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Semi-fascism

August 29, 2022

The local newspaper had a good article yesterday about two national organizations that are trying to ban books from school libraries nationwide, and how that is playing out in Corpus Christi:

Behind the complaints are local chapters of national conservative organizations, County Citizens Defending Freedom and Moms for Liberty, who are calling for the removal of books that don’t align with their values. They describe the books as inappropriate due to sexual content found in the challenged books, from allusions to consensual activities and examinations of sexuality and gender identity to passages focused on the trauma of sexual assault.

Importantly, their leaders don’t see those group names as ironic. In that, they are similar to Scott Esk, running as a Republican for the Oklahoma state house, who views himself as “largely libertarian,” while at the same time thinking it would be “totally just” to kill people just for being gay.

They have a strange ability to view freedom as institutional support for their own notion of family values. And are oblivious to the authoritarian implications. Or even are eager for those, when the pain falls on groups they condemn. Such as gays. Which is one reason that “semi-fascist” seems an appropriate label.

So, yes, I cheer Biden for his recent use of that term. No, Biden doesn’t owe anyone an apology. He didn’t aim that label at Republicans, generally. Nor at conservatives, generally. He aimed it expressly at the MAGA cult. Which still rallies around the first US president who attempted a coup to retain power after losing an election, taking the route of an autocratic strong man rather than of a democratic leader.

My old schoolmate Mike Godwin — famous for Godwin’s law — carps a bit:

I’m not so picky.

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