Where is the Right-wing Authoritarian Triad Taking Us?

This blog tracks where we are going by documenting the characteristic categories of the minority right-wing authoritarians (RWA) in the United States. The RWAs are part of our political system and are currently represented by the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and the minority party in our Senate. They are also characterized as being born-again evangelicals and some of them have been referred to as the “extreme right of the extreme right.” The RWAs are also represented by a privateering group of civilian mercenaries hired by our government to replace our military and used both nationally and internationally to provide unaccountable, freelance “security.”

Now the presence of RWAs in our own military has to be added to that list. Their existence is exemplified by the words of General McChrystal as reported by Rolling Stone magazine. Frank Schaeffer detailed this growing characteristic of our military leaders in a recent Huffington Post article. Here are some related quotes from Schaeffer’s article:

The real reason that Rolling Stone was able to quote so many highly placed military people’s disdain for members of the Obama administration is because the military sees itself as more moral and better — and certainly more conservative — than the types who serve in civilian roles today, especially within a Democratic administration.

Perhaps more importantly, the evangelical Christians — now a force for reactionary Far Right politics — created an alliance between themselves, the Republican party, and the military beginning in the 1970s — something that’s been well documented by political scientist Andrew Bacevich — and this strategy has borne “fruit” in the current era, where the ties between the three groups — weak a generation ago — are now very strong.

America needs to understand that we have a professional military that increasingly looks on the culture it serves as morally inferior. And speaking as the father of a Marine who had plenty of neighbors who went shopping as my son went to war, I understand this feeling!

What you saw now between the White House and the general being fired is the tip of an iceberg.
New recruits are increasingly second generation military. This is especially so in the officer class, a nation within a nation. We now have a military “class.” And face it they [the military] don’t trust or like the people outside that class who tell them what to do but with no skin in the game.

Our system was set up to have a civilian led military of mostly civilian non-professionals serving for a time then returning to civilian life. We now have a civilian leadership with no military experience in charge of a mercenary professional force with few personal (let alone empathetic) ties to our leaders.

And that force is no longer protecting America only but rather projecting imperial overreach that will lead to more and more loss of American lives for no reason. Expect more trouble.

So, not only has our government contracted with freelance, unaccountable mercenaries like Blackwater (Xe), it has cultivated a “mercenary professional force” in our military which has little respect for those who prefer everything ‘me’ to serving others.

Combine the public and private RWA mercenaries with the RWAs of the Christian right and the RWAs of Tea party right, and you have a potent cocktail for wars against the many imagined internal and external enemies of the RWAs.

Have you forgotten about the gun and ammunition shortages around the country since the 2008 election?




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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.

7 Responses to Where is the Right-wing Authoritarian Triad Taking Us?

  1. Bill says:

    These right wingers are a bigger danger to our country than any of the terrorist organizations, or even Iran, or N.Korea. I live in an extreamly conservative town and these people just don’t make good sense, and have no shame.

  2. boc says:

    Just recommended this blog for reading, after I came here via Crooks and Liars. The idea of a permanent military class is something that solves some questions and issues; let’s hope we get through this one too.

  3. Charles says:

    The more I learn about authoritarianism, the more I see the American conservative movement not as coherent political movement, but as a mix of random issues (anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-government, pro-large business, etc.) that are related only because the leading voices on these issues are authoritarian.

  4. Beulah says:

    Great food for thought. And frightening. I hope this doesn’t discourage talented, non-political (esp. non-RWA) young people from seeking careers in the military.

  5. Mike R says:

    Just stumbled on to your site, your comments on RWA are dead on. As you have observed that while your son was making sacrifices too much of the citizenry are unaffected by our current wars. Not only do they not have to fight in them, we have decided that we don’t even have to pay for them while they may be in our consciousness the actual effect is minimal. We need a draft, make everybody take a turn or at least face the possibility. This would serve two functions. One it would lesson the separation of the military from the rest of society and two give every son, mother father and relative a reason to pay attention. Nothing like facing possible death or dismemberment to focus one’s mind. Sometimes a little shock is necessary to wake those who have lost interest in the way our country is being governed. After all less than fifty percent of the registered voters show up at the polls.

    Keep up the good work.

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  7. Suzy Allison says:

    We were talking on the way back from the Dem convention about the evangelical pressures (and anti-women administration) at the Air Force Academy. Obviously, that is a close-up of part of the larger picture.