Trying and failing to imagine a peaceful end to polarization

Donald Trump, White supremacy, Voting rights, Militia

Barton Gellman’s article in the Atlantic is terrifying. It aligns perfectly with what I see around southwestern Pennsylvania. Donald Trump’s supporters are armed, dangerous, and committed; they exist in a burgeoning and unstoppable gun nuttery movement that has merged with a anti-abortion movement as part of an apparent merger of authoritarian populism, paleoconservatism, and social conservatism;[1] their participation in the militia movement is only barely the tip of the iceberg.[2]

Gellman pulls together a lot of strands showing how Trump’s supporters are increasingly well prepared to seize power, whether or not they actually win the election in 2024,[3] in a way that aligns with my own dire anticipation that this country is becoming an evangelical white nationalist country,[4] with only rhetorical opposition in a divided but functionally acquiescent Democratic Party that fails to earn people’s votes.[5]

Martin Pengelly, “Trump double negative: Twitter sees proof positive of no electoral fraud,” Guardian, December 5, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/05/trump-double-negative-twitter-electoral-fraud

Barton Gellman, “Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun,” Atlantic, December 6, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/january-6-insurrection-trump-coup-2024-election/620843/

Betsy Woodruff Swan and Meridith McGraw, “‘Absolute liars’: Ex-D.C. Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan. 6,” Politico, December 6, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/06/jan-6-generals-lied-ex-dc-guard-official-523777


Ukraine

Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s “Nightmare” Threat to Europe,” Puck News, December 6, 2021, https://puck.news/putins-nightmare-threat-to-europe/

Andrew Roth and Julian Borger, “US says it will send troops to eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine,” Guardian, December 6, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/06/us-says-it-will-send-troops-to-eastern-europe-if-russia-invades-ukraine

Peter Hartcher, “US can’t win two wars at once: Joe Biden’s worst nightmare,” Sydney Morning Herald, December 7, 2021, https://www.smh.com.au/national/us-can-t-win-two-wars-at-once-joe-biden-s-worst-nightmare-20211206-p59f4b.html

Ashley Parker, Isabelle Khurshudyan, and Seung Min Kim, “Biden, Putin discuss Ukraine in video call amid growing tensions,” Washington Post, December 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-putin-to-discuss-ukraine-in-video-call-amid-growing-tensions/2021/12/06/e089e36a-5707-11ec-a219-9b4ae96da3b7_story.html


Work

Judd Legum writes about wage theft.[6] I think every penny paid less than what minimum wage should be[7] is wage theft and that restitution is due, but even by legal standards, it seems wage theft is rampant.[8]

Judd Legum, “Want to be a criminal in America? Stealing billions is your best bet to go scot-free,” Guardian, December 7, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/07/want-to-be-a-criminal-in-america-stealing-billions-is-your-best-bet-to-go-scot-free


  1. [1]David Benfell, “The seven tendencies of conservatism,” Irregular Bullshit, n.d., https://disunitedstates.com/the-seven-tendencies-of-conservatism/
  2. [2]Barton Gellman, “Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun,” Atlantic, December 6, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/january-6-insurrection-trump-coup-2024-election/620843/; Robert A. Pape, “What an analysis of 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Capitol insurrection tells us,” Washington Post, April 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/06/capitol-insurrection-arrests-cpost-analysis/; Robert A. Pape and Keven Ruby, “The Capitol Rioters Aren’t Like Other Extremists,” Atlantic, February 2, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/02/the-capitol-rioters-arent-like-other-extremists/617895/
  3. [3]Barton Gellman, “Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun,” Atlantic, December 6, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/january-6-insurrection-trump-coup-2024-election/620843/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The revival of lynching,” Not Housebroken, November 23, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/20/the-revival-of-lynching/; David Benfell, “The danger that still remains,” Not Housebroken, November 24, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/24/the-danger-that-still-remains/; David Benfell, “How Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale moves from fiction to fact,” Not Housebroken, December 1, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/01/how-margaret-atwoods-the-handmaids-tale-moves-from-fiction-to-fact/; David Benfell, “On the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade,” Not Housebroken, December 2, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/02/on-the-likely-overturning-of-roe-v-wade/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, November 29, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/18/democrats-and-contradiction/
  6. [6]Judd Legum, “Want to be a criminal in America? Stealing billions is your best bet to go scot-free,” Guardian, December 7, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/07/want-to-be-a-criminal-in-america-stealing-billions-is-your-best-bet-to-go-scot-free
  7. [7]Dean Baker, “The $26 an Hour Minimum Wage,” Center for Economic Policy and Research, August 19, 2021, https://cepr.net/the-26-an-hour-minimum-wage/
  8. [8]Judd Legum, “Want to be a criminal in America? Stealing billions is your best bet to go scot-free,” Guardian, December 7, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/07/want-to-be-a-criminal-in-america-stealing-billions-is-your-best-bet-to-go-scot-free

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