We have arrived at a moment of shame. Instead of modeling all the benefits of Democracy- protecting Human, Civil Rights & a Habitable planet- America modeled Authoritarianism & Fascist crimes. Until all involved are rightfully held legally accountable despite the attempts of all who stand with Democracy the message remains incomplete here & around the world! Justice requires patience but the urgency for Democracy requires clear, decisive action to meet this moment asap or we risk further attacks on an already fragile Democracy which can no longer be taken for granted!

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Here I am again, Ruth, shouting, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment in the US constitution. I know this section was cited in the Jan 6 report, which I haven't read. I would like to know who the committee suggests enforces this provision? Commentators on TV continually suggest "we" should have prevented these insurrectionists from running. Who is this "we"? Trump is running. He is an insurrectionist. Who will apply this provision to him? Michael Moore cites 118 newly elected members of Congress as among the 147 elected representatives who voted not to affirm that Biden was president, making them "traitors," in his view, at least, they are insurrectionists. Are not supporters of the insurrection, or coup, those, precisely, who are named in Section 3 of the 14th? Those 20 who influenced the speakership in the House of Representatives are insurrectionists and should not even be there. How to get rid of them at this time for their support of the coup, the insurrection? I rest my case. I want answers.

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Why is it that I think Bolsonaro will be prosecuted long before Merrick Garland finally moves against Trump? Why is it that I also think that we would not be looking at a MAGA run House of Representatives if Merrick Garland had indicted Trump, his Congressional co-conspirators and other ringleaders like Bannon and Stone long long ago when their guilt was already beyond obvious. I have long believed that because Nixon was pardoned, Reagan was emboldened to engage in the treasonous act called Iran/Contra. Because HW Bush pardoned all of the co-conspirators in that affair to cover up his own involvement, we got W and Cheney. Because they were not held to account for a) negligence over 9/11, b) lies about Iraq, c) war crimes, and d) the financial collapse, we got Trump. And if Trump skates, what do we get next?

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Dear Ruth,

Can't somebody just take him out once and for all? It's ridiculous that he (and Bannon) get away with

interference in so many democracies globally. Who is working on our side and has the gumption (better words available!) to teach the world that democracies are not going to stand for this type of behavior. Putin et al have gone too far and nobody is stopping them. The Ukrainians are getting slaughtered. Why haven't the Dems of the world said, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"?

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Another parallel is that there are a number of Bolsonaro-items in Brazil’s Congress and we have the House being led by J6 insurrectionists and/or enablers.

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Excellent piece per usual Ruth! Unfortunately we are denizens of cult behavior, this is our new normal, a sign of the times. Headed by scores of mendacious opportunists, aided by a dummied down, unctuous mob and our media.

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Going forward, I'm interested to see how the keepers of Trump's leader cult try to revive their beloved  omnipotent, cult leader back to his earlier status of untarnished invincibility. His loyal agents (the coup caucus); Jim Jordan, MTG, Mat Gaetz, Kevin Macarthy and company have their work cut out for them as indictments and splits within their party loom large. 

Aside from their efforts to rehabilitate Trump and fundraise off of it, they can be counted upon to provide nihilism and chaos at every turn. They will try to humiliate and weaken the institution they are a part of and all other aspects of government into a psycho shit circus. Fox news and other right wing media outlets will air daily sound bites and snippets straight from the factory of authoritarian theater in the House of Representatives. Clown shows won't be as good a way to describe the spectacle as the Grand Guignol horror shows.

Their fan base must be salivating and gleeful at the prospect of Jim Jordan questioning Merrick Garland during one of their ridiculous investigations to try and turn the tables on the Justice department in its efforts to hold the J6 insurrectionists and Trump accountable for their seditious acts of conspiracy to overthrow the government of the USA. But their greatest moment of triumph won't come until they can threaten not to raise the debt ceiling and drive the county's credit rating and maybe the rest of the world's economy over the cliff into an unmitigated financial catastrophe. Then and only then will the rest of the country realize how dangerous and destructive these people from the asylum caucus are. Maybe it's better to see them not just as fascists but as domestic terrorists on a mission to blow things up like suicide bombers?

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You mention in your essay that "prosecution" has always been an effective means of deflating personality cults and in the recent Brasilia Governor’s case he was indeed "suspended." The prosecution/suspension element seems to be a very important factor and is something obviously lacking in the American response as many are saying here.

Recently I have been reading more regarding geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan’s exploration of another important factor namely “population structures” (or demographics within a country) and its influence on how well a country survives and succeeds. These “population structures” and how well they stack-up regarding the numbers of children v. young adults v. mature adults v. retirees are very important – Zeihan says that “population structures” make a considerable difference on how well the economy does and how well it succeeds.

The interesting part in his recent analysis is that he has used the countries of Brazil, Turkey, U.S., and Italy that we have been discussing in the Lucid forum! When you are talking about insurrections, revolutions, movements between layers so to speak, the countries we are talking about have varying numbers of children, young adults, mature adults, and retirees. Who is doing the revolting and why are they doing the revolting? [In Iran, young women (and young men) are revolting and retirees are not I have learned]

Considering two of Peter Zeihan’s “population structures” involving countries we have been discussing in the Lucid forum:

1. [Pyramid where the base opens up at the top – a cylinder]

**Brazil, Turkey, and the U.S.

**equal numbers of children, young adults, mature adults, retirees.

**time does permit possibilities (policies) to widen the base.

**are revolts likely to occur and if so are they sustainable?

2. [Inverted pyramid]


**Top heavy retirees (mature adults) relative to the productive young adults (and children) below to support it.

**time does NOT permit possibilities (policies) to widen the base.

**are revolts likely to occur and if so are they sustainable?

I will try to explore this more in the days to come but I now have 14 capstones and each one is an independent research study with a student in addition to my classes! Yikes!

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Thank you for adding clarity both to the parallels and distinctions between these attempts at insurrection. I'm struck by two things. I don't know how his supporters view Lula, but I don't think anyone swoons over Biden - except maybe his wife. My background in cultural anthropology and brush with a cult in NYC where I got to know some of the devotees pretty well, afforded me the opportunity to notice the profiles of some of these folks. Among the women, there was a strong history of either abusive or neglectful fathers. They projected all sorts of qualities on this guru that were either extremely personal (and sexualized) or beyond human frailties. The men usually had some score to settle with authority as well....either being overpowered by a father or left with no guidance at all. By and large, they were unsuccessful in life or had histories with addiction and were reacting to their own feelings of powerlessness and lack of direction. Associating themselves with a victim/hero/strongman was perfect for them and far better than their prospects in real life. This idea of retaining 51% of the vote over one's own life in relation to others just doesn't come in to play. It's very scary.

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When I see what happened on Jan 6th and now in Brazil, I can't help but think about the power of propaganda on the human mind. The leader is able to convince millions that authoritarianism is glorious, while truth, honesty and democracy are bad. Of course the cult leader does not sell his agenda in that manner. He sells it with patriotism, post-truth, postmodernism and hatred of the outside enemy. Political bigotry is ramapant in fascism, and is the reason why only one party is allowed under fascism. Trump and Bolsonaro both wanted one party rule, and with the use of absolutist polarizing rhetoric, they were well on their way in achieving this goal. Trump preyed upon peoples' confirmation bias and was able to push a more radical agenda on his worshipers than would have been otherwise possible with a less manipulative leader.

The coup in Peru is in need of exploring, especially after seeing contradictory news reports about the causes of it. Pedro Castillo, their leader was outsed. One report said that the CIA had their fingerprints on it.

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For a moment, the crowds in the photo made me flashback to the screaming, crying, fainting crowds when the Beatles first emerged. People lost their heads.

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Lucas Kunce, former Marine, Senate challenger against josh Hawley. Fascinating listen on Brian Tyler Cohens you tube. Characterizes these types well, frauds and cowards.

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Why can’t we just have, ya know, legitimate law enforcement? Seems it could make a huge dent in our problems with authoritarianism.

I’ve pretty much discounted the Feds for anything Trump related, also Florida and New York. Holding out hope for Georgia though.

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"Prosecution destroys the aura of impunity that authoritarians depend on, and it shows their followers that the leaders they worship are not omnipotent or protected by God but ordinary mortals who are accountable to the law just like everyone else."


Precisely why someone needs to it-shay or get off the ot-pay and indict the MAN, Donald John Trump. Until that happens, he and his demented base are a clear and present danger to the United States of America. Knock, knock. Is anyone out there listening?

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Trumpism is no longer just America’s problem

Brazil’s rioters are part of a global effort to subvert democracy.

Jan. 10, 2023, 7:22 PM EST

By Ruth Ben-Ghiat, MSNBC Opinion Columnist


"Jan. 6, 2021, and Jan. 8, 2023, are parts of a global attempt to subvert democracies and install authoritarian rule. We must be vigilant in calling out the new far-right networks that stretch from Moscow to Budapest, Rome, Brasilia and Washington and prosecute the instigators promptly, as Lula is doing in Brazil."

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Sadly, Trump & Bannon were just in Brazil a few weeks ago, according to WaPo they went to help Bolsonaro. After reading the comments to this piece, I'd like to ask ppl to PLEASE read govt reports, docs. Bc whatever the reason is that a majority of us no longer read them, until we do we cant effectively explain what happened to anyone else, and be able to show them. They dont spell things out as they should though, and it's unfortunate bc it requires some knowledge of other events to have the ability to put things together. For example millions in the country didnt just believe propaganda, or the big lie. If the left woke up tomorrow to WaPo, NYT, all the nat'l pubs, along with every cable news station, and every single dem official all saying the same things, would the majority believe them, or would they believe republicans that said they were being lied to? Usually there lies are part truth, and it makes it difficult to learn the truth without learning it from the source. Not only that, some number of them had been manipulated on 8chan with q-anon, which exists only to radicalize ppl. Some number of churches are participating in the spread of Christian nationalism, which isn't Christian at all, and many pushing it know it's wrong, but bc of their unwillingness to stand up to what is now massive peer pressure, or lose a job, or whatever individual reasons are. The right likes to say the "Russian hoax" but had they read the senate intel report theyd know it was no hoax at all. But they dont read them. Online trolls posing as Americans originally, is who started us on speaking horribly to one another, causing very serious divisions. Too many apparently no longer hold themselves to some beliefs so they responded in kind until it became the norm. Theyve heard some of the same phrases so many times that they doubt everything. That's only one reason for the disinfo campaign, but prob the single most reason for it in the first place. Rep Raskin told of his B.I.L. that's conservative, convinced the election was stolen. He said hes an educated person that's not radical in his personality. Rep Raskin told him when it came up in their conversation about the GOP's inability to show proof in more than 60 court cases. He explained the reason for the cases were only so their constituents thought they were legitimate concerns, (I'd like to add that had ppl looked at the court docs themselves they'd have known), and that they had been lied to. The BIL looked at him and said he just knew that it was stolen. He didnt know how, or have any explanation, he just knew that it was. Personally I dont think ppl with a FT job, and a family could have enough time after work, dinner, homework etc, to even read from govt sites to know what's true. Idk how we get out of our predicament without getting back to socializing with ppl bc we like them, and not how they vote. Even then it's late and I dont see how enough will change their minds in order to effectively protest until our govt actually does what it's supposed to. They started out believing that democratic officials were evil, but it didnt take much to get them to make the leap to dem voters as well. It will require changing their minds on many several things, not just one. By now I personally assume those that voted conservative in the mid-terms do know what's true regarding the 2020 election results. It's rather heartbreaking. A functioning govt that got busy right away after 1/6 to hold the obvious to account would have been ideal. I dare say that even if a functioning DOJ were wrong on 1 person or knew, but couldn't prove it in court, theyd have still arrested them just to prevent further recruitment alone. Maybe not tho bc of nat'l focus on disregarding the rights of those ppl. But no matter bc we havent had a functioning govt since at least the Carter admin. It wont be enough to hold those responsible for 1/6 to account. Healthy democracies are not targets for authoritarian take-overs. Sadly, we dont seem to want to bridge the divide, or even acknowledge the truth about elected officials of both parties. I dont like doom and gloom and it seems like everytime I comment online I am. But it's only bc I've focused on govt more so than if it were my job even, and I'm old so I remember things from years back when govt did things most didnt like, or want, but failed in our understanding of some amount of history of other countries, as well as missing that from the early 80's going forward it would be a continuous game of "one upping" in DC. There are obvious signs like income inequality, militarized law enforcement, and many others,but I dont see many noticing that it's not only DOJ that isnt doing their jobs'. Now I read that I think NJ is going to require media literacy as part of the cirriculum in public edu, & that's great, but late. Unsure of how it could fix anything before it's too late. Every country struggling with democracy currently is doing so bc information was used against them. It's very important that we read the boring reports, docs, voting records on govt sites while we still can.

I've seen comments on s.m. regarding situation in Brazil, but Idk if it was organic and didnt have time to look. No idea how we get a majority in our own country to try to read from 1st hand sources, let alone those in other countries. I wish someone very brave that is an expert in this field would come out and tell us if there is little chance of us making it. That's not directed at the author at all. I understand why they dont I guess, and too many things are variable. I still wish they would bc until someone does I fear we wouldnt have done anything but watch this whole nightmare. Also I'm curious as to if there is an accurate comparison of where we are now? Like are we where Hungary started with Orban,further along etc?

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