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Jared Yates Sexton
After my thread on how Trump is only a symptom of American fascism, people have been asking exactly what it entails, what these people say and believe, and it's worse than you think. 1/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
My family, for decades, has expressed not just openly racist sentiments, but an open admiration for dictators, murderers, and a taste for authoritarianism that knows little bounds. 2/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
We're talking open admiration for Adolf Hitler, who, according to them and so many people I've known, had "good ideas." Some say he "took it too far," others don't. 3/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
These are people who long for the days of lynch mobs, who roll their eyes when you bring up the concept of due process. The death penalty isn't strong enough for them. 4/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
For most of my life I was surrounded by people who believed in white supremacy, politically, intellectually, and physicality. 5/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
Some of them would hide behind the phrase "I'm not racist, but..." while others would defend the very notion of racism as reality. 6/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
They were white supremacists, pure and simple, though many of them looked down on Neo-Nazis and KKK. Now? They share their memes and openly support them. 7/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
What happened was that white supremacists in this country won a messaging battle. They shouldered in and won a seat at the table and respectability. 8/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
People like Steve Bannon knew how to play them like instruments and how to bring them over into full-throated white supremacy by giving them cover. It's "nationalism" now. 9/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
They were always right *there* with white supremacists, but Trump and Bannon brought them into the fold. They gave some cover, gave others the excuse. 10/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
I've seen these people at Trump rallies speak openly about wanting to murder journalists and liberals, getting laughs out of how they'd want to torture them first. 11/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
They, like many people I've known, dream of a breakdown of society where they can use their weapons to kill openly and reshape society "the way it ought to be." 12/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
This is part of the reason why Midwesterners put up Confederate flags. It's racism, but it's also the dream of being able to rise up and remake this country into a fascist place. 13/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
This was obvious too at the rallies, where they not only threatened people, but they were comfortable to spout this stuff openly, the way my family was comfortable among themselves. 14/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
Trump's ascension was built on this. He didn't inspire it, he gave it cover. He made it a legitimate mainstream worldview. 15/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
As I wrote in my NYT editorial, Trump became a "safe space" for his followers where they could be as racist and fascist as they wanted to be in public without repercussions. 16/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
In my reporting on the campaign trail I watched them get bolder and louder and more outspoken as he gained momentum. They knew, at a Trump event, they could be open about who they were. 17/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
Trump opened the floodgates on this, emboldened a section of society who had been largely kept under wraps and pushed to the margins. 18/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
Suddenly, people like my family, who were racist and fascist, weren't racist and fascist anymore, which is what they had always believed anyway. They just saw it "the way it is." 19/
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Jared Yates Sexton 26 Nov 17
Replying to @JYSexton
Republicans had given them support for years, but only as a political ploy. Fox News had given them a reality for their own profits. But Trump believed it, lived it, and he energized it like nobody before. 20/
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