first accept as common sense and then decide that you want/need to do yourself.
May 16 9 tweets 2 min read
A democrat is someone who is motivated by freedom, equality, social justice, and political practices that allow all citizens to share power. Fascists hate all of that. I have political policy preferences, but my first (and primary) concern when voting is whether or not the candidate is a democrat. Do they prioritize freedom, equality, social justice, and political practices that allow all to share power? It's not hard. It's fundamental.
May 14 14 tweets 3 min read
Stochastic terrorism has grim consequences. Here is an academic article (unlocked) on stochastic terrorism for folks writing about it:…
May 14 5 tweets 2 min read
"You have challenged me, you have pushed me, you have debated me & at times we have disagreed. That is democracy in action. That is it working. W/out accountability, w/out debate, gov is not as strong & you all play an incredibly pivotal role. Thank you for what you do." @jrpsaki Reminds me of JFK: "Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy..."
May 11 5 tweets 2 min read
<ok, now I'm laughing even harder & I'm an idiot & also I'm going to rewrite this whole damn thread to confess. Very sorry I deleted the previous one.>

Background: I've heard the former CIA head or something Ken Vogel has moved to my neighborhood. I've been curious to meet him. Scene: 89 degrees out, I'm walking back from checking the mail when a man fitting Ken Vogel's description jogs up.

Maybe Ken Vogel: Howdy ma'am!

Me: hello! How are you today?

MKV: Pretty good for an old guy! <jogs ahead>
May 11 19 tweets 3 min read
Voters don't care about politics. Voters care about themselves, their daily lives. Voters won't notice if the filibuster stays or goes, they will notice that their utility bill is up $100, they spend $50 more at the store & $20 more when they get gas. And you can reason with people and say that it's the greedy corporations and the pandemic and Russia's war, but that's only going to work for so long. People are sacrificing & they know it. Do Dems? Because Republicans are hammering away at this all day & night & blaming Dems.
May 10 5 tweets 2 min read
To be a political person in ancient Athens meant that you were a male free from the "oikos" (yes, like the yogurt)--free from the responsibilities of the home. That distinction initiated a separation between the home and political sphere. But they are not separate, not at all. Same exact criticism was made against civil rights & Vietnam protestors in the 1960s. Read what a free speech scholar wrote about those criticisms at the time:
May 9 15 tweets 2 min read
Sometimes protests are inconvenient for those being protested. "But when one finds those who profess neutrality or friendship toward the goals of the dissenters also expressing doubt about the methods they employ, it is time to attempt a serious assessment of the situation."
May 7 8 tweets 2 min read
This isn't a theocracy, it's a democracy. I'm sorry, but I'm overruling you. When I say "tax the churches" and "this is not a theocracy," I'm talking to Leonard Leo, et al. Read this amazing thread:
May 6 7 tweets 2 min read
TIL that the "big lie" concept was popularized by a 1951 US Army propaganda film: The Big Lie (1951) Here's the ngram
May 5 17 tweets 3 min read
I'm fascinated by the seemingly default assumption (made and propagated on the extreme right) that this is their country and the rest of us have to comply. The extreme right has been defining what "America" is and which policies are and are not "American" for decades. Why let them? Why cede that very important ground? So doing cedes them the nation, effectively.
May 3 4 tweets 1 min read
Still trying to find a debate over the constitutionality of abortion at the Constitutional Convention. What? It wasn't debated you say? I'm shocked.
May 3 20 tweets 3 min read
Fascism is succeeding in taking over America >> Umberto Eco, Ur-Fascism (Eternal Fascism): "The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition...As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth has been already spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message."
May 3 4 tweets 1 min read
The Supreme Court is the least democratic branch of government. It is unaccountable to the people. There is no oversight for its decisions except for the judgment of history. Reminds me of this thread.
Apr 30 8 tweets 3 min read
Really fantastic work from the NYT analyzing Tucker Carlson's show. This interactive (unlocked) is a great place to start, I'll post the other pieces in the thread. It shows Carlson using fascist language rooted in us/them, racial purity & conspiracy:… What to know about Tucker Carlson's rise (unlocked):…
Apr 23 18 tweets 4 min read
This is really important to understand. Having poisoned the public sphere with conspiracy and hate-bait over the last few years these state-level leaders are under a lot of pressure to act. Their elections depend upon them going full fascist. Republican voters are frustrated that their party doesn't just "shut it all down" ("it" being whatever evil they claim exists) when they are in power. The pressure is on & Republicans have promised to deliver. Things are going to get weird. 😳
Apr 19 7 tweets 2 min read
You know your democracy is broken when politics isn't about solving problems, but is about creating a string of hate-objects to keep your base engaged and enraged. Who is on the "hate-object" beat? A pro-democracy news agenda could cover the daily "manufactured hate-object" to explain how that hate-object emerged as a useful foil for some politician or party.
Feb 27 15 tweets 3 min read
We need a "whole of society" approach to defending democracy. Defending democracy has to be the project of every sector of society. Every corporate decision has to be made asking, "will this help strengthen democracy?" Every media decision the same. Edu, gov, etc. etc. We need a whole of society approach to defending democracy because there is a whole of society approach to destroying democracy. Every sector of society is under attack from anti-democrats. We must work together.
Feb 27 30 tweets 4 min read
Pretender to the Presidency just took the stage at CPAC. Image Starts with ad populum, praising his crowd, as he does. Trump is nothing without his followers. He constantly praises them for loving him.