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Mon Jun 10, 2019, 03:07 PM

good, scary read TPM Josh Marshall "The American Right Gets Tired of Democracy"


By Josh Marshall
June 10, 2019 2:16 pm
Like many others I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of liberal democracy over the last three years. I have many thoughts, as they say. But for now I want to share a few articles with you about the future of the American right and particularly a wing of the American right which seems increasingly soured on pluralism and democracy itself.

Big topic, of course. So let me try to hit on one angle into it and get us started with a few links.

First, we’ve had a running discussion in recent years over how much Trump is a new thing – some decisive break with the US politics that preceded him or whether he is the logical culmination of the evolution of the Republican party over the last two generations. Complicated question but generally I put myself in the latter camp.

Still, as the Republican party has become increasingly synonymous with Trump, staying in pretty much lockstep support both at the level of elected officials and Republican voters, this raises the question for Republicans, what’s the theory behind our support? If we’re calling the press the “enemy of the people”, embracing ethno-nationalism and an increasingly authoritarian view of politics, what part of it lasts past Trump? For commentators and intellectuals, if we’re now in the business of permanent zero-sum fights with an opposition we brand as enemies, what’s the platform beyond Twitter outbursts.

Ed Kilgore published an article last week arguing that Josh Hawley, the freshman Senator from Missouri, could be the face of the post-Trump right. Hawley has a prestige Ivy league education and is couth in all the ways Trump is uncouth. But I confess I didn’t realize until I read Ed’s piece just how far right Hawley is. This goes beyond just voting records. Ed finds a series of speeches in which Hawley argues pretty straightforwardly that what we call civic republicanism or classical liberalism is only valuable or worthwhile to the extent it supports God’s mandates and the kind of society demanded by traditionalist Christianity.


long, worthwhile, interesting - and kind of terrifying.

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Reply good, scary read TPM Josh Marshall "The American Right Gets Tired of Democracy" (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2019 OP
marylandblue Jun 2019 #1
zipplewrath Jun 2019 #2
many a good man Jun 2019 #3

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 03:51 PM

1. Most liberal pundits don't get it, but Marshall does.

At bottom, a conservative and a liberal are two different types of people. A conservative is someone who needs borders. A liberal needs open spaces.

Conservatives want to build concentric rings of walls around their family, their community, their churches, their belief systems and ultimately, their country. They find safety behind these walls, in particular they find safety from the new and unfamiliar.

Liberals hate walls. They want to enjoy the great diversity of life and do not fear it. They want freedom to roam and to be themselves. They embrace change, and when they pace of change speeds up, they are exilerated.

As our society changes, the urge of conservatives to retreat behind the walls and build them higher increases. This is what we are seeing today. The problem is not that they hate immigrants per se, it's that the rapid social and economic changes are scaring them to death. Trump's border wall is physically useless but it's deeply symbolic, which is why it is such a big deal.

This is a difficult problem to deal with. I think we need to slow the pace of some changes to keep conservatives from flipping out. Maybe Marshall has a better solution.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 04:01 PM

2. Conservatism is wrong

The conservatives lean towards authoritarian governments, or at least governments in which only conservatives can participate, because they are wrong and can't get control of the government if the people in general are allowed to participate. They can't convince the general population of the validity of their point of view because it doesn't have validity. So instead they choose to attempt to leverage minority powers through the church, and through voter suppression. For decades the GOP accepted that they were the "loyal minority". They attempted to influence government through persuasion and by pulling to the right. But they were "losing" on so many fronts. They lost the "culture wars". They were losing on the economic front too. And somewhere along the way they decided they had to take power, as a minority. They don't realize that the reason they can't win truly democratic elections is because they are wrong. But they are.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:09 PM

3. Up for grabs: Democratic Pluralism vs. Ethno-Religious Nationalism

The Republicans' post mortem following the two losses to Obama was ominous. Given the nation's changing demographics, Republicans will never again be able to win a national election unless they can appeal to women, AA, and Latinx.

So what do they turn around and do? Elect Trump.

The GOP knows it can't win a fair election with their policies. Their solution is no more fair elections.

Democrats need everyone to know this. The situation is dire.

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