Breaking the GOP Death Grip - What Other Countries Defying Authoritarianism Can Teach the US
Heidi Siegmund Cuda turns to countries in Europe, Central America, and Asia for examples of how to go on the offensive against the threat of rising authoritarianism.
There is an unsettling feeling in the US of a weary nation obeying in advance. We’re exhausted. Those in the trenches exposing information warfare for the past seven years are admittedly tired. We see the same plays over and over again. We expose them as Russian active measures trafficked by cells of white supremacists over and over again.
And each time, it’s like groundhog day, as another cynically staged horror event grabs the headlines. Americans then predictably divide between the shocked and the cheering, while a gal like me exposes the Kremlin-US Putinists pulling the strings.
Two years ago, I wrote about how the push for California to secede from the rest of the US was an operation run out of Moscow and championed by Russia’s favorite Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who also looped in the bad boys of Brexit Nigel Farage and Arron Banks.
And last year, I reported on the rolling insurrection, how Putin is waging a covert war against the West. It should be obvious by now, but our infospheres are so fragmented — divided between the mainstream and myriad rabbit holes — that we have no shared narrative of truth.
This is further complicated by the merger of the MAGA cult with the QAnon cult — a visit to Truth Social will clarify this point.
And as I write, Republican governors across the US are ramping up their war rhetoric against the Biden administration, as Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he will defy the US Supreme Court by continuing his installation of concertina wire at the US-Mexico border.
US support of Ukraine has been throttled by the GOP, which has refused to back continued aid to Ukraine by weaponizing immigration and border security policy, while rejecting policy offers by Democrats.
And of course, all this chaos benefits Vladimir Putin, whose war of annihilation in Ukraine is approaching its second year.
“It’s fascist theater,” said Jim Stewartson, the cohost of RADICALIZED Truth Survives, an investigative show on disinformation.
What should be the nation’s headlines — a strong economy, low unemployment, ongoing investments in infrastructure — are continually drowned out by loudening dog whistles for civil war.
Right-wing media is escalating civil war rhetoric in coordinated fashion after the Supreme Court ruled against Texas in the razor wire case. And on the extremist platform Rumble, the chatter of civil war is also escalating, according to data researchers.
America is a hot mess as social and legacy media appear to be in lock step with the GOP’s enabling of authoritarianism.
And yet, zooming out for a global view, it’s refreshing to see how other countries are offering examples of what the US could be doing to mobilize people in the direction of democracy.
Last week, we saw massive protests in multiple countries.
In Germany, huge crowds of protesters in multiple cities called for a ban on the extremist far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), after people learned AfD leaders discussed a “master plan” to deport migrants.
Such language harkened back to the Nazi era and people protested in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne, Leipzig, and Dresden, throwing AfD leadership into chaos.
In Slovakia, thousands of people joined burgeoning street protests across the country to show their defiance of pro-Russian Prime Minister Robert Fico’s move to abolish the special prosecutor’s office which oversees cases of corruption, organized crime and extremism — reminiscent of moves made by Putin when he came to power.