The far right of American—and international—politics is a peculiar breed of cat. On the surface, or the facade they show, they are defenders of rights, protectors of children and the poor, advocates of religious freedom and staunchly in favor of law and order.
But scrape away that thin social veneer and what you will find is the opposite side of the coin.
These “defenders” of rights are trying to undermine the very foundation of the rights we have in America: the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A nearly 1000-page long blueprint developed by the Heritage Foundation lays out what they will do if they manage to get one of their own back in the White House. Not one step of this plan has anything to do with rights, civil or otherwise.
For example, Republicans have been undermining voting rights for decades and continue to do so now with 19 GOP-led states passing various laws resulting in active voter suppression.
The culture wars being waged by Republicans against some imagined invasion of immorality have become almost comical with some of the steadfast warriors of these battles being exposed as having the morality of an alley cat in heat.
A great case in point is that of Christian Ziegler and his wife Bridget. He is the head of the Florida GOP and she is a founder of the fascist group Moms for Liberty—unaffectionately known as the Minivan Taliban. Both are being sued by a third woman—whom they were having three-way sex with—for rape and sexual battery.
Sending love and strength to ALL of the Zieglers’ victims👇🏼
“Only our justice system can determine guilt on criminal allegations of rape + sexual assault but the harm they inflicted w/their hypocrisy, and their rhetoric, and their policies is indisputable,” @CarlosGSmith said. pic.twitter.com/DOCVftsQ5m
— Carlos Guillermo Smith (@CarlosGSmith) December 2, 2023
Then there’s the account on Threads.net publishing almost continuous reports of conservatives getting busted for sexual abuse of minors or child porn.
Freedom of religion, to the far right, actually means freedom for Christian Fascists to discriminate against any and all other religious beliefs and practices. Various “Christian” faiths teach that all other religions are false and the work of Satan. This is not actually new. When I was in Sunday School in my youth in a suburb of Denver, this was the message being taught.
As far as poor people are concerned, the far right’s “Ronald Reagan is a god” attitude is, to hell with them. If they can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps it isn’t our problem and we should not be helping them, period. Of course those bootstraps have long since been sliced away from those boots by the fraud of “trickle down” economics their Republican deity, Lord Ronnie foisted off on America. Part of Reagan’s election pitch was also the racist “welfare queen” trope—the supposedly indigent Black women that refused to work and required welfare. The truth is that the real “welfare queens” were and still are huge corporations collecting billions in subsidies every year.
In short, the far-right faction that has taken over the Republican Party believes it has a right to rule rather than govern with the consent of the governed. Their funding comes mainly from industrialists, oil companies, billionaires and large corporate interests that view only themselves and their shareholders as worthy of care.
The reality is that there is something wrong with a person who can’t see other people as simply people. Their lack of empathy for humanity is profound and disturbing. It is this mentality that sends people to their death through wars, neglect and ultimately for profit. “But that is evil!” you may say. Correct. And evil is hard to confront. But it has to be confronted nevertheless.
When you scrape away the social facade of the hard core of those on the far right, you will find a terrified little pipsqueak of a soul, shuddering in fear that someone may find him out or rise above him. All the while he commits crimes and offenses against his neighbors and then accuses others of those crimes to deflect attention from his actions.
The lesson? There are a few. Perhaps the most important is don’t succumb to the outrage far-right propaganda seeks to generate. People who are outraged, fearful or angry make bad decisions and that is what these folks want.
The other? 2024 is coming and the election is about eleven short months away. Unless we wish to knuckle under to bullies and forfeit the rights that uncountable people before us have fought and died to defend, we need to mobilize. We need to plan not only to vote ourselves and make sure those votes are counted, but we need to aid those who have had barriers erected in their paths to do the same. Our votes are the weapons we yield against those buried in the darkness of their fears. And our votes are also something they fear.
Today we call these folks far right. They have called themselves a lot of things over the years: white supremacists, neo-nazis, the KKK, Proud Boys, Patriot Front—Steve Bannon even tried to rebrand them as the alt-right. But they all mean the same thing: Nazi. They want a new Fuhrer. It is up to every one of us to say, “Not on my watch.”
The final expert witness in Donald Trump's defense in the former president's civil fraud case said on Friday that he was paid nearly $900,000 for his testimony.
New York University Stern School of Business research professor Eli Bartov, a highly credentialed expert on accounting, gave the former president high praise and a clean financial bill of health during two days on the witness stand.
“My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud,” Bartov testified on Thursday.
During a deposition in July, Bartov testified that Trump's defense team retained him at a rate of $1,350 per hour, and he had then worked for a total of 400 hours.
On Friday, Bartov disclosed during questioning by Trump's attorney Jesus Suarez he has now worked some 650 hours at that rate, which would add up to $877,500.
During cross-examination, New York Attorney General Letitia James's counsel Louis Solomon asked Bartov who was paying him. The witness answered that the payments came from The Trump Organization and Save America PAC, the former president's primary fundraising vehicle.
During an appearance on MSNBC on Sunday afternoon, a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI suggested there is a real possibility that a Russian intelligence file that went missing near the end of Donald Trump's presidency could have ended up in Russian hands.
Speaking with host Alex Witt, a clearly distressed Frank Figliuzzi admitted he wants to know how exactly the Department of Justice is handling the investigation into the missing ten-inch binder that contained raw intelligence reports compiled by U.S and foreign intelligence members.
Figliuzzi noted that both White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson and Donald Trump have both pointed the finger at former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, with the ex-FBI official suggesting a warrant needs to be approved to search Meadows' home.
"What is the special counsel doing about this?" He proposed to the MSNBC host. "What is DOJ do about this missing binder? And the evidence is that it appears the former chief of staff has it."
"Should be we looking, for example, at a search warrant of Meadows? Is this a part of Jack Smith's investigation? Have they rolled this into that or opened a new case or grand jury on Meadows?" he continued. "
'We've got to know what happened with this binder, and more importantly, whether this was a mere accident, or whether the intention was to hand it to Russia to expose U.S. intel sources and methods against Russia," he concluded.