Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). I tweet about the law, books, politics, and history. All my threads are here as blog entries: t.co/vdLoEAoLvv Mar. 21, 2019 3 min read


@QueenieG2017 asked me to predict where we’re heading, and talk about strategies.

We have a two part problem (1) work through the current authoritarian moment and (2) find a better way of dealing with the 1/3 of the population that . . .

1/ . . . that will never feel comfortable in a liberal democracy.

By “authoritarian moment” I mean what @JonHaidt and @karen_stenner describe here👇

In a nutshell, liberal democracy tends to become more diverse and complex. . .

2/ Liberalism, for example, seeks to expand voting rights to all people, which creates diversity.

The growing diversity creates fears in persons with “authoritarian” dispositions (this has also been called “anti-democratic personality). . .

3/ The growing diversity triggers fears in authoritarian persons, creating a backlash, or “authoritarian moment.”

We’re in one of those right now. It’s a big one.

For perspective, when Hitler came to power, Berlin had become very diverse.

4/ Jews mingled freely with Germans, there was an openly gay community, etc. Hitler came to power with 1/3 of the vote—the people riled about these “impurities."

Yes, it's all about diversity 👇

OK, so, how do we get out of this authoritarian moment?

5/ A decisive win for Dems in 2020 is crucial. Everyone should start working on that now.

Best scenario: Whatever comes out of the investigations is so damning that Trump’s approval drops back to 36% and stays there long enough for the GOP to fall apart.

6/ Trump’s base will never abandon him, but the GOP could split. Some opposed to Trump, others supporting him.

A divided GOP will result in a 2020 bloodbath.

Similarly, if the GOP remains united behind a candidate with 36%, we can expect a bloodbath (bigger than the midterms)

7/ However, if everything I documented here:  https://russia-investigation-summary.com/crimes/ 
and here:  https://russia-investigation-summary.com 
wasn’t enough to knock Trump below 40%, he may be able to employ his usual defense X strategies: Undermine the investigations, keep people confused, play victim . . .

8/. . . play “whatabout” etc., etc., so that he remains close to 40%👇

Some people have the idea that indictments are a quick fix. They are not. They're the start of a lengthy procedure. We have a presumption of innocence. Guilt is proven at trial. . .

9/ A trial directly implicating Trump will be a media circus and Trump will spin it as political.

Impeachment may not be a quick fix for reasons I've explained elsewhere. Impeachment without removal (in the Senate) could allow Trump to spin it as a victory.

10/ A decisive win in 2020 will allow for rapid change.

It took FDR less than a decade to end the Great Depression, end the outrageous income inequality from the 1920s, and create (for the first time in American history) a strong middle class.

11/ Social scientists tell us that about 1/3 of the population will never feel comfortable in a liberal democracy 👇

Which brings me to the second problem: Dealing with that 1/3 so that this doesn’t happen again.

12/ After the rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1930s, people took steps to make sure we wouldn’t have another fascist uprising. I think one of those steps was teaching in school that Nazism and fascism and white supremacy are bad.

Those steps obviously didn’t work.

13/ The Nazi and KKK sympathizers never went away. They went underground where they were just as dangerous.

If a person has an authoritarian personality, there isn't much they can do about it, and we need ways to deal with that.

From Prof. Stenner's website:

14/ A handful of academics, including @karen_stenner, who pioneered the research into the authoritarian personality have ideas for how to better work with the authoritarians in our midsts to prevent another authoritarian moment that threatens to undermine US democracy.

15/ Once we get through this, I hope such social scientists will show the way to deal better with those who will never live comfortably in a liberal democracy, and will constantly seek to undermine our liberal institutions (I am using “liberal” in the classic sense👇)


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