Musing about law, books, and politics

Sadopopulism, again.

[For new subscribers who’ve never heard the term]

@SmartDissent points out that this is what the GOP does when they have power. 

It’s called “Sadopopulism.” (Term coined by @TimothyDSnyder )

SadoPopulism comes to us from Russia. It was perfected by Putin and used by America’s far right wing.

Sadopopulism explains how oligarchs—those who seek both power and wealth—seize power and stay in power.

Think how much human suffering will be inflicted on the population by policies that:

  • Cause health problems in children,
  • Leave wounded heroes (and their children) in poverty,
  • Deny healthcare to millions,
  • Pump money into powerful corporations and billionaires, etc.

A talking point with Fox-Trump-GOP is that we can’t let in refugees because we’re already too crowded and we don’t have enough resources for ordinary Americans.

A country in which all people prosper and share equally in the wealth can’t make this argument.

So the leader deprives people of resources and then says, “we don’t have enough to go around.”

“We don’t have enough resources to share with newcomers,” say the billionaires as they seize all the resources, make themselves richer, and inflict suffering on millions.

Sadopopulism is deceptively simple. Enact policies that hurt people, and then direct the resulting pain and anger against the enemies. 

“How can people be that dumb?” you ask.

It isn’t dumb. It makes perfect sense if you prefer a hierarchy to true democracy.

The followers of the Fox-Trump-GOP get it.

They know Trump and pals are enriching themselves at their expense.

The same thing happened in slave days. 

Poor whites in the South largely supported slavery even though they were harmed by it (they had to compete with free labor).

They liked the hierarchy because they benefited—not as much as those at the top, of course. But they could feel superior to those at the bottom.

Also, because wealth and power was limited to white men, the poor Southern voters (only men could vote) believed they could rise.

Enter Trump: The strongman who hurts the “enemies.”

NYT reporter Maggie Haggerman explained that Trump’s base “thrills at his fights with the establishment, seeing him as warrior against self-satisfied elites who look down on many Americans.” 

The Fox-Trump-GOP offers their followers something they want more than economic advantages: return to the hierarchy (which means limiting democracy)

They also want “protection” from their “enemies,”and the thrill of hurting their enemies.

The “enemies” are those trying to expand liberal democracy. You can’t have both: A hierarchy and a true liberal democracy. It must be one or the other.

This is why scholar Christopher Browning calls Mitch McConnell the “gravedigger” of democracy.

 “But wait!” you say. “Isn’t Rand Paul a libertarian? What does libertarianism have to do with Russian tactics?”

Remember last summer when Paul met Russian leaders in Moscow and invited them to the US?

Recall, Kislyak was in the Oval Office on 5-10-17 when Trump bragged about firing Comey.

‏He is also the guy Flynn was talking to a month before Trump took office when secretly negotiating with the Russians about sanctions.

Senator McCain has accused Rand of working for Putin. 

Russia state TV declared Rand a Russian “loyalist” because he voted against sanctions, supported Trump’s performance at Helsinki, etc.

Rand Paul knows exactly what he’s doing.

The easiest way to take America back to a white patriarchy is with Russia’s help.

For more on the GOP-Russia love affair, click here.