The New York Times and the Washington Post agree with Congresswoman Liz Cheney, that the GOP has embraced white supremacy with its propagation of Replacement Theory.
The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. @GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.
Much of this is blamed on Fox pundit, Tucker Carlson, who has been one of the leading and consistent promoters of this theory.
The Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a leading purveyor of replacement theory rhetoric, has promoted the idea that elites are seeking to replace white Americans on more than 400 episodes of his program, according to an analysis by The New York Times.
“Now I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the third world,” Mr. Carlson said on an episode in April 2021. “But they become hysterical because that’s — that’s what’s happening, actually.” Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, later tweeted that Mr. Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.”
Putting aside issues about whether this is a reaction to, or at least an equivalent of, progressive racialization or the demonization of whiteness, the mass murder in Buffalo happened and stands apart because it ended in 13 people being shot, ten being murdered, because of their race.
When people die, as they did in Buffalo, because an 18-year-old white man of emotional, mental and/or intellectual challenges saw mass murder as the mechanism by which to achieve the political goals that somehow found their way into his consciousness, it’s time to address that specific problem. Deflecting to the other tribe, tu quoque, whataboutism, whatever, doesn’t address what happened in Buffalo. That it might happen to someone on the other side is irrelevant, as it happened in Buffalo as it did for the reasons it did.
Without devolving to excuses or finger-pointing, what needs to be done so that no other person engages in this heinous and horrible conduct?
The health of American democracy also requires the constructive use of free speech, especially by the nation’s political leaders. There are always demagogues whose stock in trade is the demonization of immigrants and other minority groups, and American society has long allowed those on the fringes to air their views. The question in any era is whether such views are voiced, or echoed, by those in positions of responsibility.
Yes, demonization isn’t limited to immigrants and other minority groups. No, that doesn’t excuse or explain the tragedy in Buffalo. The Times argues that the health of our democracy “requires the constructive use of free speech,” Whether this is a call for politicians to stop the outrageous rhetoric of hate or to create a muzzle on political speech so as to limit it to what the Times (and certain academics) deems “constructive” is unclear.
It is telling that House Republicans last year installed Ms. Stefanik in leadership to replace Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who remains among the most forthright critics of the party’s illiberal turn.
Of course, Cheney’s leadership position was taken away because of her views on Trump and the 1/6 insurrection, which were shared by the rest of the Republican leadership until they flipped.
Can this demagoguery be stopped? When the rhetorical push by clickbaiters like Carlson results in fragile boys murdering people, it’s clearly gone too far. But how can it be stopped? When the rhetoric results in mass murder, it’s gone too far. What can be done about the problem on the right, the inflaming of the crazies into acts of horrific violence?
If this can’t be stopped as a matter of sound judgment, will it result in the imposition of limits on free speech, free press, and other constitutional rights? Whether the left has a problem or not, the right clearly does and it needs to face it and fix it. Can that happen?
*Tuesday Talk Rules apply (but note that I have gone to some pains to make clear what this TT is not about. Try to focus and don’t make me regret this.