How the conservative thinking of today is working to destroy democracy

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about another thread on this forum and it has lead me to a bit of an epiphany on what, exactly, the current conservative mindset is doing to Democracy, and it’s pretty scary.

The thread was about Antifa being “real” and a “real threat”. What does it mean to be “real”? Obviously it means that it actually exists as some sort of entity. It’s not just some idea. But later in the thread Antifa is described as being an “umbrella term” for a lot of different things. But an umbrella term isn’t real, it’s an idea. It’s not a thing, by itself, it’s a collection of other things. It didn’t hit me at first just exactly was going on here, but after quite a bit of thought a rather terrifying reality emerged.

Let’s start with the claim that it is “real” and a “real threat”. If it’s real and a threat then it’s something we need to deal with. It’s something we need to work against. It’s something that every American should think is bad because it is a threat to our way of life. It is a danger to America which must be dealt with. It is a singular, actual thing which exists on its own.

Now let’s look at what an “umbrella term” is. That is where you group a bunch of things together by some criteria as being similar in some, usually specific way. In this case the criteria is “left wing anarchist groups”.

So how do we reconcile an “umbrella term” with being “real”? How do we reconcile something being both a group of things linked by some criteria AND a single “real” thing? You do that the way today’s conservatives always do it. You group everything you don’t like into a single group and assign the properties of any individual in that group to the entire group. In other words you take, “1 cop killer” and “100 looters”, put them into the same group, call that group “real” and you get “101 cop killer/looters”. But wait! There’s more! This looting is happening during Black Lives Matter protests! BLM isn’t an anarchist movement, but if the looting is happening at their protests then the looters must be from their ranks. So you get to throw them into the group anyway. Now you have 100,000 cop killer/looter/BLM supporters!

In short, this way of thinking is a method of dehumanizing large disparate groups of people by throwing all the groups you don’t like into a single “umbrella group” and assigning the worst traits of any single individual in the group to the entirety of the group. You get to, in your head, associate all BLM supporters with looters, rioters and murderers. By dehumanizing them all in this way you get to hate and seethe about and, sometimes, even murder any member of that group with a clear conscience, EVEN IF the only link the person had to the group was the color of their skin. Or that you saw them on TV saying that how you view the group is wrong. Or that they are from the party you didn’t want to win an election.

And it goes the other way too. You get to group the people on your side together. That way ALL people who love America are on your side. ALL people who love America also love Trump, because those two things are part of your group. If someone says something bad about Trump it doesn’t matter how Republican they have always been. They’re really a Democrat! After all, they don’t fit into your group, so they must be part of the other group.

This is such a dangerous (not to mention idiotic) way to think. This is why democracy in America is under the biggest threat it has ever faced today. Republicans see all Republicans who agree with them as being on the “side of good” while all people who disagree with them, Democrat, Republican or otherwise, as being on the “side of bad”. If you’re fighting evil is it wrong to kill that evil? Is it wrong to cheat that evil? Is it wrong to throw out millions of votes because they might support that evil? Is it wrong to steal an election from evil? Is it wrong to actively subvert democracy to stop the evil side from winning?

This mentality allows the right-wing to cheat, rob, bully and even kill anyone who disagrees with them with a clear conscience. And it’s not just the mentally disturbed people in their ranks like it tends to be with the left wing. Ordinary people, even ex-cops, get in their trucks and hunt down a black man and murder him in the streets because he looked like a criminal as he jogged by. It’s okay to actively work to destroy democracy and deprive people of their right to vote based on the color of their skin because of who they’re likely to vote for. Fighting against democracy somehow becomes patriotic for the people who claim to love democracy. You get to both actively fight against democracy and still be the “true patriot” in a democratic society in your head. There is no bigger threat to our democracy than someone who can fight against it while thinking they’re fighting for it. And, in fact, we’ve actually seen right-wing terrorism, the murder of innocent people who disagree with the conservative, defended as a “proper” response to not being conservative. Otherwise ordinary people think it’s good and normal to kill people they disagree with. Though they might not do it themselves, they certainly don’t mind if someone else does it and may even encourage it, since they won’t suffer any consequences from something someone else does.

If you believe that people on one side or the other deserve ANY form of punishment based solely on that person’s political affiliation, or ANY form of punishment for something which is not a crime by American law, or ANY form of punishment outside the American legal system, then you a not love America or democracy, no matter how much you think you do. And if you think the American legal system is unable to touch “powerful” (that means “famous”) Democrats, EVEN THOUGH Republicans had the presidency, the House, the Senate, the courts AND the Department of Justice for 2 years unchallenged then you’re also an idiot.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about another thread on this forum and it has lead me to a bit of an epiphany on what, exactly, the current conservative mindset is doing to Democracy, and it’s pretty scary.
An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Feelings of anxiety over a discussion thread that you cannot dismiss offhand points to an inner problem.

Widders, as crappy as the topic of your mini article is, it’s nice to see others see and understand it the same way I do (with the bonus of having it said way better than I could say it.)

Thanks.

sree, guess you don’t see the Republican turn to totalitarianism a bit spooky?

He says it better than I can.

...

George Orwell said, “Totalitarianism … attacks the objective concept of truth,” and that is what President Donald Trump and Fox News have been doing. It is not true that the constitutionally mandated postal service is doomed to fail or that voter fraud is a significant problem. It is not true that there has ever been a level playing field or equality between white and Black people. And Americans rejecting masks as an infringement on their liberties are ignoring basic scientific truths and their responsibility toward others during the pandemic.

As the late reporter Walter Lippman said, “There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies.”

David A. Sorensen

Duluth

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/opinion/letters/6635649-Readers-View-Trump-Fox-News-practicing-totalitarianism


 

 

 

 

 

An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Feelings of anxiety over a discussion thread that you cannot dismiss offhand points to an inner problem.
Sree, if you think I care for one second what your opinion of me is you are sorely mistaken. On the contrary, that you don't like me is a matter of absolute pride. It means I can't crawl far enough up Trump's ass for us to see eye to eye on anything, which I see as a very good thing. The other day you expressed support for terrorist attacks against people you disagree with. So you'll forgive me if I don't get all butthurt over the likes of what some Trump-Qaeda supporter thinks of me.

If only conservatives could destroy democracy, that would be great. Unfortunately, conservatism is only capable of destroying itself. That was the only thing conservatives were ever good at.

However, Liberal Democracy is dying out and will be gone soon enough – because it is fundamentally an unstable system.

@thatoneguy

However, Liberal Democracy is dying out and will be gone soon enough — because it is fundamentally an unstable system.

How do you get that when it hasn’t even begun. The Repugs have overruled it at every turn. I really think eventually liberal democracy will win out and people will have equality, without having their votes suppressed by Repugs. It is the Repugs who are dying out because their system is fundamentally unstable as seen by the current circumstances of our country. The economy is in the toilet, thanks to the Repugs. Our health system is collapsing, thanks to the Repugs. Basically, if they stay in power, the U.S. won’t survive or at least won’t be a democracy, especially with the Repugs’ voter suppression.

Totalitarianism … attacks the objective concept of truth
Totalitarianism is possible only through a strong central government. That is one reason we have so much power invested in the States and denied to the federal government.

Note that the Dems consistently attack the objective concept of representative government by describing our form of government as a democracy.

Conservative thinking is to protect the true form of our government not to destroy something that exists only as a liberal lie.

Bob: "Totalitarianism is possible only through a strong central government."
So is a fair and equitable society.

No one here is advocating a totalitarian government. Intelligent laws fairly enforced is the goal.

Stop using false dichotomies as arguments.

Stop using false dichotomies as arguments.
Come on, lets admit it, that is exactly what the alt-right movement has always been about.

Malicious deception.

 

FBI investigating after Trump supporters surround Biden campaign bus in Texas

BY CAROLINE LINTON NOVEMBER 2, 2020

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-launches-investigation-biden-bus-incident-texas-trump-supporters/

 

The FBI said Sunday that its San Antonio office is investigating an incident after video was taken of a caravan of Trump supporters surrounding and then following a Biden campaign bus on Friday. President Trump retweeted part of the video Saturday night, writing “I LOVE TEXAS!”

After the news about the FBI investigating hit Twitter, Mr. Trump tweeted that the FBI should be investigating “terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!” He also wrote that in his opinion, the supporters “did nothing wrong.”

A Biden campaign official said the incident occurred Friday on I-35 between Austin and San Antonio. The official said vehicles with Trump signs and flags surrounded the Biden bus and tried to “slow the bus down and run it off the road.” Law enforcement assisted the bus to its location after 911 was called, the official said.


snopes _ com/fact-check/fbi-trump-biden-bus/

FYI - a bit of the back story of how we got here.

 

How America's White Power Movement Coalesced After The Vietnam War

April 25, 2018

https: // www - npr - org/2018/04/25/605661710/how-americas-white-power-movement-coalesced-after-the-vietnam-war

 

How A Rising Star Of White Nationalism Broke Free From The Movement

September 24, 2018

https://www.npr.org/2018/09/24/651052970/how-a-rising-star-of-white-nationalism-broke-free-from-the-movement

 

As the son of a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Derek Black was once the heir apparent of the white nationalist movement.

Growing up, he made speeches, hosted a radio show and started the website KidsStormfront — which acted as a companion to Stormfront, the white nationalist website his father, Don Black, created.

“The fundamental belief that drove my dad, drove my parents and my family, over decades, was that race was the defining feature of humanity … and that people were only happy if they could live in a society that was only this one biologically defined racial group,” Black says.

It was only after he began attending New College of Florida that Black began to question his own point of view. Previously, he had been home-schooled, but suddenly he was was exposed to people who didn’t share his views, including a few Jewish students who became friends.

Black’s new friends invited him over for Shabbat dinner week after week. Gradually, …


 

A Former Neo-Nazi Explains Why Hate Drew Him In — And How He Got Out

January 18, 2018

npr_ org/2018/01/18/578745514/a-former-neo-nazi-explains-why-hate-drew-him-in-and-how-he-got-out

 

Christian Picciolini was 14 years old when he attended the first gathering of what would become the Hammerskin Nation, a violent, white-power skinhead group. Looking back, he describes his introduction to the group as receiving a “lifeline of acceptance.”

“I felt a sort of energy flow through me that I had never felt before — as if I was a part of something greater than myself,” he says.

Picciolini embraced the white supremacist message he heard that day and went on to front a white-power punk band, White American Youth, writing and performing songs that inspired others to commit racist acts of violence.

But after eight years as a neo-Nazi, Picciolini began to question the hateful ideology he espoused. He remembers a specific incident in which he was beating a young black man. His eyes locked with his victim, and he felt a surprising empathy.

It was a turning point. He withdrew from the movement and in 2011 co-founded Life After Hate, a nonprofit that counsels members of hate groups and helps them disengage. …


 

If you’re looking to break free from the shackles of fabricated hatred, here’s a start.

 

https: // www - lifeafterhate - org
If only conservatives could destroy democracy, that would be great. Unfortunately, conservatism is only capable of destroying itself. That was the only thing conservatives were ever good at.

However, Liberal Democracy is dying out and will be gone soon enough — because it is fundamentally an unstable system.


They are destroying democracy and it won’t be great even for you once they start enacting policy you don’t like. Seriously, how long do you think the Second Amendment is going to be a thing after a hostile takeover of the government? My guess would be 3…2…1…

They are working hard to throw out votes. That’s destroying democracy. Moscow Mitch and his predecessors have worked hard to make sure that things always slant to the right, regardless the will of the people or their votes. That’s destroying democracy. The Senate can now simply refuse to confirm nominations made by a president they don’t like for the entirety of their control of the Senate. That’s a serious degradation of democracy. Barr thinks the president has the powers of a dictator. That’s why Trump thinks he has total authority to do anything he wants. That’s at best an elected monarchy. The courts did FINALLY throw out one of the people operating in an “acting” capacity to avoid the Constitutionally mandated Senate confirmation, but that was a serious affront to our system.

In short, Republicans are doing everything in their power to make sure that they get to pick and choose which votes count and which votes don’t. That is an absolute destruction of democracy. They’ve already diluted democracy so much that 2 of the 5 times in 240 years of US history that the person who won the presidency was not the person chosen by a majority of the people happened within one 16 year span. And this time, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Trump to win the popular vote. He is so loathed that there is no way he’ll win the popular vote. But it’s very possible that 50% of the presidents who lost the popular vote but won the seat could occur within just 8.3% of the country’s existence.

They are destroying democracy and it won’t be great even for you once they start enacting policy you don’t like. Seriously, how long do you think the Second Amendment is going to be a thing after a hostile takeover of the government? My guess would be 3…2…1…
Conservatives get rid of the second amendment? Sounds unlikely.
How do you get that when it hasn’t even begun. The Repugs have overruled it at every turn. I really think eventually liberal democracy will win out and people will have equality, without having their votes suppressed by Repugs. It is the Repugs who are dying out because their system is fundamentally unstable as seen by the current circumstances of our country. The economy is in the toilet, thanks to the Repugs. Our health system is collapsing, thanks to the Repugs. Basically, if they stay in power, the U.S. won’t survive or at least won’t be a democracy, especially with the Repugs’ voter suppression.
Do you ever know WTF you're talking about? Read a history book.

Yes, @thatoneguy , I do know “WTF I’m talking about”. Do you read a history book?

Conservatives get rid of the second amendment? Sounds unlikely. -- One Guy
They don't have to get rid of it. It's just fine how it is. It doesn't let you have anti-aircraft guns or rocket launchers or tanks. It lets you have little guns so you can kill each other and think you are powerful when you are not.

One guy, the problem isn’t the 2nd amendment, it’s the right wings belligerent normalization of lying, misrepresenting, self-dealing, malicious neglect, etc. The bullying, the plain nastiness and embrace of totalitarian behavior. Disregard for all but their own juvenile vision. That can only lead to hell.

 

 

 

Conservatives get rid of the second amendment? Sounds unlikely.
Conservative support of the Second Amendment has NOTHING to do with their love of freedom or guns or you. Gun people are just one of the small fringe groups they started courting decades ago in order to stay relevant. They don't care about your rights. They care about power. And if they manage to wrestle the US away from its democratic ways of free and fair elections they will get rid of everything and anything which might threaten that power. A once democratic nation taken over by a totalitarian fascist regime would very much see a country full of guns as a threat to their power. If democracy dies in the US your gun rights definitely go with it.
Conservative support of the Second Amendment has NOTHING to do with their love of freedom or guns or you. Gun people are just one of the small fringe groups they started courting decades ago in order to stay relevant. They don’t care about your rights. They care about power. And if they manage to wrestle the US away from its democratic ways of free and fair elections they will get rid of everything and anything which might threaten that power. A once democratic nation taken over by a totalitarian fascist regime would very much see a country full of guns as a threat to their power. If democracy dies in the US your gun rights definitely go with it.
Conservatives have had numerous chances to do the things you're talking about, but somehow they never do. Not to mention they control the military-industrial complex so armed citizens are not going to a problem for them even if your paranoid fantasy somehow became reality.
Conservatives have had numerous chances to do the things you’re talking about, but somehow they never do.
And every time examples of the horrors are presented you ignore them. Pretending that, if you can turn a blind eye, it ain't happening - don't make it better. You don't think the way COVID was handled is a criminal disgrace? Just to mention one off the top.

 

Have you ever heard the story of the frog in the pot of warming water?

 

Speaking of predictions not coming true, what about the hysteria Republican’s are constantly spreading about Democrats and the terror of liberalism - even though our f’n government is explicitly erected upon liberal principles!