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Oct 13 - Harvard BX Member: “To keep power Republicans want to end democracy”



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 5 days ago '17        #1
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Lazy 
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Oct 13 - Harvard BX Member: “To keep power Republicans want to end democracy”
 

 
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It can happen here. The "it" ought to be obvious by now: an authoritarian or even fascist regime in the United States. That was a big reason why Harvard professor Steven Levitsky, along with his colleague Daniel Ziblatt, published the 2018 book "How Democracies Die." They wanted to warn Americans of the dangerous signs they saw in Donald Trump's presidency that followed the authoritarian playbook.

So where are we now in terms of our democracy? I spoke with Levitsky recently for Salon Talks, and here's one line that really stood out: Levitsky told me, "Five years ago I would have laughed you out of the room if you suggested our democracy could die." But today, he added, we see the Republican Party apparently focused on breaking our democracy. In a nutshell, Levitsky believes the threat to our democracy is more acute today than when Trump was in the White House, since the GOP is desperate to retain its fading power in the face of hostile demographic change.

Levitsky describes today's GOP as "clearly an authoritarian party." Worse yet, it's no longer all about Trump. He sees the GOP continuing on its anti-democratic path for years to come, saying that even the contested term "fascist" is becoming more defensible given the GOP's defense or denial of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

You can watch my Salon Talks episode here, or read a transcript of our conversation below to hear Levitsky's suggestions about how Democrats can strengthen our democracy while they still control the White House and Congress, and why that might involve progressive swallowing some of their policy goals.

As always, the following interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

In 2018, when your book "How Democracies Die" came out, on a scale from zero to 10 — with 10 being the most dire concerns about our democracy and zero being, no, everything's fine — where were we then in terms of your concern about our democracy?

I would say if 10 is most concerned, we were at five or six. We wrote the book because we were concerned. We wrote the book because we saw warning signs. But where I'm going is that I think we were too optimistic because we blamed the Republican Party for dropping the ball and allowing Donald Trump, a demagogue, an authoritarian demagogue, to be nominated. We thought they should have broken with Trump in defense of democracy. They obviously didn't. But we believed at the time — not long ago, three years ago — that the bulk of the Republican Party was minimally committed to small-D democracy.

We believed there was a faction in the Republican Party, particularly in the Senate, that would be able and willing to draw a line that they wouldn't let Trump cross. And we were wrong about that. The speed and the extent to which the Republican Party has been Trumpified is way beyond anything that we expected.

It's enough to have an authoritarian president — that's threatening. One of the two major parties has now basically given up on playing by democratic rules of the game. That's a new level of threat. And so now I would say— it's hard to put a number, but I would say seven or eight.

I'm afraid to see what nine looks like, if this is seven or eight. You mention in your book the idea of using democratic methods to save our democracy, one being the election. The idea was that defeating Trump through the election might help preserve our democratic institutions. I imagine you could never have predicted what Trump would have done after losing the election, or what happened on Jan. 6. So even though we had a democratic election, are democratic institutions actually weaker now, after November 2020?

Let me answer that in two parts. First of all, we did have elections as an escape hatch, and we used them. And it's a damn good thing we did. We would be much, much worse off had Trump managed to retain the presidency and stay in power for four years. The fact that we sent him to Mar-a-Lago is very important, and shouldn't be understated. Now that said, I don't predict things accurately very well. One thing I did predict, I knew would happen.

I knew that Donald Trump would not accept the results of the election. What I did not anticipate is that the vast bulk of the Republican Party would go along with it. And of course, I didn't anticipate anything remotely like Jan. 6. So yes, things have gotten much worse, because not only has the Big Lie taken hold among the vast bulk of the Republican Party, to the point where you can't be a member of the Republican Party in good standing if you don't adhere to the Big Lie.

And they're acting upon that, right? They are now taking steps in various important states — Texas, Arizona, Georgia — to make it easier to overturn an election. So I think there's a good chance that the Republican Party, not just Donald Trump but the Republican Party, tries to overturn the results of the 2024 election. And that is, again, a worse place than we were a few years ago. But we would be even worse off had Trump remained in power.

If Trump ever got back in office, I don't know if he would ever leave. If you look at the GOP now from an academic point of view, how would you describe it? People throw around terms: It's autocratic, it's fascist. But how do you look at it?

I think ideologically it has evolved into something fairly similar to European far-right parties. It's primarily an ethno-nationalist nativist party. It is essentially preserving the identity of a white Christian America, and that is fairly similar to what we describe as far-right parties in Europe. The thing about far-right parties in Europe is they win 12, 15, 17, 18 percent of the vote and they're at the margins of politics. At best, they're a junior partner in a coalition government, but mostly they're in opposition. So they're kind of at the margins throwing rocks at the boat of the system, but they're not in power. There's no country, no established democracy in the world, with the exception of India, in which one major party is an extremist ethno-nationalist party.
visit this link https://www.salon.com/202 .. ard-professor/


Last edited by Lazy; 10-13-2021 at 04:33 PM..
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108 comments
 

 5 days ago '12        #2
OldBusiness  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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Crazy thing is neither sides really doing sh*t with that 'power' other than just keeping their friends rich.

America needs a revolution, and not one in support of the democrat or republican party - but the people will never wake up.

The two parties have literally got both sides happy to see the half of the country fail as if it doesn't affect them, their communities, their states/counties/cities etc.

Hell even I've taken part in making fun of seeing red leaning initiatives fail...but so did some of the Romans when they were watching their empire crumble and they thought they were 'proving a point'. We see how that turned out, and America isn't somehow 'protected' from seeing that happen like folks believe. A nation being around for a little over 200+ years isn't really that big of a deal and kind of just a speck of dust in the history of our planets civilization.

Too bad we're so far up our own a*s we don't care to see it.
+57   

 5 days ago '04        #3
gh3tto 
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saying that even the contested term "fascist" is becoming more defensible given the GOP's defense or denial of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
you cant gaslight the willing foxnews viewers actively seek out lies

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 5 days ago '07        #4
Damagegadget  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
Props total: 57541 57 K  Slaps total: 7315 7 K
 OldBusiness said
Crazy thing is neither sides really doing sh*t with that 'power' other than just keeping their friends rich.

America needs a revolution, and not one in support of the democrat or republican party - but the people will never wake up.

The two parties have literally got both sides happy to see the half of the country fail as if it doesn't affect them, their communities, their states/counties/cities etc.

Hell even I've taken part in making fun of seeing red leaning initiatives fail...but so did some of the Romans when they were watching their empire crumble and they thought they were 'proving a point'. We see how that turned out, and America isn't somehow 'protected' from seeing that happen like folks believe. A nation being around for a little over 200+ years isn't really that big of a deal and kind of just a speck of dust in the history of our planets civilization.

Too bad we're so far up our own a*s we don't care to see it.
Exactly these democrats just use it to garner votes.. they are not prosecuting anything but citizens


I see more and more I should aspire to be a politician.. no qualifications and literally just show up to point fingers
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 5 days ago '16        #5
mw2889 
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How are people still falling for this Democrat/Republican thing?
+25   

 5 days ago '15        #6
Lord Funkington 
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 OldBusiness said
Crazy thing is neither sides really doing sh*t with that 'power' other than just keeping their friends rich.

America needs a revolution, and not one in support of the democrat or republican party - but the people will never wake up.

The two parties have literally got both sides happy to see the half of the country fail as if it doesn't affect them, their communities, their states/counties/cities etc.

Hell even I've taken part in making fun of seeing red leaning initiatives fail...but so did some of the Romans when they were watching their empire crumble and they thought they were 'proving a point'. We see how that turned out, and America isn't somehow 'protected' from seeing that happen like folks believe. A nation being around for a little over 200+ years isn't really that big of a deal and kind of just a speck of dust in the history of our planets civilization.

Too bad we're so far up our own a*s we don't care to see it.
It is kind of fascinating watching incoming politicians wipe out policies of the previous administration if they were in opposite parties. It's like Americans are perfectly fine coasting on this "we're numer one" idea. There's very little concern of actually making the country as a whole better, but to some extent that's kind of understandable. Hundreds of millions of people live here and being an American means different things to a lot of them.
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 5 days ago '17        #7
Ymmot  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5
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 Lord Funkington said
It is kind of fascinating watching incoming politicians wipe out policies of the previous administration if they were in opposite parties. It's like Americans are perfectly fine coasting on this "we're numer one" idea. There's very little concern of actually making the country as a whole better, but to some extent that's kind of understandable. Hundreds of millions of people live here and being an American means different things to a lot of them.
The trumpers/Republicans are holding us all hostage at this point. I think a lot of people are ready to vote 3rd or other party, but there's a fear that enough stupid people will still vote for trump or someone like him. I really don't want to vote for Biden or Kamala in 2024. I haven't voted for an establishment candidate other than Hillary in a primary ever; and I only voted for Hillary because I didn't want trump in 2016.
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 5 days ago '18        #8
0msoc 
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The fact that people can think Donny Ballbag was a staunch authoritarian and, at the same time, think Joey Basement is somehow less authoritarian, is worrisome. Too many citizens of voting age, and soon-to-be voting age, have their beliefs validated by mainstream information outlets for any real organic and objective discourse to be had. 250 years isn't bad. We're here for a good time, not a long time, as they say.
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 5 days ago '21        #9
Swisha2k11 
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 OldBusiness said
Crazy thing is neither sides really doing sh*t with that 'power' other than just keeping their friends rich.

America needs a revolution, and not one in support of the democrat or republican party - but the people will never wake up.

The two parties have literally got both sides happy to see the half of the country fail as if it doesn't affect them, their communities, their states/counties/cities etc.

Hell even I've taken part in making fun of seeing red leaning initiatives fail...but so did some of the Romans when they were watching their empire crumble and they thought they were 'proving a point'. We see how that turned out, and America isn't somehow 'protected' from seeing that happen like folks believe. A nation being around for a little over 200+ years isn't really that big of a deal and kind of just a speck of dust in the history of our planets civilization.

Too bad we're so far up our own a*s we don't care to see it.
In order for Americans to be radicalized enough to engage in a revolutionary struggle material conditions would have to change in a real way for the middle-class...I believe that's the impetus for change ...

In other words, a person that's perpetually poor (or working-class) is already conditioned to think that's just the way life is...

However,
Some marketing manager in Chicago that's pulling 80k a year would have to have his life changed drastically (bankruptcy, inflation, financial collapse etc) in order for him to be fed-up enough to want see real tangible change.

Do you think we're even that close?
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 5 days ago '04        #10
CentsCuZ  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Requiring you to show an ID or even show up to a voting location to vote is "ending democracy" now lol

The reason they're mad is because it's going to be a lot harder to pump $500 million into a few counties in a few swing states that are heavily one party, then illegally mass pool the "votes" and transport them to counting centers with the new rules in place.

They're also worried because dude's approval percentage is in the 30s with congressional elections about a year away. They just had a seat in Iowa flipped on them to Republican, and the fear is setting in with the writing on the wall.
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 5 days ago '18        #11
Bleequez5900 
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Idont get how people still do this “republicans r evil” sh*t. Its so much democrat fu*k sh*t tht has happened in the last 20 yrs that i would be typin on my phone for an hour. Everything they say trump was doin is what biden is doin now. Do people not remember when kamala amd biden said they wouldnt trust any vaccine trump said was ok


Last edited by Bleequez5900; 10-13-2021 at 10:55 PM..
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 5 days ago '18        #12
Kodack sixnine  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x63
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We going to be moving to communism or fascism soon enough
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 5 days ago '04        #13
GUCCI C0ND0MS 
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 Bleequez5900 said
Idont get how people still do this “republicans r evil” sh*t. Its so much democrat fu*k sh*t tht has happened in the last 20 yrs that i would be typin on my phone for an hour. Everything they say trump was doin is what biden is doin now. Do people not remember when kamala amd biden said they wouldnt trust any vaccine trump said was ok
Exactly. All of the accusations democrats hurl at republicans are in reality just a projection of what they're actually doing. Remember when democrats accused Trump of being an authoritarian? Well, now you actually have Biden enacting fascist policies like experimental "vaccine" mandates. The thing that's so disgusting is Biden is now taking things even further with experimental "vaccine" mandates on little children. It makes me sick to my stomach just to think about forcing a little kid to inject that poison into their body.


Last edited by GUCCI C0ND0MS; 10-14-2021 at 12:47 AM..
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 5 days ago '12        #14
OldBusiness  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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 Swisha2k11 said
In order for Americans to be radicalized enough to engage in a revolutionary struggle material conditions would have to change in a real way for the middle-class...I believe that's the impetus for change ...

In other words, a person that's perpetually poor (or working-class) is already conditioned to think that's just the way life is...

However,
Some marketing manager in Chicago that's pulling 80k a year would have to have his life changed drastically (bankruptcy, inflation, financial collapse etc) in order for him to be fed-up enough to want see real tangible change.

Do you think we're even that close?
.
Great post, extremely thoughtful, dead serious.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd
Hell no. Its a nation where regardless of what your background is and/or your situation..The average American is too enamored with the idea of possibly being like their masters and/or folks here worship the very people who oppress them the most.

Hell they told us we had 40 million newly unemployed and/or experiencing a reduction and all the people did was flock to the store to buy toilet paper. Could you imagine the impact the world would feel if 40 million people and their families/neighbors/communities here in America actually stood together on something...but nope

Chris Rock had a special where in one of his jokes he talked about how the guy working the door at the theater he was doing his special would rather "Ride that White thing on out" than switch lives with a wealthy black man....I feel like that joke was quite possibly some of the realest sh*t a comedian has said about how people are stuck thinking the life they have is the one thats going to take them to the promised land, as opposed to seeking better conditions out here.


Last edited by OldBusiness; 10-13-2021 at 11:09 PM..
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 5 days ago '05        #15
4REAL  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x4
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The "Republicans are evil arguments" doesn't work in 2021 unless you are a hardcore Democrat shill. We have a Democrat in office now and we see the division and destruction that he's caused in under a year of his presidency. These partisan talking points against Republicans don't hit like how they did once upon a time. Of course, the Democrat fratboys on this site will come here and try to argue differently, but the veil has really been lifted this time around with the horrible job that Biden is doing. I'm happy to see many black people slowly waking up from the con of Democrats being good guys and Republicans being bad guys. None of these parties are for the interest of black people or for anybody in general.

The difference is we can at least get an idea of where the Republicans stand as Republicans are more direct and less covert about how they feel. You don't usually see Republicans try to cater to the black vote, whereas Democrats sweet talk black people and talk about pushing policies around election time only to get in office and become lapdogs for pharmaceutical agencies and use our tax dollars to relocate refugees from other parts of the world like Afghanistan when the people at home are suffering and still need a*sistance.
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 5 days ago '06        #16
bigmike5115 
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 mw2889 said
How are people still falling for this Democrat/Republican thing?
Lol it's ridiculous. People are getting dumber by the day
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 5 days ago '04        #17
xbossxplayax 
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u can call them republicans or democrats all you want. all i see is powers that be and the rest. those that have power will want to maintain that power at all cost, thats just our human nature. no "genuinely good and wise" being will want to govern for the best interest of the masses, when the power can be garnered and made exclusive to only a few
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 5 days ago '11        #18
SomeOnesoN  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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 CentsCuZ said
Requiring you to show an ID or even show up to a voting location to vote is "ending democracy" now lol

The reason they're mad is because it's going to be a lot harder to pump $500 million into a few counties in a few swing states that are heavily one party, then illegally mass pool the "votes" and transport them to counting centers with the new rules in place.
Where does gerrymandering fit in all this? I feel like that's one of the many things holding us back from having free and fair elections at the county/state level.
+1   

 5 days ago '15        #19
Lord Funkington 
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 Ymmot said
The trumpers/Republicans are holding us all hostage at this point. I think a lot of people are ready to vote 3rd or other party, but there's a fear that enough stupid people will still vote for trump or someone like him. I really don't want to vote for Biden or Kamala in 2024. I haven't voted for an establishment candidate other than Hillary in a primary ever; and I only voted for Hillary because I didn't want trump in 2016.
Honestly don't think I can sit through another Biden/Trump debate. I think it would be wild if they both didn't run and left the gates wide open to an actual three party race. Young and innovative candidates step in and actually run a thought-provoking and honest campaign. If Biden or Trump REALLY cared about the people they'd bow out in 2024 and give us the election we need. I can dream.
+6   

 5 days ago '08        #20
litdes 
Props total: 6991 6 K  Slaps total: 427 427
 OldBusiness said
Crazy thing is neither sides really doing sh*t with that 'power' other than just keeping their friends rich.

America needs a revolution, and not one in support of the democrat or republican party - but the people will never wake up.

The two parties have literally got both sides happy to see the half of the country fail as if it doesn't affect them, their communities, their states/counties/cities etc.

Hell even I've taken part in making fun of seeing red leaning initiatives fail...but so did some of the Romans when they were watching their empire crumble and they thought they were 'proving a point'. We see how that turned out, and America isn't somehow 'protected' from seeing that happen like folks believe. A nation being around for a little over 200+ years isn't really that big of a deal and kind of just a speck of dust in the history of our planets civilization.

Too bad we're so far up our own a*s we don't care to see it.
It’s all WWF bruh that’s why I despise politics! Idc what side you on if you ain’t got capital there’s a capitalist exploiting you some how some way
+3   

 5 days ago '08        #21
Lot17 
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 GUCCI C0ND0MS said
Exactly. All of the accusations democrats hurl at republicans are in reality just a projection of what they're actually doing. Remember when democrats accused Trump of being an authoritarian? Well, now you actually have Biden enacting fascist policies like experimental "vaccine" mandates. The thing that's so disgusting is Biden is now taking things even further with experimental "vaccine" mandates on little children. It makes me sick to my stomach just to think about forcing a little kid to inject that postion into their body.
Yep and that whole any employer with over 100 employees has to have their workforce vaccinated or show negative result every week. Like wtf is that, how is that not authoritarian.

This two party system is a joke
+2   

 5 days ago '17        #22
ImIHM 
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 Lot17 said
Yep and that whole any employer with over 100 employees has to have their workforce vaccinated or show negative result every week. Like wtf is that, how is that not authoritarian.

This two party system is a joke
Because people have blind faith in their guy. They’re so preoccupied with thinking about how bad Trump was they don’t see the repercussions of allowing things like this to go on.

You bring this up and the first thing that is said “But Trump…” as if that even matters. They gave them an enemy to focus their anger at and it worked. So I can’t even be mad at any party. I’m mad at the people who fall for it. If a perceived pandemic and plague k*lling everyone isn’t enough to wake people up then I’m afraid we are done here
+1   

 5 days ago '18        #23
Bleequez5900 
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 GUCCI C0ND0MS said
Exactly. All of the accusations democrats hurl at republicans are in reality just a projection of what they're actually doing. Remember when democrats accused Trump of being an authoritarian? Well, now you actually have Biden enacting fascist policies like experimental "vaccine" mandates. The thing that's so disgusting is Biden is now taking things even further with experimental "vaccine" mandates on little children. It makes me sick to my stomach just to think about forcing a little kid to inject that poison into their body.
and monitoring peoples bank accounts. and removing their presence off the internet. and forcing them to lose their jobs unless they comply. none of this would have been fathomable in 2008. so much Communisto sh*t has happened in the last 2 years its insane.

I had somebody tell me its no way america would put people that were unvaxxed or undesirables into camps.....

I was like.....they just did it to Mexicans THIS YEAR.

she was like "well thats different. thats about immigration. however, what you're saying is too extreme. "

ppl are really idiots.
+3   

 5 days ago '17        #24
ImIHM 
Props total: 17012 17 K  Slaps total: 5391 5 K
 OldBusiness said
.
Great post, extremely thoughtful, dead serious.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd
Hell no. Its a nation where regardless of what your background is and/or your situation..The average American is too enamored with the idea of possibly being like their masters and/or folks here worship the very people who oppress them the most.

Hell they told us we had 40 million newly unemployed and/or experiencing a reduction and all the people did was flock to the store to buy toilet paper. Could you imagine the impact the world would feel if 40 million people and their families/neighbors/communities here in America actually stood together on something...but nope

Chris Rock had a special where in one of his jokes he talked about how the guy working the door at the theater he was doing his special would rather "Ride that White thing on out" than switch lives with a wealthy black man....I feel like that joke was quite possibly some of the realest sh*t a comedian has said about how people are stuck thinking the life they have is the one thats going to take them to the promised land, as opposed to seeking better conditions out here.
I remember having arguments in class because if the professor asking a hypothetical question about taxing the rich and the students being on the rich’s side. Talking about “well if I was rich…”

bi*ch

You would be at an Ivy League or something close if you would ever be rich. You have an equal chance at hitting the lottery you fu*king goofy. A lot of the students were right leaning too so there’s that. The left are oblivious and love being lied to, and the right are great at rooting for policies that will fu*k them over with the hope that they will one day become successful enough to benefit from said policy and fu*k everyone else over.

That’s why I’m out for delf-ia, self-ia


Last edited by ImIHM; 10-14-2021 at 10:18 AM..

 5 days ago '12        #25
TrillSwag  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Republicans lost the popular vote 7 out of the last 8 elections. Of course they want to end democracy. They have zero chance of winning any major election without cheating and bending the rules. GOP lost Georgia and instantly passed a strict voting bill
If Republicans can’t win in red a*s Georgia it just shows they’re done in free and fair elections.
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