Right-wing Authoritarian Belief in Strict Punishment Produces Domestic Terrorists – Who’s Protecting America?

John Dean called them “right-wing authoritarians” in Conservatives Without Conscience (CWC). George Lakoff’s research, documented in The Political Mind, described their ideal family model as the “Strict Father Model.” Frank Schaeffer writes in Crazy for God, that he and his father helped train these “domestic terrorists” who are out to destroy a nation that is not made in their image.

Here is John Dean’s description of this group of single-minded American citizens:

Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds. They would march [scare] America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result. … And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going away.

The Strict Father Model, as discussed by George Lakoff in The Political Mind, is based partly on the use of punishment by a male authoritarian to teach his children ‘right’ from ‘wrong.’ This punishment ranges from James Dobson’s use of objects other than the hand to eliminate the “defiance” of infants as young as 15 to 18 months, to name calling by load-mouthed talking heads, to killing doctors who perform abortions.

The Political Mind includes the following references to punishment as a critical element in the strict father family model:

You need a strict father because kids are born bad, in the sense that they just do what they want to do, and don’t know right from wrong. They need to be punished strictly and painfully when they do wrong, ….

Mapped onto politics, the strict father model explains why conservatism is concerned with authority, with obedience, with discipline and with punishment.

The pregnant teenager has disobeyed her father and should be punished …

And why are conservatives [without conscience] punitive? It is assumed, in a strict father family, that the only way to teach a child right from wrong is to punish him for doing wrong. The lack of punishment is seen as a moral failing of the strict father. Moreover, the point of punishment – that is, physical “discipline” – is to get children to discipline themselves mentally so that they will do what the father says ….

Since a refusal to punish for an offense is seen as a moral failing by a conservative, conservatives insist on strict punishment ….

In the strict father model, there is an individual responsibility and direct action operating: the father gives a directive, the child is expected to carry it out, and if not, the father punishes. …

Lakoff also highlighted the link between the strict father family model and fundamentalist Christians – CWCs.

Why are fundamentalist Christians conservative? Because they view God as a strict father: Obey my commandments and you go to heaven: if not, you go to hell. Well, I’ll give you a second chance. You can be “born again.” Now obey my commands (as interpreted by your minister) and you go to heaven; otherwise you go to hell: authority, obedience, discipline, punishment.

This explains why James Dobson, the leading exponent of strict father childrearing, is a political conservative, [and] a fundamentalist Christian ….

Frank Schaeffer, a former founder of the religious right, exposes the strict father fundamentalist Christians in his book, Crazy for God, and the extremes of some to ‘punish’ America for what it has become. If they can’t “take America back,” they eagerly await its end time.


Crazy for God is a personal story about the rise of the religious right under the guidance of his father, Dr. Francis Schaeffer. His parents started as fundamentalist missionaries then went on to work with Presidents Reagan, Ford, George H. W. Bush and Congressman Jack Kemp. Frank and his father, together with Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, and Dr. C. Evert Koop (Surgeon-General in the Reagan Administration) helped found the Religious Right, the pro life movement, and turned religion into a political movement. “One of the reasons I left the movement … it was becoming increasingly extreme. … violence … vandalism … intimidation … an insurgency … turning America into a theocracy … a western version of Iran …”

Look at what the extremist CWCs are doing to education in Texas.


Frank’s father, Francis, wrote a book, A Christian Manifesto. In this book Francis Schaeffer advocated the overthrow of the government when the political process failed to meet their fundamentalist beliefs. His father was “setting the groundwork for individuals to decide that the line [Electing a black president, performing an abortion, stopping prayer in public school, taking their guns, etc] had been crossed.” Once the line is crossed, domestic terrorism is an option.

Since the publishing of A Christian Manifesto and the death of his father, Frank Schaeffer says the domestic terrorism mantra has been taken up by Fox News and some bloviated media voices. The result is “… violence … vandalism … intimidation … an insurgency ….” Frank Schaeffer states that just as the Justice Department is investigating foreign terrorists, they should be investigating domestic terrorists. “We have a group of people in this country who are Christian, who are fundamentalist, who have within their midst, individuals who are incredibly dangerous who are waiting to go off like bombs ready to explode with the fuse lit.”

April 2009 –
Their Enemies Must Be Punished

Jiverly Voong An American citizen, shot 13 people on April 5, 2009, and fantasized about the assassination of the President. His two guns were licensed by NY state.
Joshua Cartwright After scaring his wife into taking refuge at a hospital, he killed two sheriff’s deputies at a gun range on April 27, 2009. His wife said he had been severely disturbed that Barack Obama had been elected President.
Richard Poplawski On April 4, 2009, he opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them. A friend, Edward Perkovic, said the gunman feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.”


These extremist CWCs, according to Mr. Schaeffer have “a philosophical view of the world which essentially has become fundamentally anti-American.” They even hate these United States – it is now fascist. The government of the United States is evil under its new leadership. The United States has crossed too many CWC lines. In their minds, “America is so lacking in measuring up to [their] standards, that they literally want to overthrow the order that we now know.” They consider this new world order as illegitimate and “They believe they are doing God’s work.”


The CWC messengers all use “code words” to scare their followers into action. These code words allowed them to say what they said to each other in private in public. Occasionally, they slip and their private thoughts become public statements, which they later try to retract, such as 9/11 and Katrina were caused by America crossing one of their lines in the sand.

They so hate America that they “are rooting for the Apocalypse.” All those not like them “must die.” The worse the news gets, the sooner the end times will arrive. They appreciate the work of the war-mongering neocons and the chaos war brings. “The more chaos in the world, the better as far as they are concerned. It’s all signs that Jesus is on his way back. They are going to escape in the rapture. … Any body not exactly like [them] will now be killed. … Out of these groups will come some very dangerous individuals.”

Anyone care for a military coup?


The DOJ needs to monitor our evangelical, fundamentalist domestic terrorists just like they monitor international terrorists. “There are people who are inciting what we would call our unhinged lunatic fringe. … If they can’t win democratically through the election process, they will take that itself as a sign of the end times.”


In 2008, “We came within an ace of the fringe of the fringe actually becoming the heart of the American Political System.” The mainstream, non-authoritarian, conservatism of William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater has been replaced by the far right of the far right with Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee.


Evangelical Christian leadership must be challenged to pull back from its message of hate. Moderate members of Pro Life activist groups must blow the whistle on those who would commit violent acts. The DOJ and other law enforcement must take seriously the possibility of domestic terrorism and put it on an equal footing with international terrorists.


Within the Conservatives without Conscience, there is an extremist group – “The fringe of the fringe.” This group was raised within the ideal Strict Father Model and taught to accept authority without question. Their parental authority uses strong physical punishment to enforce what he believes is right. Their religious authority uses politics to create a culture war and identify the enemies of their imaginary theocratic America. Their media authority names their enemies and defines their failures. Their economic authority makes sure the religious and media authoritarians are funded even when they can’t make it on their own.

These “domestic terrorists” understand that failure requires punishment – punishment that will teach their enemy, as they were taught, the rightness of the “far right of the far right.”

This “fringe of the fringe” group believes that if they cannot ‘retrain’ or remake their enemies in their own image, then they will pray for the end times and create the chaos that proves the end times are at hand.

Our government needs to protect all American citizens from all terrorists – foreign and domestic.




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About Andy Hailey

Vietnam Vet, UT El Paso Grad, Retired Aerospace Engineer, former union rep, 60's Republican now progressive, web admin, blogger.

One Response to Right-wing Authoritarian Belief in Strict Punishment Produces Domestic Terrorists – Who’s Protecting America?

  1. Mary Crody says:

    We have to stop these people before it is too late