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The Steady Drumbeat of Fascism
A Call to Action: Stop the Spread of Fascism Before It's Too Late!
During the 2022 election, the Defend Liberty PAC spent $10.6 million on far-right candidates. While some of the candidates did not win their primaries, we need to address the ideology of these people to understand the sinister work at play.
The biggest recipient was Don Huffines, with $3.6 million. Huffines is a former State Senator who has had his hands in Texas politics for decades. In the past, he has refused to acknowledge a woman’s right to control her own body, wanted to criminalize trans people by barring them from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, and publicly supported Trump’s racist Muslim ban. During the 2022 election, the world discovered Huffines had white nationalists on his staff, yet he refused to fire him.
The Defend Liberty PAC also gave $1.2 million to Ken Paxton. Our Republican Attorney General was initially indicted eight years ago, but he still hasn’t had his day in court. And while this speaks to the high level of corruption in both the Collin County and Texas government, it cannot be understated how much of an impact having a criminally corrupt attorney general leading Texas’ arm of justice. Paxton violates Texas law so often that each new scandal brings more of an eye roll than outrage. Meanwhile, the AG’s office has solely targeted voters of color for disenfranchisement efforts, investigated the parents of trans teens, pushed to collect data on transgender people, and openly talked about imprisoning gay people.
They gave $208,000 to David Lowe, the Republican who targeted Stephanie Klick’s seat and spent his entire election talking about transgender children’s genitals. Lowe recently tweeted the following violent language toward me (more on that later) but has since been blocked.
Shelly Luther received $200,000. Luther is the salon owner from Dallas who became a Republican darling after refusing to close her business during the Covid lockdown in 2020. Luther has made headlines for several bigoted comments, including “It’s not fair that kids can’t bully trans students” and “Chinese students should be banned from Texas Universities.”
Here is where it gets interesting. The Defend Liberty PAC gave $163,000 to Jeff Younger. Younger is a modern-day fascist who tours college campuses warning unsuspecting young minds of the danger of women voting and tells people to “resist democracy.” Most recently, he’s turned his Twitter into a white supremacist hub of highlighting crimes committed by Black people.
The Defend Liberty PAC gave $153,000 to Representative Bryan Slaton. They were Slaton’s biggest supporters. Slaton was the author of a slew of terrible bills last session, which never passed, and this year is no different. From turning Texas into a white ethnostate to a tax credit for cis-hetero couples only, Slaton has been scraping the bottom of the barrel reaching for one oppressive measure after another.
Tim Dunn and Ferris Wilks, heavily fund the Defend Texas Liberty PAC. Both are known for their far-right view. Dunn is the founder of the far-right organization Empower Texans, which has been accused of using dark money to influence Texas politics. Wilks is a billionaire businessman who has been associated with anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion causes.
Jonathan Stickland runs the Defend Texas Liberty PAC and is a former Texas Representative known for his extremist views, including his opposition to the LGBTQ community.
The most concerning thing about Stickland’s relationship with the Defend Liberty PAC.
A few weeks ago, one of my Republican informants sent me a message to tell me how they learned that one of Stickland’s immediate family members was an out member of the LGBTQ community. I was shocked.
It is crucial to recognize that the current political environment in Texas and across the United States has disturbing echoes of the Ten Stages of Genocide as identified by the Holocaust Museum. We can see these stages playing out in various ways, from discriminatory legislation aimed at marginalized communities to dehumanizing rhetoric and violence toward those same communities.
It is astonishing that Stickland, who has a close family member who is a part of the LGBTQ community, would push an agenda that would cause harm to them and others like them.
Stickland's involvement with the Defend Texas Liberty PAC clearly indicates that he is willing to put his extremist views and political agenda above the well-being and safety of his family members.
I reached out to the person identified to me and politely asked them if they were open to talking to me. They said no. I wished them good luck, which was the end.
A few days later, Stickland tagged me on Twitter and accused me of harassing his “non-political” family members. Of course, it was a bald-faced lie, I have the screenshots, and the conversation is still public. I challenged what he said and encouraged him to tell the whole (and truthful) story, and he responded again about his “non-political” family member.
That was the end of it (and what led to David Lowe’s unhinged tweet), but that phrase really stuck with me.
A non-political family member.
As the November election day inched closer, the airways spoke about Moore v. Harper, the political think tanks published articles on how important the elections in Texas are, and the Tribune put out a piece about how important it is to vote. Yet, 9.5 million people didn’t show up.
Millions didn’t vote because they thought their vote didn’t matter or they were confused by the process.
Does that mean we have 9.5 million people who are non-political? Are there 9.5 million people who have no idea that their friends and relatives are pushing dehumanizing rhetoric and violence toward them but saying, “I’m non-political. My vote doesn’t count.”
Are they oblivious to the rise of fascism, or do they just not care?
Mississippi reinstates Jim Crow.
Lawmakers from majority white districts are proposing legislation that would significantly impact the majority Black population of Jackson, Mississippi, without consulting their representatives. This is HB 1020, a plan that increases policing, strips voting and political power away from the majority of Black citizens in Jackson, and diverts tax dollars away from communities in need.
This bill is still making its way through the Mississippi legislature and is expected to pass and become law. In recent months, you may or may not have witnessed Black people on social media crying and scared.
The Florida Legislature plans to eliminate the Democratic Party.
The bill is being called “The Ultimate Cancel Act” and would require the state’s Division of Elections to “immediately cancel” the filings of any political party whose platform had “previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude.”
Idiots and their lack of knowledge of history use the party’s name as a crutch to ignore that out were Conservative Democrats that supported slavery while Liberal Republicans fought against it. They’ll likely never admit that party realignment happened since it goes against their narrative.
This bill is new, and it’s hard to say whether it will progress or not, but it perfectly demonstrates the agenda of Republicans everywhere.
Over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced nationwide.
Texas is by far leading the way in anti-LGBTQ legislation being pushed in the legislature. The majority of these bills focus on transgender young people. Advocates and doctors who treat trans youth have said many of the health care restrictions proposed by state legislators mischaracterize what gender-affirming care is. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a nonprofit professional and educational organization dedicated to transgender health, doesn’t recommend medical intervention at all before puberty.
The ten stages of genocide.
I thought a lot about this phrase and whether it’s hyperbolic. I couldn’t decide, so I sent a very unscientific poll on Twitter. Are American conservatives headed toward genocide? 85% said “yes.”
Genocide is a term used to describe the deliberate destruction of a particular group based on ethnicity, religion, or nationality.
The fifth stage, organization, involves creating groups or militias dedicated to harming or discriminating against members of this community.
The sixth stage is polarization, which is the government's broadcast of propaganda to turn the populace against that group. The government, like this:
Seven, preparation, the official action to remove or relocate people begins.
A horrifying new bill out of Florida would allow the state to remove trans children from their parent’s custody if they receive gender-affirming medical care. This is what Ken Paxton aimed for when he launched CPS investigations into transgender children’s families.
What’s the eighth step?
While we aren’t there yet, it’s important to talk about the people who want to take us there:
Scott Esk, a Republican candidate for Oklahoma House last year, advocated stoning gay people to death.
Pastor Dillon Awes of Stedfast Baptist Church said that the "solution" to gay people is presented in the Bible: "They should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head."
Tucker Carlson doubled down on anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the wake of the Club Q shooting.
Pastor Duncan Urbanek of Pure Words Baptist Church in southwest Houston compares gay people to pedophiles and wishes intense harm on them. In a sermon last month, he asked God to give gay people a slow and painful death.
Let’s hope we never get there, but it’s important to recognize the warning signs and take action to prevent any further progression toward fascism and genocide. This includes standing up against hate speech, discrimination, and violence towards marginalized groups and promoting education and understanding.
It’s crucial that we remain vigilant and work towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society.
But we can’t vote out fascism.
Are the 9.5 million non-voters concerned about fascism but think their vote alone can’t stop fascism? This is a direct question for non-voting leftists who live in Texas and think their vote can’t stop the march toward fascism.
Even if that is the belief, at a bare minimum, we must provide an adequate barrier against fascists who want to dilute minority voting power. If voting didn't matter, why do Republicans work so hard to dilute the votes?
The Supreme Court is intimately involved in maintaining racially discriminatory maps. This matters. Our political opponents understand that we could utilize the electoral system to act as a barrier to fascism, protect progressive movements, and maintain a progressive policy.
Every passing day, our country is regressing by decades due to the Conservative takeover of the Supreme Court and Senate. This not only hinders our ability to organize, protest, and offer mutual aid, but we are witnessing the rights of marginalized communities being eroded and even reversed before our eyes.
But Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin.
This sentiment oversimplifies the significant differences between the two parties. While both parties support capitalism and law enforcement, one side has been more actively working to restrict people's rights.
Republicans have been aggressively trying to limit our freedoms and liberties and have passed laws causing harm to marginalized communities. While both parties have their flaws, it's essential to recognize and address their significant differences.
It’s also important to convey to others the significant differences.
If a revolution happens, great, but until that happens, don't let them take any more of your rights away. Keep organizing. Go on labor strikes. And vote. Vote in your local elections, vote in the primary elections and vote in every election.
Just because you vote doesn't mean you can't do other things outside of the electoral system to push for change, but I guarantee you the Democratic Party is going to give you a lot less pushback than the Republicans are. You can vote and still do other revolutionary acts, like a protest or mutual aid.
Voting is the bare minimum we should be doing as a barrier from letting the fascists take control.
Everyone has to get involved at whatever level they can.
You might not be able to volunteer time or money, but you can talk to your friends and family and alert them about the issues. Engaging non-voters and encouraging them to participate in the electoral system is important. We need to ask why the 9.5 million non-voters in Texas think their vote won't make a difference in stopping the march toward fascism. While it's true that voting alone won't solve all our problems, it's a critical component of the broader effort to protect progressive movements and maintain a progressive policy.
As long as Texas has so many “non-political” people, we’ll continue a steady march toward fascism. And if people continue to look the other way, it will be too late one day.
"Fascism is not compatible with democracy, and the surest way to undermine democracy is to undercut the foundation of democratic elections." - Ann Richards