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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – March 26, 2024

Sustaining democracy with collective action

Trump supporters hold images of Laken Riley before he speaks at a rally in Rome, Georgia, on March 9, 2024. Credit, Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty
  1. Truly Effective Protest
  2. Anti-Abortion Army: Say What They Are
  3. The Baby Voice
  4. Covid Pandemic in Perspective
  5. Workers Week of Action in MN
  6. The Laken Riley Case
  7. Antisemitism Weaponized by Authority
  8. Fighting Florida Book Bans
  9. I Went to CPAC 2024
  10. Stop Treating Rural People Like Children


Truly Effective Protest

By Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix
The Guardian

The diminished organisational capacity in American civic life is reflected in the weakness of social movements that appear, on the surface, to be robust. To make a real and lasting mark, transformative solidarity must involve expanding the number of supporters while also strengthening the relationships between participants. 

Anti-Abortion Army: Say What They Are

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By Jessica Valenti
Abortion, Every Day

Anti-abortion lawmakers and activists are counting on us being too overwhelmed to stop them from normalizing this madness. They figure if they can keep hitting us with horror after horror, the next time we read a story of a woman going septic we’ll respond with a resigned head-shake rather than energized outrage. 

The Baby Voice

By Caroline Bologna

When Alabama Republican senator Katie Britt delivered the GOP response to the State of the Union, the senator spoke in a breathy voice with a soft and sweet quality ― even as she described horrific acts of sexual violence and murder and painted a dystopian picture of the United States. For activist Jess Piper, there was no mistaking that sound. Britt was using “fundie baby voice.”

Covid Pandemic in Perspective

By Rick Perlstein
The American Prospect

The best exemplification of the cultural manias that rendered America’s response to the pandemic the moral equivalent of a war of all against all was the mayor of Las Vegas, who insisted casinos should reopen as soon as possible and let the market sort out the rest: “competition will destroy” the resorts where “it becomes evident that they have a disease.”

Workers Week of Action in MN

By Amie Stager
In These Times

Collective power is rising in Minnesota. Thousands of union members and a broad coalition of community groups banded together to demand better contracts, quality schools, housing and a livable planet. Unions in Minnesota have been aligning with community groups for more than a decade, participating in actions to build solidarity and worker power. 

The Laken Riley Case

By Andrew Prokop

The Trump campaign is trying to make Laken Riley the face of its argument that Joe Biden’s border policies have deadly consequences. While he has hosted rallies before that featured family members of people killed by unauthorized immigrants, Riley’s death seems set up to be more central to his campaign messaging than any of these prior tragedies.

Antisemitism Weaponized by Authority

Fighting Florida Book Bans

By Sara Youngblood Gregory

Access to queer and trans stories can’t rely solely on libraries or other institutions. Independent publishers, informal advocacy networks, and tight-knit social groups all create vital points of access. 

I Went to CPAC 2024

By Addie Stan
The New Republic

Fascism does not require a majority of support in order to win. Its willingness to trample norms allows for massive cheating and manipulation of the public. CPAC is a neofascist enterprise, and the fascists are getting organized. They’re telling you what they want to do—and they want to do it all over the world. 

Stop Treating Rural People Like Children

By Amanda Marcotte

Nobody is more insulting to rural voters than the people who are giving them nothing and taking their votes. They claim Democrats are insulting, but Democrats are doing something for them and getting none of their votes. But nothing’s more condescending than getting votes and doing nothing in return.