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West Michigan Far Right Watch for the week of November 6 – 14: Celebrating Capitalist Class Election victories and interpretations of fascism

November 18, 2020

Welcome to the next installment of West Michigan Far Right Watch, where we keep tabs on the far right in this area and provide a summary of what they are up to and what kind of messages they are promoting in this community.

We have 3 new examples to share with you this week. The first comes to us from the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, which always posts information and opinion that we find detestable. However, the article we want to discuss provides a rundown of some of the ballot initiatives on each state in the country. What is instructive about the Acton position on these ballot initiatives, is that they supported those which passed that gave more power to corporations and those that punished the public. For example, Acton cheered the passage of Prop 22 in California, which kept gig economy workers are contractual, meaning they would not be employees who could receive benefits.

Then there were ballot initiatives like the one in Florida, which increased the minimum wage from $8.56 to $15 by 2026. Not exactly a radical shift, since many people can’t live off of $15 an hour right now. However, the Acton Institute saw this as a defeat, since they never want to concede anything to workers, only to the Capitalist Class.

Our second example of the Far Right for this edition, is the American Patriot Council. While they have been kicked off of Facebook, they still have a blog and a youtube channel for their show with Ryan Kelley and Jason Howland. There are two videos we wanted to point out. The first one is simply a Live streamed video on November 6 in Detroit, where Howland and Kelley were leading Trump supporters in a protest of the election result. As always, their arguments are weak, vague and intellectually simplistic.

The second video is their regular format, where Howland, Kelley and sometimes a guest spew their hate, propaganda and naive understanding of US history. In this video, they use the Webster’s dictionary to look at the definition of fascism:

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

Based on this definition, Howland and Kelley determined that the “real fascists” in our country are antifa and Black Lives Matter. Are they not aware that antifa literally means anti-fascist? It boggles the mind, but this is the kind of distorted worldview that members of the American Patriot Council embrace. 

The 3rd example in our West Michigan Far Right watch for this week is the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP). Now, GLEP is based in Lansing, but it was founded by none other than Betsy DeVos, which is as West Michigan and Far Right as they come. 

GLEP made our list for this week, because they are celebrating all of the Michigan lawmakers who were elected or re-elected recently, specifically the lawmakers who embrace Betsy DeVos’s favorite catch-phrase, School Choice. GLEP writes:

Advocates for students and families turned up and voted for school choice and parental options from one corner of Michigan to the next. When all the votes were counted, pro-student reformers carried the day and maintained a majority in the state House of Representatives.

And now that Betsy DeVos will no longer be attacking public education from inside the government, we can count on her attacking public education from the private sector, and using groups like the Great Lakes Education Project to do just that.

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