TThe American right has been intoxicated by the freedom of two types of inhibition since Donald Trump appeared to guide them to the promised land of their unleashed identifiers. One is the inhibition of lies, the other of violence. Both are ways in which members of civil society typically limit their own actions out of respect for the rights of others and the collective good. These already forced boundaries have taken hold of major Republican figures, from Tucker Carlson on Fox News to Ted Cruz in the Senate and his supporters.
We’ve seen those followers sink deceptions from Pizzagate to Qanon to the coveted denial of Trump’s electoral lies. And assaulting journalists, colliding with vehicles and attacking guns on Black Lives Matter and other anti-racist protesters at least from Charlottesville, threaten state houses, issue threats to doctors and school boards testifying about public health and plot the kidnapping of Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, to impose Covid prevention protocols.
The Texas abortion law that the right-wing supreme court has just smiled, despite violating precedents, is characterized by violence and lying. The very language of the law is a familiar lie, in which six-week-old embryos are called fetuses and a heartbeat is attributed to the cluster of cells that is not yet a heart that does not yet feed a circulatory system. .
Behind it are other lies, in which women have abortions because they are reckless, disproportionate and insensitive, rather than, in the large number of cases, due to failure of birth control, coercive sex or medical problems, including threats to maternal health or an unviable pregnancy and financial problems, including the responsibility of existing children.
But the novelty of the Texas bill is its invitation to its residents to become vigilantes, bounty hunters, and scammers. This will probably cause a woman to suspect that she is pregnant in a horrible state of secrecy, because absolutely anyone can take advantage of her condition and anyone who helps her, from the driver to the doctor, is responsible. It makes pregnancy a crime, as it is likely to lead to an additional criminalization of even the significant percentage of pregnancies that end in miscarriage. It will lead women, particularly the undocumented, the poor, the young, those who are under the thumbs of abusive spouses or families, to die in life-threatening pregnancies, illicit abortions, or suicide out of desperation. A vigilante who goes to look for a woman is willing to see her die.
The right’s stance on abortion is often treated as a contradiction by a political sector that sings in praise of the free freedom to do whatever you want, including carrying semi-automatic weapons in public and spreading a sometimes deadly virus. But, like the attack on voting rights in Texas that occurs simultaneously with the attack on reproductive rights, it is, of course, about extending freedom for some while fading for others. Attacks on reproductive rights aim to make women free and unequal; attacks on voting rights try to make people of color free and unequal; women of color receive a double dose.
This is the logical result of a party that, a few decades ago, looked at an increasingly non-white country and decided to try to suppress the votes of people of color instead of winning them. Not only the Democratic Party, but democracy is its enemy. In this system in which some animals are more equal than others, some have the right to determine the truth more than others, and facts, science, and history are, moreover, the chains that must be let go in search of your favorite version of reality. that you enforce through domination, including direct violence.
What was the January 6 coup attempt, but was this practice important? A mountain of lies was used about the outcome of the election to attack a vigilant crowd not only against Congress, but against ratification of election results and death threats against Vice President and President Pelosi. Their violent violence was extraordinary, mostly middle-aged mostly white, mostly men, trying to remove eyeballs and step on their feet as they screamed and sprayed bear spray on the faces of those guarding the building and the elected positions within and elections. .
Its leaders produced lies that provoked violence, lies to justify such violence, lies to deny the existence of such violence, and then lies to provoke more violence. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who on his own furiously begged Trump to overthrow the attackers, has since tried to sabotage the investigation into what happened.
As reported by the New York Times this week: “Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House, has threatened retaliation against any company that complies with the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot after the group asked dozens of companies to keep the phone and social media records of 11 far-right members of Congress who lobbied to overturn the results of the 2020 elections. ”Try to prevent Congress and the public from knowing what has happened.What you might also call a crime in public, and its threats can become crimes.
Madison Cawthorn, a first-year congressman from North Carolina, who appeared on stage on Jan. 6 to whip the crowd, calls riot police “political prisoners” and continues to lie about the outcome of the 2020 election, saying: , continue to be stolen, will lead to a place and that’s bloodshed. ”Cawthorne, as Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, as Judges Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, whose votes established Texas abortion law Wednesday , have been charged with sexual misconduct.
Although men across the political spectrum are accused of similar crimes – Andrew Cuomo’s conduct led to New York becoming the first female governor last month – in the Republican case it is not an ideological inconsistency. The ideological premise is that one’s own rights matter so much that the rights of others do not matter at all, and that it goes from the violation of the policy of masks and vaccines to the proliferation of guns and gun deaths in recent years.
There is no clear way to know if the right is encouraged because it has achieved so many things in the last five years or if it is increasingly desperate because it has a wild bet, but it seems like both at once. If the United States defends its democracy, as it is, and protects the voting rights of all eligible adults, the right will continue to be a shrinking minority. Its only chance to overthrow that requires overthrowing democracy itself. This is one of the goals for which they are willing to use violence and no longer worry about lying.