1. United States
  2. Texas
  3. Letter


To: Sen. Cruz, Rep. Pfluger, Sen. Cornyn

From: A verified voter in Mason, TX

May 26

Greetings. I am a voting constituent in rural west Texas. I write these letters as a form of diary for myself. I expect no one actually reads them. But history has shown that the daily entries of ordinary people can tell a story. So I’m telling a story of myself, by myself, for myself. What we’re reading and watching… Creeping fascist language and intent, and our ability to adapt, and deny. “The disavowal is part of the game, says Jason Stanley, a Yale philosophy professor who specializes in the rhetoric of fascism. “You do it and then you deny it and it’s just systematic, over and over and over again,” he told me in a phone call. “The people who want to hear it hear it, and it signals the direction you want to go in.” And for those uncomfortable with the extremism, the denial provides “a way of lying to themselves and telling themselves this is not what’s really going on.” “From Nazi Germany to Viktor Orban’s Hungary, Stanley says, people invariably thought the rhetoric of the rising authoritarian was exaggerated and just for dramatic effect. “Historically, people always, always don’t take it seriously,” he said. “Perhaps they don’t realize that Trump is deploying the exact same tropes — against migrants, judges, gender nonconforming people, universities, the media, “Marxists” — now being used by autocrats in Russia, India and Hungary. “If you look at what Trump is saying … everywhere in the world the authoritarians are saying that.” And yet we drift, placidly, into autocracy. Okay, Trump is unifying the Reich. But Biden is so old!” Dana Milbank “Americans are not the first to live in a state of collective denial. Authoritarians have often told us what they are going to do, but people have rarely believed them, or they have felt that since they didn’t fit the profile of those the autocrat was targeting, they wouldn’t be affected. Later, when it came their turn to be harassed or persecuted, it was too late to do much about it.” Ruth Ben-Ghiat Some of us believe it when we hear it. And we’re shocked. We do not accept it as par for politics. We see it as the dangerous, pervasive propaganda that it is, no matter how much we’d like to shrug, deny, and move on. The acceptance of this as normal is the beginning of the end for democracy. And all it takes to be defeated is for good men and women to speak out. Lastly… “For all Trump’s braggadocio, it may be that he just isn’t all that bright, cannot think strategically beyond the moment and lacks any common sense. Without aides or family members empowered to stop him from missteps, he racks up the blunders. And perhaps like a good many bullies, he really does fear taking a punch.” Jennifer Rubin Please don’t let this guy be the one to take down our democracy.

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