As I said in Failed Single Party Nations of the Past – Where Are We Going Now?, “Nations run by a single party (political, army or dictatorship) tend to become intensely nationalistic, racist, militaristic and imperialistic. They are supported by the ‘masses’ but not necessarily the majority of the national population. Support for this system is enhanced by identifying an ‘enemy’ and its ‘supporters’, labeling them with prejudicial adjectives and urging the masses to support violence against them.” That article was about the past. This article, and the three that follow, are about the initial stages of converting our Democracy into a single party system. They are about high-level authoritarian leaders from a “single party” and the right-wing authoritarian followers that are the “masses.”
In the previous article, I concluded with, “So, who are these Leaders that we need to get out of public office before they turn this country upside-down?” I have come to believe that they are the Double High authoritarians as identified by John Dean’s review of the situation in Conservatives Without Conscience. They are listed in this series of four posts along with their identified authoritarian traits and the infamous deeds they have used, and will continue to use, to bring us to a single party system of authoritarians. I have added some family history, but there is no proven relationship between this and the other information presented here.
Please note: Not all conservatives are after this single party goal – only those with authoritarian personalities.
John Dean provided a little perspective to this threat, “Political Authoritarianism in America still pales in comparison with that in countries like China and Russia ….” However, under the heading of “Authoritarian Origins of Social Conservatism” John Dean asserts that, “Any representative list of the major players in launching this movement should include J. Edgar Hoover, Spiro T. Agnew, Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich.” John later adds, “Christian Conservatives’ primary tool in reinforcing authoritarianism is preaching fear, and no one does so more than the head of the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson.”
I leave the details of those authoritarians to John Dean’s words and go on to a more current list of Social Dominators, their families, their traits and their deeds. I need to point out here that what follows just barely scratches the surface of how the Republicans plan, according to John Dean, “to build a permanent majority in America, and a one-party rule”.
John Dean started off the chapter on these single party authoritarians with, “While authoritarian conservatism was growing in force in Washington for a decade before Bush and Cheney arrived at the White House, their administration has taken it to its highest and most dangerous level in American History. It is doubtful they could have accomplished this had authoritarian conservatism not already taken hold on Capitol Hill …. … it is difficult to think of anyone who has done more to poison national politics … than Gingrich and Delay.”
Newt Gingrich – Served: 1979 to 1999, Speaker: 1995 to 1999
Family Background Here’s how Gail Sheehy introduced him in her PBS Frontline interview in 1995, “From the cauldron of his childhood — the father who abandoned him, the manic depressive mother who loved him too much, the stepfather whose anger shaped the family — Newt Gingrich emerged with a heroic need that became his mission. Talking to his inner circle of family, friends, and associates, and to the Speaker himself, GAIL SHEEHY learns the details of Newt’s wars, his women, and his contract with himself.” Here are some of Gingrich’s own words from the above interview:
- “My father grew up as a very angry person. When he signed up for the navy, the recruiting officer said, ‘Why did you fill out your application wrong?’ He said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘You put your grandmother’s name in where your mother’s name should be.’ He found out that he had been born out of wedlock. They never told him. Talk about being outraged!”
- “Big Newt was physically enormous. Six foot three, and could use a nine-pound sledgehammer with one hand. I’d say from the time he was 16 to 35 he was in bar fights…My mother was very frightened of him. So she decides to file for divorce. He tries to talk her out of it, fails, scares her even more, so she divorces him and then marries Bob Gingrich, who is also adopted…So that’s the background, and people assume I’m some right wing, out-of-touch Neanderthal who doesn’t get it. I mean, I’m adopted! Both of my fathers are adopted! I mean, give me a break!”
- “I was nearsighted –something I didn’t realize until I was about 12.”
- “They’re [father and step father] both angry. They both served in the military. They’re both physically strong. They both believe in a very male kind of toughness. They’re both totalitarian. Not much difference between them.”
Authoritarian_Traits From Lee Howell, Newt’s press secretary in 1974, once observed, “Very candidly, I don’t think that Newt Gingrich has many principles, except for what’s best for him, guiding him.” From Chip Kahn, ran two of Newt’s campaigns and has known him for 16 years: “I don’t know whether the ambitious bastard came before the visionary, or whether because he’s a visionary, he realizes you have to be tough to get where you need to be.” From Mary Kahn: “Newt uses people and then discards them as useless. He’s like a leech. He really is a man with no conscience. He just doesn’t seem to care who he hurts or why.” FromL.H. Carter, among Gingrich’s closest friends and advisors, “You can’t imagine how quickly power went to his head. The important thing you have to understand about Newt Gingrich is that he is amoral. He’s probably one of the most dangerous people for the future of this country that you can possibly imagine. He’s Richard Nixon, glib. ” From Suzanne Garment’s book Scandal, New Gingrich “brought scandal politics unmistakenly home to the Congress.” From John Dean, “[David] Osborne reported that Gingrich was dominating, opposed to equality, desirous of power, and amoral; he can be a bully, hedonistic, exploitive, manipulative, a cheater, prejudiced toward women, and mean-spirited, and he uses religion for political purposes; he also wants others to submit to his authority and is aggressive on behalf of authority.” Infamous Deeds Keep in mind that all of the following occurred while the Democrats held the majority in the House and it was Gingrich’s plan to change that. How do you do that? You make the House and the Democrats look as bad as possible. They still have a tarnished image that may never go away. In 1984 Gingrich organized a C-Span propaganda blitz. He lined up Republicans to speak during off-hours on the House floor and say whatever they wanted to about their opponents. Later these speeches would be rebroadcast and the viewers could assume the Congressman was speaking to an occupied (but actually empty) chamber. After Tip O’Neill, the Democratic Speaker of the House, retired in 1987, Gingrich exposed the use of large overdrafts from the House Bank by Congressmen and “portrayed the Republicans as godly and Democrats as anti-religious liberals. The Columbia Journalism Review put this and other Gingrich handy work this way, “Encouraged by the Gingrich machine, reporters took up not only the House post office scandal (a serious matter) but also the House bank overdraft affair. This was minor, involving no tax money, but they played it like another Teapot Dome. Unpaid House restaurant lunch bills of certain members became another Abscam. And so it went until the country, pining for change, dumped the Dems and put Gingrich in as Speaker.” According to Dan T. Carter in From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, during Gingrich’s effort to oust the Democrats he provided a list of keywords to fellow Republicans for describing the Democrats as the enemy: “sick, traitors, corrupt, bizarre, cheat, steal, devour, self-serving and criminal rights.” Once upon a time, House Committees were chaired based on a seniority system, but Gingrich abolished that and set up a centralized party-based system that reported to him as Speaker of the House. The House workweek had been shortened to three days, and C-SPAN and electronic voting minimized Republican exposure to Democrats by keeping everyone in their offices thus making it a lot easier to call Democrats names, drop all forms of civility and take over the House in 1979.