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THE SUFFOCATION OF DEMOCRACY

By jazz_music following x   2019 Jul 20, 2:23pm 217 views   7 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


This is a good article. Much more there to read beyond my quoted text.


https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/10/25/suffocation-of-democracy/

... the neutralization of a free press and the steady diminution of basic human rights. On these issues, often described as the guardrails of democracy against authoritarian encroachment, the Trump administration either has won or seems poised to win significant gains for illiberalism. Upon his appointment as chancellor, Hitler immediately created a new Ministry of People’s Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph Goebbels, who remained one of his closest political advisers.

In Trump’s presidency, those functions have effectively been privatized in the form of Fox News and Sean Hannity. [ I don't know why they didn't mention Limbaugh/talk radio and Breitbart ] Fox faithfully trumpets the “alternative facts” of the Trump version of events, and in turn Trump frequently finds inspiration for his tweets and fantasy-filled statements from his daily monitoring of Fox commentators and his late-night phone calls with Hannity. The result is the creation of a “Trump bubble” for his base to inhabit that is unrecognizable to viewers of PBS, CNN, and MSNBC and readers of The Washington Post and The New York Times. The highly critical free media not only provide no effective check on Trump’s ability to be a serial liar without political penalty; on the contrary, they provide yet another enemy around which to mobilize the grievances and resentments of his base. A free press does not have to be repressed when it can be rendered irrelevant and even exploited for political gain.

...

Nothing remotely so horrific is on the illiberal agenda, but the curtailment of many rights and protections Americans now enjoy is likely. Presumably marriage equality will survive, given the sea change in American public opinion on that issue. But the right of businesses and individuals to discriminate against gays is likely to be broadly protected as a “sincerely held religious belief.” Chief Justice John Roberts’s favorite target, affirmative action, is likely to disappear under his slogan that to end racial discrimination, one must end all forms of racial discrimination. And a woman’s right to abortion will probably disappear in red states, either through an outright overturning of Roe v. Wade or more likely through narrower rulings that fail to find any “undue burden” in draconian restrictions that in practice make abortion unavailable. And equal protection of voting rights is likely to be eroded in red states through ever more insidiously designed voter suppression laws and gerrymandering once the Supreme Court makes clear that it will not intervene to curb such measures.

The domestic agenda of Trump’s illiberal democracy falls considerably short of totalitarian dictatorship as exemplified by Mussolini and Hitler. But that is small comfort for those who hope and believe that the arc of history inevitably bends toward greater emancipation, equality, and freedom. Likewise, it is small comfort that in foreign policy Trump does not emulate the Hitlerian goals of wars of conquest and genocide, because the prospects for peace and stability are nevertheless seriously threatened. Escalating trade wars could easily tip the world economy into decline, and the Trump administration has set thresholds for peaceful settlements with Iran and North Korea that seem well beyond reach.

It is possible that Trump is engaged in excessive rhetorical posturing as a bargaining chip and will retreat to more moderate positions in both cases. But it is also possible that adversarial momentum will build, room for concessions will disappear, and he will plunge the country into serious economic or military conflicts as a captive of his own rhetoric. Historically, such confrontations and escalations have often escaped the control of leaders far more talented than Trump.

No matter how and when the Trump presidency ends, the specter of illiberalism will continue to haunt American politics. A highly politicized judiciary will remain, in which close Supreme Court decisions will be viewed by many as of dubious legitimacy, and future judicial appointments will be fiercely contested. The racial division, cultural conflict, and political polarization Trump has encouraged and intensified will be difficult to heal. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and uncontrolled campaign spending will continue to result in elections skewed in an unrepresentative and undemocratic direction. Growing income disparity will be extremely difficult to halt, much less reverse.

Finally, within several decades after Trump’s presidency has ended, the looming effects of ecological disaster due to human-caused climate change—which Trump not only denies but is doing so much to accelerate—will be inescapable. Desertification of continental interiors, flooding of populous coastal areas, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, with concomitant shortages of fresh water and food, will set in motion both population flight and conflicts over scarce resources that dwarf the current fate of Central Africa and Syria. No wall will be high enough to shelter the US from these events. Trump is not Hitler and Trumpism is not Nazism, but regardless of how the Trump presidency concludes, this is a story unlikely to have a happy ending.
1   WillPowers   ignore (0)   2019 Jul 20, 4:44pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

jazz_music says
Fox faithfully trumpets the “alternative facts” of the Trump version of events
jazz_music says
Trump frequently finds inspiration for his tweets and fantasy-filled statements


First of all, I appreciate your straight forward reporting Jazz. I know I have criticized you in the past so I want to show appreciation when you're being honest. Thank you.

The article you shared is less than honest however. They interject opinion with facts: Trump may be inspired by Fox which he watches because they are more right leaning than CNN, the anti-Trump network, but are his statements "fantasy-filled"? You may agree with that, but THAT is their opinion and yours, not a statement of fact. And characterizing Fox as presenting "alternative facts" is true in one sense, but not the sense they mean it in, which is phony facts, which is their opinion again and not a statement of fact.

jazz_music says
Historically, such confrontations and escalations have often escaped the control of leaders far more talented than Trump.


HERE, they do it again. Who makes the value judgement previous leaders are more talented than Trump? History does, not NYT, or WaPo.

jazz_music says
The racial division, cultural conflict, and political polarization Trump has encouraged and intensified will be difficult to heal.


This reads more like an opinion piece than an article.
2   HEYYOU   ignore (31)   2019 Jul 20, 6:33pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Trump/Rep/Cons.
3   jazz_music   ignore (12)   2019 Jul 21, 1:54pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WillPowers says
I want to show appreciation when you're being honest.
I am always honest.

I frequently comment on a reference with my opinion. Is that reporting?

I'm not the subject here.

You are off topic if you have an opinion of me.
4   jazz_music   ignore (12)   2019 Jul 21, 2:12pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WillPowers says
This reads more like an opinion piece than an article.
This is not clear at all.

I used to enjoy reading the CVBT (Central Valley Business Times) because they don't seem to have any opinions at all. Their reporting is as plain as can be and that is refreshing. Refreshing. However nobody else is like that. A real journalist infiltrated Fox and documented the daily operations as an instrument of the republican party in coordination with talk radio with subjects that are to be driven home over the course of the day in the light of GOP talking points.

Fox is funded by Murdock. Almost all of the 485 billionaires are politically obsessed. Murdock and Kochs are Neo Liberals concerned with the rights of investments, not people. The Mercers, one of GOPs bigest backers fund Steve Bannon to be Breitbart.

There is a conspiracy to normalize GOP talking points, this is not the result of an ad hoc relationship between Trump and his TV viewing preferences.

All MSM other sources, most of which have real journalists doing research that real journalists do are "the enemy of the people" because Trump-Fox-GOP need you to believe that for them to be effective. This need is fundamental to advance their power. Hitler did the same thing. Don't have a fit because I said "Hitler."

We are experiencing a rapid rise to populist power and the methods are well established. Democracy is stunted and oligarchs solidify their power by the day.

It's all about the inequality: since the inequality is greater by the day, the pain of this is focused on voters who want government to do something for them instead of oligarchs.
5   Onvacation   ignore (4)   2019 Jul 21, 2:31pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

jazz_music says
voters who want government to do something for them


"Ask not what your country can do for you..."

A big problem with society today is entitlement.
6   jazz_music   ignore (12)   2019 Jul 21, 2:32pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Onvacation says
A big problem with society today is entitlement.
On the part of 485 billionaires
7   jazz_music   ignore (12)   2019 Jul 21, 4:11pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You think the economy is great?

You think its a coincidence that Fox News/Murdock bought the Wall Street Journal?

WSJ also exists to normalize GOP talking points.

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