What masks for conservatism today is really not conservative ideology but reactionary at it’s best and authoritarianism at it’s worst. All that so-called conservatives lack is for a charismatic leader to lead them not to a world of less government but to a country where an authoritarian leader would rule.
Fascism is defined as an authoritarian and nationalistic right wing system of government and social organization. The stage is being set for authoritarian rule.
One of America’s two major political party’s is leading this effort. We hear in the media and from party leaders how America is exceptional; that American history is filled with examples of why the 21st Century will be the American century. They are super nationalists, supporting an ever larger military force, claiming that our military needs to be stronger, that it is too weak. They now have an enemy. It is no longer just Al Qaeda, it is all radical Muslims. One of the talking heads on the propaganda mouthpiece, Fox News, just announced on television for all to hear that we are in a Holy War against ISIS. They are inciting a religious fervor where it is Christianity against Muslims.
The use of fear and hate is the weapon of authoritarians. Talk radio and Fox News are the instruments of the far right to gin up the necessary fear and hate to acquire more power.
What is truly amazing is that today’s alleged conservatives were willing to give up liberty for security in their support of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act allows for the surveillance of American citizens. The use of the word patriot is interesting because what if you are against the unwarranted listening into your phone conversations. Would that mean that you are unpatriotic? Even the use of the words Homeland Security conjures up visions of Nazi Germany. The use of the words homeland security again is quite clever because who wouldn’t want the Fatherland to be secure and safe.
Safety and order are two of the attributes that individuals who are willing to be submissive to authoritarians seek. If you are willing to give up liberty for order and safety how much liberty do you really have. Let us not forget that the 4th Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. If a stranger who works for the government listens to your phone conversation are you not as an individual citizen having your person searched without any probable cause?
If a conservative is a person who wants to preserve freedom and liberty how can we explain away those in the right wing who look the other way when torture is used in the name of liberty? What separates our torturers from the Germans who participated in executing the final solution?
An early indication of how far, the wannabe fascists were willing to go was an occurrence in 2002, when there were suspected terrorists in Buffalo, New York. A Mr. Yoo and Delahunty prepared a memorandum at the White House request regarding whether it would be permissible to have the military used to arrest suspected terrorists in Buffalo. Thankfully, President Bush decided against Vice President Dick Cheney’s suggestion. Posse Comitatus, a 1878 law, makes it illegal to use our military for domestic law enforcement purposes. The attorney, Yoo, gave the rationale that by ignoring the law, it would be okay because the situation involved national security and not domestic lawlessness.
Posse Comitatus is an important law that makes it against the law for a President to call up our military for domestic purposes. It one wanted to be a dictator you could declare martial law and call up the military to put down any domestic disturbances. It is a good law to have as it acts as a check and balance against any potential tyrant.
With all of the yellow and orange alerts that we had during the height of the terror threat period, a authoritarian leader could have used terrorism as an excuse to declare martial law. The incident regarding the Buffalo terrorists shows all of us how close we were to having lost our liberty.
A key question is why would so-called conservatives be willing to submit to authority and allow essential freedoms and liberties to be abused and taken away?
In a study it was shocking to discover what percentage of Americans would be willing to be submissive to a authority figure. In John Dean’s book entitled “CONSERVATIVES WITHOUT CONSCIENCE,” he cites the studies done by Stanley Milgram and Bob Altemeyer to better understand the mindsets of those who blindly followed Richard Nixon’s orders all the way to jail. The studies of Stanley Milgram and Bob Altemeyer are also instructive to understand people who are willing to be submissive to authority figures and to understand the personalities of authoritarian leaders.
Charles Dunn and J.W. Woodard wrote in a political science study entitled,” The Conservative Tradition in America”, the following quote: ” Authoritarian conservatism begins with basic conservative beliefs–order, distrust of change, belief in traditional values—and branches in the direction of favoring state power to protect these beliefs. Libertarianism has an entirely different set of core beliefs which are based upon nineteenth century liberalism. Those beliefs subordinate the order of a community to the desire for individuality and stress personal rights over personal responsibilities. Libertarians move away from state power to secure maximum liberty for the individual. Authoritarian conservatives are like traditional conservatives in their belief in established values, while libertarians are like traditional conservatives in their desire for limited government. ”
Don’t kid yourselves into believing that we don’t have fascists in our democracy. John Dean in his seminal book Conservatives Without Conscience,” listed the following statements as attributes of authoritarian conservatives without a conscience. How many do you agree with?
“Order and safety always trump freedom when government needs to balance them.
A “Unitary Executive” branch operates under the president, who has virtually unlimited powers in foreign affairs as commander-in-chief.
If Conservatives control Congress they run it their way and exclude others from having a say.
Federal Courts should be staffed by judges who think and act like good conservatives, and if they do not, Congress should take jurisdiction away from lower courts, which it controls.
Government secrecy is necessary in an age of terror, and transparency makes it difficult to run the government.
American was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the Bible is an indisputable guide for government, and there is nothing in the Constitution creating a “wall of separation” between church and state. ”
If you agree with most of the above you may very well belong in a group with a tendency to follow and be subservient to authoritarian leaders.
In the forthcoming election of 2016, you already have several potential candidates to watch out for. Senator Ted Cruz is a dominionist. He believes that he was ordained by God to lead the nation.
You have Jeb Bush who has started out his campaign sounding very much like his brother, the former President George W. Bush in the foreign policy arena. I can just hear him now saying that only if we stay the most powerful nation in the world, we can maintain peace because everyone will fear us. Let us see if he repudiates the belief that preemptively going to war can prevent war.
Governor Huckabee sounds like a Sunday morning preacher who wants to be the morality police and supplant the Constitution with the Bible and biblical law.
Only Rand Paul sounds like he is a conservative with a conscience.
Our Republicans in office sound more and more like fascists as they tout with nationalist fervor the notion that the United States is exceptional. They sound like Nazi’s when they blame our fate on others. We hear blame being foisted on immigrants as if things would be great if we kept immigrants out, unless you happen to be from Western Europe. You hear members of Congress blame minorities for being lazy. You hear the disabled being blamed as they claim too many of them are fraudulently getting disability support.
Fox News and talk radio are the instruments used to get the constant lies out to a brainwashed and gullible public. Joseph Goebbels would be proud of how effective Fox’s campaign of lies instead of news has been. As Goebbels would say, if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth.
The Federalist society does the legal work to put into jurisprudence the laws that are necessary to put the nails into the coffin that was our Republican form of government. And the Koch brothers and other like minded individuals are providing the money for their campaign of tyranny. Our very liberty and freedoms are at stake as right wing fascists in the name of conservatism are prepared to take our freedom away from us.
Citizens! It is not a time for sunshine patriots as the very soul of our nation is on the line. We need to fight as if our very lives depend on our winning the fight against the authoritarian’s in our midst.