David Roberts+ Your Authors @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Oct. 26, 2018 1 min read + Your Authors

The violence is not an accidental byproduct of the rhetoric. It's the point. Violence increases fear, inspires backlash, and justifies further violence. Stoking tensions until authorities are "forced" to crack down on civil liberties is the oldest trick in the book.

Every authoritarian gets this, even if only at a brainstem level. That's why Trump has done the minimum possible calming of fears & is right back to winking at the violence. That his followers have gotten a little overenthusiastic does not strike him as a problem. Why would it?

You really can't understand politics without understanding that a) reactionaries tend to be more sensitive to threat, and b) anxiety/stress tend to make everyone more reactionary. Fear is their constant companion & their best political friend.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201612/fear-and-anxiety-drive-conservatives-political-attitudes 

The lobbyists & lawmakers talk regs & taxes, but at the base level, GOP politics has become 100% about fear: immigrants, hollywood & DC elites, foreign countries, queers, uppity women, college students, muslims, inner-city blacks, Jewish financiers, Dems coming to take yr guns...

... the only way to reassert control over a threatening world, in which multiple interlocking nefarious forces are out to get you, is to arm up & strike first. Otherwise the invading hordes of brown immigrants & mobs of unruly antifa libs get too big & all is lost.

Fear & resentment fuel the machine, and they are also its products. It's a self-reinforcing cycle and the last thing Trump would feel motivated to do is tamp it down. It's all unfolding according to script. He wants to get to the end, faster!

You can follow @drvox.


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