Right Wing Group Files Suit on Behalf of Moms for Liberty against the Yolo County Library

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By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – The right-wing group, Alliance Defending Freedom, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Yolo County Chapter of Moms for Liberty against the Yolo County Library for the incident that happened in late August that triggered nearly a month’s worth of bomb threats to the library and school district.

They have now filed suit, claiming a county employee violated their First Amendment right to free speech.

The incident occurred August 20, when a library official shut down a meeting held by Moms for Liberty at the library in Davis.

The suit argues that the library officials exceeded their authority when they shut down the meeting, believing “that their job is to enforce conformity with the government’s official views. They not only allow their ideological allies to disrupt speakers whose views they reject, they actively censor speech with which they disagree.”

Former college athlete Sophia Lorey was speaking at the event and was giving a presentation on participation of transgender girls and women on female sports teams.

During the presentation Lorey repeatedly referred to trans women as “men” or “biological men,” her use of misgendering language prompting one of the library officials who are a named defendant in the case to warn Lorey that she was “’misgendering,’ and threatened to eject her if she ‘misgendered’ again.”

When she continued to do so, he asked “Lorey to leave the Blanchard Room because she was ‘misgendering,’ and declared that he would ‘shut the entire program down’ if she did not leave.”

At this point Clare Friday, one of the plaintiff’s, attempted to intervene.  Friday serves as a regional lead for Our Duty, another group that purports to represent parents “who wish to protect their children from the harms of identifying with a gender identity inconsistent with their sex.”

Friday rose, according to the suit, “to speak about the importance of free speech for all, only to be interrupted and heckled by protestors.”

The library official reiterated to Lorey to “leave” due to her “misgendering” and against warned that if she did not leave, he would “shut down” the program.

At this point the meeting was shut down and the program was resumed outside.

“During this event, my First Amendment right was violated by a government official. And no matter if you disagree with me or agree with me, we have the right to speak, we have our freedom of speech, and I want anyone to be able to use that and not get shut down,” Lorey told local news station ABC 10 this week.

The plaintiffs intended to continue reserving meeting rooms at the Yolo County library to disseminate their views on topics that are unpopular in Yolo County, and they claim they sought assurances that the library “would cease discriminating against their viewpoints and take steps to enable their events at the public library.”

However, the defendants refused, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs wanted the librarian to confirm in writing the following:

  1. Plaintiffs and audience members could “express their understanding of sex and gender during the event, even if library officials consider this to be ‘misgendering’ or otherwise wrong or offensive”;
  2. Library officials would “not shut down the event or try to censor anyone that refers to a person whose natal sex is male as male, man, boy, he, or him, or that refers to a person whose natal sex is female as female, woman, girl, she, or her”;
  3. Library officials would “not take any adverse action against [Plaintiffs] or members of the audience based on their viewpoint related to gender identity or the sex or gender of participants in sports”;
  4. Library officials would “provide adequate security” and “promptly remove any attendee(s) that attempts to disrupt the event in any way, including but not limited to, shouting down or interrupting the speakers, making sounds that interfere with the speakers’ ability to be heard, blocking entrances or exits, or obstructing views”; and
  5. Plaintiffs could “hire private security” if they desired.

Filing the lawsuit is the group, Alliance Defending Freedom.

The group, founded in 1994 in Scottsdale, Arizona, is designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has “supported the recriminalization of sexual acts between consenting LGBTQ adults in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has contended that LGBTQ people are more likely to engage in pedophilia; and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.”

According to SPLC, “Since the election of President Trump, ADF has become one of the most influential groups informing the administration’s attack on LGBTQ rights.”

The group interposed itself into the Lawerence v. Texas, Supreme Court decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that a Texas statute that banned consenting same sex adults from engaging in sexual acts violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause.

In an amicus brief filed in 2003 by ADF attorney Glen Lavy, he argued, “The issue under rational-basis review is not whether Texas should be concerned about opposite-sex sodomy, but whether it is reasonable to believe that same-sex sodomy is a distinct public health problem. It clearly is.”

In 2013, the group supported the recriminalization of consensual sex between adults of the same sex in India.

“When given the same choice the Supreme Court of the United States had in Lawrence vs. Texas, the Indian Court did the right thing. India chose to protect society at large rather than give in to a vocal minority of homosexual advocates. … America needs to take note that a country of 1.2 billion people has rejected the road towards same-sex marriage, and understood that these kinds of bad decisions in the long run will harm society,” said Benjamin Bull, former executive director of ADF Global.

In recent years, the group has taken on transgender issues, arguing, “Men who self-identify as women are still biological men,” said Marissa Mayer, senior web writer.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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92 thoughts on “Right Wing Group Files Suit on Behalf of Moms for Liberty against the Yolo County Library”

  1. Keith Olsen

    The plaintiffs intended to continue reserving meeting rooms at the Yolo County library to disseminate their views on topics that are unpopular in Yolo County

    Who says?  Being against trans women competing in women’s sports is not an unpopular view according to national polls.  Do you have a Yolo County poll on the topic?

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          I didn’t quote it, but the language came from the lawsuit.

          Exact quote: “Plaintiffs Yolo M4L, Bourne, and Snyder also intend to continue reserving meeting rooms at Yolo County public libraries to disseminate their views on sex, gender, and other controversial topics—views that are (for now) unpopular in Yolo County and which are unlikely to be aligned with Defendants’ political preferences.”

    1. Walter Shwe

      This piece neatly sums up who the radical transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+ extremists Beth Bourne and the Yolo County chapter of the Moms for Liberty really are. The greater Davis community has largely rejected them and the outsiders they keep bringing in to scare and confuse the populace. The numerous bomb threats have only served to harden our community’s resolve to fight the Moms for Liberty. As usual I present a very revealing receipt.

      Hatewatch

      Davis, California, faces bomb threats, harassment from anti-trans extremists

      As Libs of TikTok, Raichik’s posts about LGBTQ+ people have preceded threats of violence in places like Tulsa, Boston, and Highland Park, among other locales, so the situation in Davis follows a bit of an established pattern. In June 2022, Raichik used her Libs of TikTok persona to draw attention to a small Pride event in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, which preceded members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front showing up to intimidate LGBTQ+ people in person. The attempted disruption of the Pride event led to police arresting 31 members of the embattled racist group.

      https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2023/10/30/davis-california-faces-bomb-threats-harassment-anti-trans-extremists

       

  2. Keith Olsen

    Excerpt from a Vanguard article after the incident first took place:

    The Vanguard spoke to a number of sources that wanted to remain off the record, and none were familiar with any law that would make it illegal to do this—and most agreed that the librarian, in their view, overstepped their authority by shutting down a public meeting.

     

  3. Keith Olsen

    Good for Beth and good for Moms for Liberty.

    Their free speech should should not have been shut down and I hope they get they get library policies in place so this never happens again plus a monetary settlement.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      You’re missing a key point, the people backing this lawsuit are so extreme they filed an Amicus against the SC decision in Lawrence v. Texas.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I think Moms for Liberty lost any credibility by aligning themselves with ADF. These guys aren’t just anti-trans. They are anti-gay. Lawrence wasn’t that long ago, we’re not talking of about a mid-20th century case, we’re talking about 2003. Moreover their work in India is only a decade old. There is an agenda with a lot of money pushing this stuff.

        1. Keith Olsen

          You’re dodging my question.  What do you think of the emails?

          So now you’re going after the law firm representing the plaintiffs but you posted in an earlier article “The Vanguard spoke to a number of sources that wanted to remain off the record, and none were familiar with any law that would make it illegal to do this—and most agreed that the librarian, in their view, overstepped their authority by shutting down a public meeting.”

          So it sounds like the lawsuit has lots of merit, not some right wing conspiracy.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            They are not a firm, they are an anti-gay interest group. They have deep pockets. And they have targeted the federal courts which could presumably put them in front of the very conservative supreme court at some point.

            In terms of the emails, what exactly are you referencing with your question? When I looked at them I didn’t see much there. Is there something you are seeing there that I should note?

        2. Keith Olsen

          Call the ADF what you want, but here’s from Wikipedia:

          ADF is one of the most organized and influential Christian legal interest groups in the United States based on its budget, caseload, network of allied attorneys

          You’re still dodging my question.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “legal interest groups ”

            As I asked: In terms of the emails, what exactly are you referencing with your question? When I looked at them I didn’t see much there. Is there something you are seeing there that I should note?

  4. Keith Olsen

    Comments from a Vanguard article soon after the librarian shut down the event.

     

    David Greenwald Post authorAugust 23, 2023 at 2:41 pm
    Yesterday I reached out to a lot of people to figure out what law the librarian was referring to and whether he acted properly and whether it was legal. They all said about the same thing.
    Ignore Commenter

    Keith Olsen August 23, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    They all said about the same thing.

    And what was that?

    Report comment

    David Greenwald Post authorAugust 23, 2023 at 2:58 pm
    That they were unaware of any law that would be applicable and that they believed that disbanding the meeting for misgendering someone was a violation of free speech.

    Ignore Commen

     

    https://www.davisvanguard.org/2023/08/did-the-librarian-overstep-his-bounds-by-shutting-down-the-moms-for-liberty-meeting/

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Here is the conversation we should have had…

      David: You’re missing an important questions, Keith

      (What is that question?)

      Keith: David, do you believe the same thing that you did on August 23?

      David, why no Keith, thanks for asking, I do not.

      Keith: Why is that?

      David: Stay tuned.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          But third and most importantly, the lawsuit is really aside from the point. Moms for Liberty have lost in this community whether or not they win the lawsuit.

        2. Keith Olsen

          Moms for Liberty have lost in this community whether or not they win the lawsuit.

          I never asked your opinion about this.

          I think Beth and M4L have more people that agree with them than you know.

          Of course the people you probably hang with will agree with you.

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Just pointing out the free speech issue is ultimately a side issue. You can argue the old, silent majority argument all day, but at the end of the day if a majority is silent, they yield no power. The people actually holding electoral office have all sided heavily against them. To the point that event AFD acknowledged that the opinion is unpopular here.

  5. Kendra Smith

    “silent majority.”

    This is laughable. They are a loud *minority*, period.

    This was most recently demonstrated in election results in places where the M4L faction was expected to win, and instead were trounced into the mud.

    And the whole anti-gay drum they’re beating?

    Guess it’s not gay if it’s a threeway, right?

    Miserable hypocrites the right wing is.

    1. Keith Olsen

      Speaking of miserable hypocrites, how about the left wing who claim they are all for free speech except when they happen to not agree with it then they try to shut it down.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        I’m not sure that’s really true.

        2015 LA Times: Opinion: The younger you are, the less you support free speech – Los Angeles Times

        2017 Fortune: Half of Millennials Support Colleges Restricting Free Speech ‘In Extreme Cases’

        2017 Guardian: If millennials are wary of free speech, who can blame them?

        So I think you really have to be careful about how you characterize the left – there is no *the left.* There are groups on the left and the left is not a monolith and one of the areas that is evolving is free speech.

        I also think the right is guilty of narrowly compartmentalizing free speech issues.

        1. Keith Olsen

          Okay, so you’re now saying that many of the younger generation of left wingers don’t support fee speech.  So what speech do they support, only speech they believe in?  Only speech that they deem okay?  Sounds like neo-fascism.

        2. Kendra Smith

          I would also add that there’s not much of a “left” in this country due to the Overton window.

          The right has goose stepped further right than liberals have moved leftward in this country.

           

        3. Keith Olsen

          The right has goose stepped further right than liberals have moved leftward in this country.

          That is an outright falsity.  The left has gone so far left that even normal Democrats no longer recognize their party.  The far left are the real fascists these days.

        4. Walter Shwe

          That is an outright falsity.  The left has gone so far left that even normal Democrats no longer recognize their party.  The far left are the real fascists these days.

          That’s an utter lie Keith. Please give me a few examples of a ‘normal’ Democrat. The far right has not only gone full neo-fascist, but also extreme transphobic, homophobic, hypocritical and sometimes outright bonkers. The lies from the right never cease. If Republicans don’t get their way, they just lie about it. 

          [edited]

  6. Sharla Cheney

    Moms for Liberty – Yolo wanted the Yolo County Librarians to host the event at the Library and make sure that “Library officials would “not take any adverse action against [Plaintiffs] or members of the audience based on their viewpoint related to gender identity or the sex or gender of participants in sports”;”

    But also to agree to forcibly remove anyone in the audience that expressed a different or opposing opinion.

    Now they are suing to get this special treatment. They are using lawyers from an organization whose stated aim is to criminalize being LGBTQ.  Beth has applauded their success in other similar cases on FB.

    This is not about freedom of speech.

    1. Keith Olsen

      But also to agree to forcibly remove anyone in the audience that expressed a different or opposing opinion.

      I don’t think that’s true.  Here’s what the article states:

      Library officials would “provide adequate security” and “promptly remove any attendee(s) that attempts to disrupt the event in any way, including but not limited to, shouting down or interrupting the speakers, making sounds that interfere with the speakers’ ability to be heard, blocking entrances or exits, or obstructing views”;

      That’s quite different than removing anyone in the audience that simply expressed a different or opposing opinion.

       

      1. Sharla Cheney

        It is asking Library staff to remove people who are “speaking” in opposition.  They need to find another location, where they can have a private event and require tickets with specific rules for attending, so they can control who attends, who speaks, who is made to leave.  Again, this is not about freedom of speech.  It is about working toward the criminalization of being LGBTQ – starting with restricting or banning health care, restricting or banning literature, restricting or banning participation in community life.  That is their goal.

        1. Keith Olsen

          No, it’s asking library staff to remove people who are disrupting the event, shouting down or interrupting the speakers, blocking entrances or purposely obstructing views.  That’s a far cry from just speaking in opposition.

        2. Matt Williams

          Keith, there is a simple solution to this problem.  The library should consider ending all rentals of its rooms for public events, and solely use them for Library functions.

          The reason for that is pretty simple.  The meaning of “speaking out” whether in opposition or support is highly subjective.  We have plenty of examples of protests (that is what the M4L meeting was … a protest) and counter protests of all stripes that have devolved into shouting matches and beyond.  It does not matter whether the protesters are on the Left and the counter protesters are on the Right, or the protesters are on the Right and the counter protesters are on the Left.  The two sides will never be able to agree whether “speaking out” is “disruption.”

          1. Don Shor

            The library should consider ending all rentals of its rooms for public events, and solely use them for Library functions.

            I agree with Matt. The safety of the public cannot be guaranteed now. The Davis residents who live nearby and those attending the neighboring schools can’t be subjected to the risk. It’s an unfortunate outcome, but I don’t think there’s any alternative.

        3. Keith Olsen

          Keith, there is a simple solution to this problem.  The library should consider ending all rentals of its rooms for public events, and solely use them for Library functions.

          So Matt, would a drag queen story hour be considered a public event or a Library function?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I think what Matt suggested was that the solution could be having no public events at all that way there wouldn’t have to be any sort of subjective judgment.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You’re implying with your question that Matt is somehow being disingenuous in his suggestion or attempting to put his finger on the scale, and while I often disagree with Matt, I doubt very much that was his aim.

        4. Keith Olsen

          There you go again, I’m not implying anything.  I’m asking a simple question:

          Would a drag queen story hour be considered a public event or a Library function?

          Can either of you answer that?

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            The only reason you have to ask that question is if you believe that Matt’s distinction meant to include some but not others rather than exclude all – whereas the clear purpose of his statement implies the exact opposite – he saw this as the only way to avoid subjectivity.

        5. Keith Olsen

          No David, that’s you interjecting.

          You still haven’t answered the question.

          I’m just pointing out how a library could possibly allow one side of the debate to hold a gathering classifying it as a Library function while denying the other side of the debate saying they don’t allow public events.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I’m not the one who put forth the proposal, Matt can answer the question. I’m not proposing that solution. The problem I have with Matt’s proposal is it takes a valuable space out of circulation from the community, a rare space that is accessible and affordable to small community groups.

        6. Keith Olsen

          The problem I have with Matt’s proposal is it takes a valuable space out of circulation from the community, a rare space that is accessible and affordable to small community groups.

          I agree with you here.  If the library had simply allowed free speech and not shut down the M4L event we would not be discussing this today.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            So is it your position that anyone should be able to utilize the community space? What if it’s a NeoNazi or White Supremacist group?

        7. Keith Olsen

          What if it’s a NeoNazi or White Supremacist group?

          M4L is not a “NeoNazi or White Supremacist group”.

          The topic of the event that day was trans women competing which by the way most of the country agrees with the speakers at that event that they shouldn’t be allowed.  Hardly an extremist view.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You seem to be drawing a distinction between M4L and a NeoNazi and White Supremacist group. Part of the problem is that others may not see it that way, and you would need to be able to legally distinguish between the two in order to have a policy that allows one but not the other. Matt at least was attempting to create an objective policy. And I think what makes it tricky is that a bright line policy is not feasible and so you are left to scramble through subjective standards.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I don’t know. Seriously I don’t even remember what I originally said or what I changed it to.

        8. Kendra Smith

          “M4L is not a “NeoNazi or White Supremacist group”.”

          Go peddle that rank and runny horse slop somewhere else, guy.

          M4L has deep ties with neo-fascist and white supremacist/white nationalist/Christian Reconstructionist groups.

          No amount of right wing fluffing or putting lipstick on that pig will clean it up.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Kendra – I think the important point is that there are subjective judgments and yet there needs to be a uniform policy and that’s where the problem lies here. Where do you draw the line? And how can you do so within the overlapping framework of state and federal laws.

        9. Kendra Smith

          “Kendra – I think the important point is that there are subjective judgments and yet there needs to be a uniform policy and that’s where the problem lies here. Where do you draw the line? And how can you do so within the overlapping framework of state and federal laws.”

          Sadly, I don’t think you can draw a line. If you’re going to allow one group, you have to allow the neo-nazis if they also want to talk.

          And we all know that if the group in that room that day were neo-nazis unfurling their swastika, the community (including M4L supporter types) would have had a very different reaction.

          We have to let them talk, but you know what? Just like the Davisite today is lambasting Gloria Partida for saying “unfortunately, we have to abide by free speech rules,” we would *unfortunately* have to allow the neo-nazis to speak, too.

          I’m a big Paradox of Tolerance type, though, and believe they should also suffer consequences for their actions, such as turning people into social outcast pariah dogs when they tell us who they are.

          So, yes, as Partida says, we unfortunately have to abide by these rules even for the hatemongers among us.

          Given the reaction of M4L, I’d rather see the room closed to *all* outside groups other than library functions.

           

        10. Keith Olsen

          And we all know that if the group in that room that day were neo-nazis unfurling their swastika, the community (including M4L supporter types) would have had a very different reaction.

          But they weren’t, they were a group discussing whether trans women should be able to compete in women’s sports and they got their free speech rights denied.  So here we are today with a free speech lawsuit.

        11. Matt Williams

          My apologies to all for missing the past 5 hour .  I was baking holiday chocolate crackle cookies.

          With that said, let me dive into Keith’s question, which was “So Matt, would a drag queen story hour be considered a public event or a Library function?”

          Keith’s question changes the focus of my proposal/possibility from the scheduling of a meeting to the content of the meeting.  If a meeting is being scheduled by the Library to support/deliver a standard Library function/program, then it would be an “inside” meeting.  If the meeting is being scheduled to support/deliver a no-Library function/program/issue/activity, then it would be an “outside” meeting.

          If that simple A or B rule were followed, then the content of the meeting would be moot.

          However, at the core of Keith’s question is whether a drag queen story hour can be considered an appropriate activity during the time that the room is scheduled for the “inside” Library function/program.  That is an issue that would be taken up with the Library’s programming committee/process … and would be guided by what the published Vision/Mission of the Library is. So, to answer that question, one would need to get a copy of both the Vision and Mission statements to assess whether such an event was/is withing those “boundaries.”

  7. beth

    Hi all, I wish I had most time to respond to all the comments.

    i just want to say it has been a real pleasure to be involved with Moms for Liberty here in Yolo County, and California chairs, as well as national leadership. Everyone I’ve met has been incredibly sharp, thoughtful, hardworking, and courageous. These are moms and grandmas volunteering their time to look out for the welfare of vulnerable children.

    I have been so disappointed by “progressive, liberal” women in Davis. Anyone who could think critically would see trans activism is really a men’s rights movement. But the worse part is gender medicine complex and transitioning young healthy kids.

    1. Matt Williams

      Anyone who could think critically would see trans activism is really a men’s rights movement.

      Beth, your comment above illustrates very clearly the narrowness of the thinking of Moms for Liberty and its associated groups.  When an individual critical thinker categorizes transgender women as men, as you and your associates do, then you force your thinking into a stark binary choice between two polar alternatives, “men’s rights” and “women’s rights.”  Mother Nature gave each and every human being a wealth of genes and as a result an almost infinite number of genetic possibilities, not just the two possibilities you are arbitrarily restricting your thought processes to.  Just as there are an almost infinite number of shades of gray that exist between the colors “black” and “white” the genetic possibilities between your self-imposed binary poles are uncountable.

      The ignorance of human beings caused us to at one time think only in terms of X and Y chromosomes in determining an individual person’s sex.  However, as we learned more, and the veil of ignorance was slowly, incrementally lifted, we learned that X and Y chromosomes are not always a pair … some people have three rather than two.

      We also learned that chromosomes are simply structures of nucleic acids and protein that carry genetic information in the form of genes … a myriad number of genes. Further, we learned that every human cell typically contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46 chromosomes.  Nonetheless, you choose to ignore 44 of those 46 chromosomes, as well as the myriad of genes they contain.

      Critical Thinking is “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.”  Your thinking is subjective based on your personal values. Those values cause you to be blind to the vast majority of evidence that the accumulation of human knowledge has discovered and documented.  As a result when you say “Anyone who could think critically would see …” you need to look first stand in front of a mirror and have an honest discussion with the person who gazes back at you about your own critical thinking.

    2. Keith Olsen

      Beth, keep up the good fight.  You have more people backing you than you know both locally to Davis and nationally.  I just wish more of them would speak out.

      1. Walter Shwe

        Matt’s comment certainly sounds like a community and fact based Phi Slamma Jama to me. Keith and Beth are both in denial of the critical role of the mind in how we view ourselves. We aren’t just a bunch of chromosomes.

        As far as Davis schools go, only the opinions of actual Davis residents and parents of Davis students matter. The opinions of anyone that falls outside those 2 groups are hereby irrelevant. Looking at you Keith, Riley Gaines and Charlie Kirk.

        1. Matt Williams

          Walter, leave the mind out of it.  The mind, by definition, is subjective.  Gene sequencing on the other hand provides more than enough objective data to illuminate and confirm the point i was making.

          With that said, why do you include Keith in your list of three people at the end of your comment?

  8. Kendra Smith

    “Beth, keep up the good fight.  You have more people backing you than you know both locally to Davis and nationally.  I just wish more of them would speak out.”

    Another patent falsehood from you.

    This is just completely untrue. They are a loud, squawking and hateful minority.

    If your words were true, the M4L candidates wouldn’t have been trounced *into the ground* in recent elections in places where they were expected to win.

    Just more right wing propaganda. More right wing, neo-fascist fluffing.

      1. Matt Williams

        fascism … a mass political movement that emphasizes extreme nationalism, militarism, and the supremacy of both the nation and the single, powerful leader over the individual citizen.

        How does the far left in this country fit that definition?

        1. Keith Olsen

          Fascism..extremely authoritarian, intolerant, or oppressive ideas or behavior: “an outright ban is just fascism”

          ▪very intolerant or domineering views or practices in a particular area:”this is yet another example of health fascism in action”

          I think these definitions describe much of the far left these days.

        2. Matt Williams

          Merriam Webster defines fascism as follows – “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”

          Dictionary.com defines it as “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.”

          Oxford Reference defines it as “An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.  Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.”

          The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control, and being extremely proud of country and race, and in which political opposition is not allowed.”

          You appear to have cherry-picked the two definitions you provided.  What is their source?

        3. Keith Olsen

          Matt, here’s a very well written article that explains how liberals can act like fascists:

          “Liberalism and Fascism: 5 ways in which ‘liberals’ are exactly the same as Nazis”

          Conclusion
          While it is fancy, these days, for people to accuse the political opponents of Liberalism as ‘fascists’, in reality, Liberalism and Nazism are cousins and the fight between them is one of sibling rivalry. The reason why liberals paint all their political opponents from diverse political backgrounds as ‘fascist’ is that ‘fascism’ is the ideology they are most well acquainted with and intimate with.
          The tactic of labeling the political opponents of Liberalism as fascists is also a way to hide the fact that Liberalism is the one ideology that shares the most similarity with Fascism. It’s also a way to distract people from the fact that it is the conduct of liberals that resembles that of Nazis the most. Most dangerously, however, the footsoldiers of liberalism religiously believe the accusations they level against their opponents and the indoctrination they have suffered makes them unable to see the intricate similarities between Liberalism and Fascism. However, if they look into the mirror with honesty and integrity, they will discover that the two ideologies are mirror images of themselves in a great many essential respects.
          https://www.opindia.com/2020/01/similarities-between-liberals-fascists-nazis/

           

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            This is just crap and the fact that you call it well-written is baffling.

            The first problem is that he is using terms extremely loosely and ironically if you have any sort of understanding of history. Liberalism is generally thought of in historical thought as support for free markets. He is attempting to use liberalism in a US context to refer to people on the left – but he is doing so in a very superficial and stereotypical way. The problem is that fascism and Nazism developed in a European context in opposition to liberalism and democracy. (He also apparently is completely ignoring the authoritarian thrust of Trumpism). What is a liberal? He’s making the same mistake that you often make, by seeming to see a monolithic, homogeneous group whereas the American left is no monolith. This is basically a polemic and not one well grounded in political thought or history which uses and misuses terms and then bends them to his thesis. Anyone with a decent understanding of history or political thought would immediately see through this.

        4. Keith Olsen

          It doesn’t surprise me that you would find it as crap.

          The author made several good points.

          I get tired of some of the commenters on your blog automatically calling people they don’t agree with neo-fascists.  It happens way too often and for some reason your blog allows these pejoratives to post.

          Democrats often accuse others of what they’re actually doing themselves.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You didn’t respond to any of the points I made in criticism of his piece. What do you consider his good points?

        5. Keith Olsen

          All five of his points are legit as he outlined in the article.

          We aren’t going to agree on this so don’t waste your breath.

          But when your blog allows pejoratives to be tossed around (which BTW is supposed to be against the comment policy) don’t be surprised when people respond in kind.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            To finish my thought from earlier, you are not willing to engage on the fundamental problems of the piece you quoted but the bigger problem is you are arguing by assertion. You are asserting that calling groups “fascist” or “Nazis” is pejorative – but is it perjorative to refer to Hitler as a Nazi or a fascist?

            At the heart of this is the real problem – the movement towards authoritarianism by the modern right in the US.

            We can go back to January 6. We now know beyond any question that Trump knew and admitted to having lost and yet he tried to hold onto power. He incited a group of supporters to do the same which they attempted to do, fortunately clumsily and ineffectively on January 6.

            We know from polling that a huge percentage of Republicans believe that Trump legitimately won the 2020 election – even though Trump knows that to be false.

            We also have surveys that have tapped into authoritarianism streams this is from September in the Washington Post: “Last month, PRRI released the results of its annual American Values Survey. The pollsters asked respondents a slew of questions measuring their views of the country and its politics in the moment. Included among the questions was one that specifically addressed the question of authoritarianism: Did they think that things in the U.S. had gone so far off track that we need a leader who would break rules in order to fix the country’s direction? About 2 in 5 respondents said they did. That included nearly half of Republicans.

            So that’s where this conversation is coming from. And getting back to this piece, I pointed out that the group behind this lawsuit filed an amici to the Supreme Court arguing that in Lawrence that it should be lawful for sex between consenting same sex partners should be illegal and they pushed for the same in India, a decade later.

            You don’t want to engage on these issues when confronted on this point but clearly there is something to this and that’s why the conversation comes up.

            I’m sorry but you can’t demand that something that has a basis in actual fact get removed from a site that you don’t operate.

        6. Kendra Smith

          “You are asserting that calling groups “fascist” or “Nazis” is pejorative – but is it perjorative to refer to Hitler as a Nazi or a fascist?”

          All of this, David. *All* of this (your entire comment).

          Despite whether supporters will ever acknowledge it or not (they likely won’t), Moms for Liberty exhibits several hallmarks of classical fascism (though it’s actually neo-fascism, since it has features peculiar to the US and is not necessarily responding to the same exact forces as classical fascism did, although some of them are the same).

          Right wing? Check

          Nationalistic? Check

          Violent? Check (association with Proud Boys and other right wing villains who have been explicit in their willingness to do violence if they do not get their political way in this country)

          Authoritarian? Check

          Forcible suppression of opposition? That’s a *big* check.

          It shouldn’t be considered “fascist” to properly label a thing what it is. The Moms for Liberty are a neo-fascist organization, full stop.

          People who support that organization are supporting neo-fascist positions and policies and principles.

          I don’t care who whines about it. Maybe consider not aligning with neo-fascists and you won’t get lumped in with them.

          Just a thought.

          And I find it rich that Keith now wants people censored for basically speaking a fact.

          Don’t want to be called neo-fascist or a supporter? The answer is easy.

          Don’t be one and don’t support their agenda (again, which is being trounced into the mud by most decent, reasonable, educated, intelligent people who are interested in true parental freedom, and not the weasel worded version BS M4L is peddling).

           

        7. Matt Williams

          All five of his points are legit as he outlined in the article.

          .

          Keith, there is a fundamental problem with your statement above.  The article you quoted is so poorly written that it actually makes no points at all.

          You may mistakenly be confusing points with assertions.  Assertions are like the Emperor’s New Clothes.  They provide no support for their existence.  A point however, does provide support for its existence and its veracity.

          It is hard to even find five assertions, his writing is so poor, but I will try

          Assertion 1 “in reality, Liberalism and Nazism are cousins and the fight between them is one of sibling rivalry”

          Assertion 2 “ The tactic of labeling the political opponents of Liberalism as fascists is also a way to hide the fact that Liberalism is the one ideology that shares the most similarity with Fascism.

          Assertion 3 “ It’s also a way to distract people from the fact that it is the conduct of liberals that resembles that of Nazis the most. 

          Assertion 4 “ the footsoldiers of liberalism religiously believe the accusations they level against their opponents and the indoctrination they have suffered makes them unable to see the intricate similarities between Liberalism and Fascism. 

          Assertion 5 … there doesn’t appear to be a fifth assertion.

          What do all of these assertions have in common?  They are presented as facts, with no supporting evidence.

           

        8. Matt Williams

          Matt, they were taken from the Oxford Reference.
          You only quoted (cherrypicked) one of their definitions.

          Oxford Reference only provides me with a single definition of fascism.  Do us all a favor and take a screenshot of what you are seeing as multiple definitions and send the screenshot to Don Shor, and he will post it here.  That way we can both be talking about the same “apples.”

  9. Kendra Smith

    “Anyone who could think critically would see…..”

    that this is a logical fallacy called “Poisoning the Well,” and is….wait for it….a failure of solid critical thinking.

     

  10. Tim Keller

    68 comments and counting…

    I don’t weigh in on this topic for one reason:  It is a wedge issue.   An issue publicized by a political faction for the sole purpose of creating division and hatred..   And all of you are taking the bait.

    I don’t deny that the sports community needs to figure out how to handle trans athletes.. that is a valid issue for THEM to figure out, amongst the athletes, the coaches and the sports involved.    What the rest of you think about the topic.

    It doesn’t actually affect ANYONE outside of that, including most of the people here.  Let the people affected figure it out and say NO to the wedge issue designed to make us hate each-other.   This particular wedge issue is designed to unite social conservatives around a GOP that is otherwise only really working for oil companies, the ultra-rich and the cult of Trump.

    THAT is what this is really about.  M4L and ALL the people complaining about this issue are being used as pawns in a national-level campaign for division and distraction of the population.

    1. Matt Williams

      Tim, it really depends on what “this topic” really is.  If it is “free speech as referenced in the US Constitution” then I don’t see it as a wedge issue at all.  If it is trans-gender participation in sports, then I agree with you, that it is indeed a wedge issue.

      The US Constitution discussions are really quite interesting.  On the one hand, the Constitution was framed and written by a bunch of white, male, Christian, landowners in the interests of, and speaking to, white, male, Christian, landowners.  How the US is currently constituted is radically different from that narrow initial stakeholder group.  In addition, the steady march of science and industry has made the US very different now than it was in the late 18th Century.  It is kind of like reading and using the instructions for a rotary dial telephone today.

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