Thread by @C_Stroop: "1. It’s easy to dismiss bills so extreme they won’t pass even in Ohio, but dismissal is the wrong approach. This bill, which prescribed th [...]" #resist #fridaythoughts #blackfriday #emptythepews #christianaltfacts
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1. It’s easy to dismiss bills so extreme they won’t pass even in Ohio, but dismissal is the wrong approach. This bill, which prescribed the death penalty for the made up “crime” of “aggravated abortion murder,” has 19 co-sponsors in a state House of 99 members.
3. The Overton window is a technical term used by political scientists to refer to what is currently within the realm of political possibility. Things that fall outside it are not part of serious political and social discourse and so have no real possibility of becoming policy.
4. This Ohio bill illustrates how the subtlety of rhetoric can be used to shift the window and create new possibilities. I would contend (I certainly hope this is true) that the death penalty for providing or having an abortion remains well outside the Overton window.
5. But here’s the rub. If you raise the possibility of a death sentence for the “crime” of abortion and generate buzz and backlash around that, you have already shifted the discourse to where the notion of criminalizing abortion is thinkable. See how that works?
6. I’m convinced there is a solid consensus on the radicalized American Right to go that far. And I think that with the SCOTUS we’ve already got, with Merrick Garland’s seat literally stolen by the fascist GOP, Roe is probably gone. One more seat and its absolutely gone.
7. With Roe will go Obergefell, Lawrence, Griswold, and probably other civil rights cases. I’m not a legal expert, so bear that in mind, but I am an informed observer, and we are clearly in trouble. A large part of the Right wants to overturn the 14th Amendment for God’s sake.
8. Most of the country opposes this, but the radical Right is enabled by the press, and the realm of the possible is constrained by gerrymandering (which some states are thankfully fixing), the Electoral College, not admitting DC and Puerto Rico as states, and voter suppression.
9. That’s a lot to overcome, and we should not underestimate how far the Christian Right and the GOP will go if they gain unchecked power. The extrajudicial or legalized killing of members of othered groups is in that case very much on the table.
10. To fight back, we need to understand how right-wing authoritarians think and what the steps are to bringing ever more hitherto unthinkable horrors into the realm of the possible. We must get the US mainstream to understand that the Christian Right is an anti-democratic force.
11. That’s where I see our opportunity to start shifting the Overton window back, ave that’s why I’m so dedicated to securing a seat at the table for ex-evangelicals and other former fundamentalists. Wanna help? Insist that the journalists you read and watch include our voices.
12. And if you want to help me specifically to be able to continue to do advocacy work and provide this kind of analysis, this #BlackFriday please consider supporting me via @Patreon with a few dollars a month or what you can afford. Thanks! 💕
Addendum 1: You can also help by reading and supporting progressive research and journalism covering the Christian Right of the type published by e.g. @PRAEyesRight and @RightWingWatch. The more buzz this kind of work gets, the more it helps us shift the Overton window back.
Addendum 2: @laureneoneal and I coedited an anthology of personal essays by former conservative Christians (evangelical, Catholic, LDS backgrounds). Yes this is self-promotion, but if it makes a splash, it helps the cause. And that’s one reason we did it:
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