Before we get into it, I want to mention an update on the Elon Musk Twitter front. Elon doesn’t seem to be as big of a free speech fan as he professes, I know…shocker.
Yesterday he banned Elonjet, a Twitter account that tracks his private jet, and today he is suspending journalists who cover him. I believe it’s 8 journalists so far, people like Aaron Rupar and Ryan Mac from the New York times. He even suspended his leading competitor, Mastodon.
I mention this because it’s really the perfect segway into our topic today, authoritarianism and the Republican Party.
I know my Maga listeners will quickly clap back saying, (funny voice) but liberals are forcing us to use pronouns, and that’s exactly the point. Fighting the propaganda in this country that is conservative media is, to put it lightly, an uphill battle.
Conservative talk radio hosts, influencers, Fox news and all of its new rival media outlets, the list goes on. This network is so widespread and largely on the same page. They have their MAGA army so twisted up in angry echo chamber gaslighting, that it makes it nearly impossible to get through to people.
Notice I said nearly.
The top target of late is the trans community, and it works, which is terrifying. We’re talking violence and widespread threats of violence. Profiles like @libsoftiktok are calling out people individually and ruining their lives. Many have had to move, change numbers, and ditch their online presence because the threat to their lives has become too overwhelming.
And Republican lawmakers are carrying the torch on this, but banning any record of them and stopping kids and parents from pursuing lifesaving treatment.
See, their primary focus is always the weakest among us, like authoritarians throughout history. Pro trans public policy issues don’t poll very well so these right wing media outlets and Republican lawmakers see it as an opportunity.
This is then spilling over and resurrecting the culture war issues of the last century.
Most naturally, to the rest of the LGBT community. Careless use of terms like groomer, and targeting Drag shows puts a perception umbrella over this entire community. And once again, Republican lawmakers feel empowered, and we see them reigniting Gay Marriage fights.
If this was it, we might all be able to focus our attention and stop this ugliness in its tracks. But we can’t, because were being overwhelmed by authoritarianism across the board.
The Dobbs decision was a huge wakeup call for so many. But for so many on both sides. I think you could safely say that the pro-life movement was slowly withering away, but this decision has enflamed their passion and given them new hope. We’ll now have to fight them state by state to make sure we protect women’s reproductive rights.
Now let me pause for a minute and mention again how the right is successfully carrying this authoritarian agenda. Most people don’t have time to do what I do, and prepare lengthy podcasts on these subjects. So the right oversimplifies and gaslights. Because the truth is, polling is NOT their favor on most of these issues so when that’s the case they draw your attention somewhere, and this brings us back to our friend elon musk.
There not the authoritarians, we are for attacking their right to free speech. So when we call out their bullshit and they are doing exactly what they are doing, they turn that around and say we are tyrannical and we can’t accept someone else’s opinion. Even if that opinion translates to oppression, we are the oppressive ones.
Now none of this is new, but we are at another tipping point. Look at the George floyd protests, like its predecessor in the 60’s. It’s the protesters who are oppressive, because they are protesting and it’s scary. Completely ignoring the fact that they are protesting oppression.
Imagine if this logic was used in WW2. It’s the British who were oppressive, not Nazi’s because they were who just trying to give them some stability and law and order.
What all of this has turned into, is a law and order culture of which half the country takes part. And the danger if this, is that it will spill over into policy areas we aren’t even paying attention to.
The perfect example of this is homelessness. We know, thanks to extensive studies, that the housing first model works.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, housing first is the idea that you give people shelter before you tackle other issues because this is the biggest lift. It costs about twice as much to leave someone on the street as it does to house them.
Permanent supportive housing, which is housing for the chronically homeless, actually improves the property values of the surrounding community, and usually has upwords of a 95% retention rate.
Point being, it works. It gets people off the streets in a human way, saving their lives, and lowers crime rates and improves the community.
But this law and order culture is now pushing back on this model. For instance, the so-called Democratic Mayor of New York Eric Adams, wants to buck the science and lock these folks up against their will .
Locally, I see this even in California, conservative communities that were once persuaded by the science of the housing first model are now pushing back and embracing extreme NIMBYism. NIMBY meaning not in my backyard for those unfamiliar.
In addition, the backlash to the “defund the police” movement, is now moving police departments back to the old mentality of adding more officers to crack down on crime.
This is an epidemic, and it’s infecting every part of our society. Teachers are being targeted, doctors, scientists, academics. It’s all very daunting and scary because many of our friends and family are also infected.
But for those of you who have listened to me before, you know I never lose hope. We can’t push back on this with Anger, and we play right into their hands.
As cheesy at it sounds, love is the answer. And is the only thing that can recapture hearts and minds and overcome fear.
Most of the people who are being persuaded by this authoritarian culture are not bad people. They are simply filled with fear. We need to take a stand again with every one of these targeted groups, and go after authoritarian leaders with ferocity. But winning means swaying our friends and family, and you do this with love.
Thank you for listening, everyone. Please subscribe and visit my website tonycapitelli.org. Any help you can give me, even if it’s just subscribing to my email list, is much appreciated. Thank you.Follow Tony