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Sun Sep 18, 2022, 02:24 PM

Normalizing Cruelty: The Mainstreaming of Authoritarianism and What It Reveals



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Jared Yates Sexton
@JYSexton

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It was bad enough what Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott did. The cruelty is unquestionable and troubling.

But watching media coverage normalize this racist garbage makes it clear what direction we're heading as a country. And that should worry everyone.

jaredyatessexton.substack.com
Normalizing Cruelty: The Mainstreaming of Authoritarianism and What It Reveals
What Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott did was bad enough. But watching the media legitimize their exploitation and cruelty was even worse.
7:14 AM ∑ Sep 17, 2022


https://jaredyatessexton.substack.com/p/normalizing-cruelty-the-mainstreaming

Itís almost impossible to put yourself into the mindset.

Whatever possessed Republican governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott to hatch this cruel plot to transport asylum seekers to Marthaís Vineyard and Vice-President Kamala Harrisís residence in Washington, D.C. is almost beyond actual comprehension. And every piece of information thatís come out since - that these poor people were lured with false promises, that COVID relief funds were employed, GOP donors were notified beforehand while authorities were intentionally left in the dark - is only more damning and more repulsive.

We should expect better, but sadly we cannot. The Republican Party is simply irredeemable. It has collapsed in on itself and jettisoned every espoused principle it ever claimed to have and embraced power-for-the-sake-of-power as its only creed and operating intent. There is nothing morally or ethically defensible in any of this. This isnít about immigration or national security or fiscal conservatism or anything else besides bald-faced cruelty for the sake of cruelty. It is about scoring points with a base that celebrates the suffering of its enemies.

As bad as this is, and it is very, very bad, the obviousness of the act can only be examined so long. It is the equivalent of debating the exact nature and tone of a blue sky. Objectively, we understand the blueness. We feel the blueness. We are repulsed by the overtness of the blueness. And if you need any more proof of exactly how sadistic these people are, how uncaring they can be, and how precisely and happily they wield brutality in order to curry favor or, even more disturbing, how much they must enjoy wielding that brutality, this moment should provide more than enough proof.

What we must talk about, however, is what these actions have revealed about our culture and where we stand. This unequivocal trespass should have been summarily decried.

But of course, it wasnít.

*snip*


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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Normalizing Cruelty: The Mainstreaming of Authoritarianism and What It Reveals (Original post)
Nevilledog Sep 18 OP
Just A Box Of Rain Sep 18 #1
Nevilledog Sep 18 #3
Just A Box Of Rain Sep 18 #5
Nevilledog Sep 18 #6
Just A Box Of Rain Sep 18 #8
Nevilledog Sep 18 #9
Just A Box Of Rain Sep 18 #11
Kingofalldems Sep 18 #7
Just A Box Of Rain Sep 18 #10
Kingofalldems Sep 18 #14
Just A Box Of Rain Sep 18 #15
Kingofalldems Sep 18 #16
Gaugamela Sep 18 #18
betsuni Sep 18 #13
Initech Sep 18 #2
Nevilledog Sep 18 #4
2naSalit Sep 18 #17
sanatanadharma Sep 18 #12
tenderfoot Sep 18 #19

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 02:40 PM

1. It is essential that we stand against populist authoritarianism; however,

attacks of this sort on the press work counterproductively to the maintenance of a free society.

The premise that the press is "normalizing" populist authoritarianism a is false one and too many making these false claims seem to be cozy with populist authoritarians on the "so-called" other end of the spectrum.

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Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 02:51 PM

3. Could you tell me what you're basing your opinion on?

I'd like some info about how the press is NOT normalizing populist authoritarianism.

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Response to Nevilledog (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:00 PM

5. You are asking me to prove a negative.

This story is being thoroughly covered in the press, as anyone who reads newspapers, listens to NPR, reads websites, or watches network or cable news shows is well-aware.

Let's not "normalize" attacks on the free press or try to shift the responsibility of actions of populist demagogues away from them on onto the media, as that is a dangerous road.

Keep the finger of blame on those responsible.

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Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:06 PM

6. It's how it's being covered.

I'd love to read articles that call it out for what it is versus a political stunt.

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Response to Nevilledog (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:12 PM

8. Ought not be difficult. The press is hardly "normalizing" the actions of Ron DeSantis.

Beware of those who want to deflect blame from the actions of authoritarian populists to attack a free press. That's a scary path.

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Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:15 PM

9. Those are separate issues.

The articles I'm seeing are not calling out the authoritarian dangers and are discussing these vile actions as political moves. That's on the media.

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Response to Nevilledog (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:17 PM

11. Not what I'm seeing and reading.

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Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:10 PM

7. What 'so called' other end of the spectrum are you talking about?

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:16 PM

10. Authoritarian populists like Maduro and Ortega who have the backing of groups like the

Democratic Socialists of America, and who are enemies of liberal democracy and (in the horseshoe spectrum of politics) have more in common with authoritarians on the right that with those who embrace liberal democracy.

Is that not entirely clear?

Normalizing authoritarian populism is a very bad idea.

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Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:28 PM

14. Weak comparison there.

Democratic Socialists of America has endorsed--Obama, Kerry, Bernie Sanders...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Socialists_of_America

Are you saying that these great Democrats are enemies of liberal democracy?

WTH are you talking about?

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #14)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:33 PM

15. Nice try.

The Communist Party USA has also "endorsed" Democrats, that doesn't make Obama or Biden a communist.

Please don't try to play such transparent tricks.

The DSA has full-throated backed authoritarian populist dictatorships. I stand opposed to the normalization of such regimes of the so-called far-right and far-left, which are more similar than they are different.

That's why I'm a liberal and a democrat/Democrat.

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Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #15)


Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 04:12 PM

18. Actually, you're just wrong:

From the DSA website:

We Support the Popular Movement

We believe that the Nicaraguan people have the right to make their own decisions about their future, free from interference from the U.S. or any other foreign power. We support the call of many in the country for the immediate resignation of Ortega and Murillo and for the democratic election of a new government. We also support calls for dialogue and for a peaceful transition to a new government.


https://www.dsausa.org/statements/dsa-statement-of-support-for-the-struggle-for-democracy-and-justice-in-nicaragua/

DSA on Venezuela:

Both the increasingly top-down Venezuelan government as well as the fractious Venezuelan opposition, which has at times resorted to anti-democratic methods, bear significant responsibility for the current crisis and there are important critiques to be leveled against both. As US socialists, we have a duty to do everything we can to stop US imperialism and make the world safe for democracy and socialism; however, our role as an organization should not be to intervene in the internal politics of Venezuela. Instead, we have a responsibility to use the leverage we have to intervene strategically in US foreign policy to help the Venezuelan people defend the gains made during Hugo ChŠvezís presidency.

To that end, we call upon the US government to immediately cease and desist all attempts to intervene in the internal politics of Venezuela and break with its shameful legacy of imperial control in the region. Further, we call upon DSA chapters and DSA supported political representatives to mobilize in this particularly critical moment around a campaign of solidarity with the Venezuelan people, aimed specifically at reversing the US governmentís disastrous and counterproductive sanctions against Venezuela.

Solidarity with the people of Venezuela! Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution!


https://www.dsausa.org/statements/dsa-statement-on-us-intervention-in-venezuela/



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Response to Just A Box Of Rain (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:28 PM

13. +1

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 02:50 PM

2. Follow the bullshit!

Fox News, AM talk radio, and megachurches are flinging big, steaming loads of bullshit 24 hours a day. What Desantis did this week was a political hit job intentionally designed to win points with the people who consume the bullshit. Until we start calling out these professional bullies, nothing will change.

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Response to Initech (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 02:52 PM

4. Important to remember also that reality is often behind a paywall....

While disinformation is free.

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Response to Nevilledog (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:47 PM

17. +1

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 03:17 PM

12. 21st century American-authoritarian normalizing of cruelty began with the cheerleaders of torture

The 21st century mainstreaming of American-authoritarian normalizing of cruelty began with the cheerleaders of torture.
That was when I knew the USA had crossed the Rubicon; self-identified Christians siding with the Roman torturers.
Moral-malignancy is the fallout of conservative values.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sun Sep 18, 2022, 11:17 PM

19. The criticism of the media is well deserved despite what the conservative trolls here tell you

They've spent the past 40 years trying to convince the public that cold-heartedness/sociopathy is a good thing, tried their best to sell Trumpism.

Thank you for the OP.

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