Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Texas’ abortion ban is authoritarian

One thing that is really interesting is that while the general culture and institutions have taken a sharp turn leftward in recent times, the right-wing undercurrents have moved further rightward. This works in the favor of the pan-secessionist framework because of the escalation of tensions involved. A revival of the abortion wars of the 80s and 90s would certainly have that effect.

By Jill Filipovic, The Week

This goes far beyond any encroachment into personal liberty that Republicans have complained about.

If conservatives really are worried, as they claim to be, about authoritarianism, then the time is now for them to act, because Texas just implemented one of the most totalitarian anti-abortion laws in the world. If there was ever a moment to see if principle would trump ideology, this is it.

The right has been on a tear about what they say is the massive threat of liberal totalitarianism, from the classroom to the boardroom to the federal government. The Biden administration’s plan to have health-care workers go door to door to talk to people about the COVID vaccine? Outrageous. “People have a choice, they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations,” said Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Mask mandates in schools? Those are an “attempt to restrict the rights and freedoms of Texans,” a spokesperson for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. Teaching the history of racism in public schools? “Indoctrination” that must be stopped.

Anchors on Fox News fret about “cancel culture” and claim that “wokeism is the biggest threat this country faces.” Republicans in Congress are melting down because the committee investigating the Jan. 6th insurrection has asked telecoms companies to preserve a handful of phone records from that day. Even some moderates and liberals point to the rise of online outrage mobs and the costs they extract as indications of a new Puritanism, devoid of due process and fueling fear and self-censorship.


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