The Arab Spring and America’s Winter – Where the Authoritarians Are Taking Us, If We Let Them

In several Arab countries, citizens have been demonstrating and demanding their authoritarian governments be replaced with a democratic form of government.

In America, citizens have ceded control of their democracy to a hateful minority of right-wing authoritarians.

As democracy is taking root in the Middle East, America is returning to its pre-revolutionary roots – rule by the royal corporation and their evangelical right-wing authoritarians.

In 2006, John Dean documented the growth of these authoritarians and summarized them in this way:

“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. … 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.” — John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience, 2006.

More recently, Frank Schaeffer, who’s father helped educate Michele Bachmann and other evangelical authoritarians, had this to say about this minority which now controls our House and Senate, and wants to assure President Obama is a one term president:

There is a growing movement in America that equates godliness with hatred of our government in fact hatred of our country as fallen and evil because we allow women choice, gays to marry, have a social safety net, and allow immigration from other cultures and non-white races.

There is a history to the far right, religious right extremism on the rise today, extremism so extreme that in its congressional manifestation it is risking the good faith and credit of the US in the debt calling fiasco. The Tea Party activists also want purity of doctrine.

… the terror now unleashed by the Tea Party through Congress as it holds our economy hostage to extremist “economic” theories that want to destroy our ability to function — is the sort of white, Christian; far right terror America can expect more of.

Foreigners, visitors from another planet and Americans living in a bubble of reasonable or educated people might not know this but the reality is that the debt ceiling confrontation is by, for and the result of America’s evangelical Christian control of the Republican Party.

… the Republican Party is now the party of religious fanatics and that these fanatics — people like Michele Bachmann — don’t want to work within our system, they want to bring it down along the lines of so-called Christian “Reconstruction.”

What the Religious Right, including the Religious Right’s Roman Catholic and Protestant enablers, did was contribute to a climate in which the very legitimacy of our government–is questioned as part of religious faith itself.

The Far Right intellectual enablers began by questioning abortion rights, gay rights, school prayer rulings, and so forth. What they ended up doing was to help foster a climate in which — in the eyes of a dangerous and growing … minority — the very legitimacy of the U.S. government was called into question, …

In other words, Dad’s followers were told that (1) force is a legitimate weapon to use against an evil government; (2) America was like Hitler’s Germany–because of legal abortion and of the forcing of “Humanism” on the population–and thus intrinsically evil; and (3) whatever would have been the “appropriate response” to stop Hitler was now appropriate to do here in America to stop our government, …

To the old-fashioned conservative mantra “Big government doesn’t work,” the newly radicalized Evangelicals (and their Roman Catholic and Mormon cobelligerents) added “The U.S. government is evil!”

It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to foresee a day when a “secessionist” group and/or members of some “militia”–let alone one lone individual–will use their U.S. passports, white skins, and solid- citizen standing as a cover for importing a weapon of mass destruction to “liberate” the rest of us from our federal government’s “tyranny” and/or to “punish” some city like New York, known as the U.S. “abortion capital” or San Francisco as the place that “those gays have taken over.” And the possibility of an assassination in the same vein is a never-ending threat.

What we fear most from Islamist terrorists will be unleashed here as it was in Norway.

Terror is on the way on the way from our very own Christian and/or Libertarian “Tea Party” type activists inspired by right wing “Christian” intellectuals and political leaders like Bachmann who – after the killing starts — will then disown them and express horror at their actions, actions that are in fact the logical extension of the anti-government rhetoric spewing from Congress and the religious right.

Domestic terrorism from the evangelical, government-is-evil, right-wing authoritarians (RWA) could start a second American Civil War, unless …

Henry Giroux, has written Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, and concludes his introduction with:

My hope is that this book will break through a diseased common sense that often masks zombie politicians, anti-public intellectuals, politics, institutions, and social relations and bring into focus the need for a new language, pedagogy, and politics in which the living dead [RWA] will be moved decisively to the margins rather than occupying the very center of politics and everyday life.

 

 

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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 The Arab Spring and America’s Winter – Where the Authoritarians Are Taking Us, If We Let Them

  1. Mike says:

    I see a great disconnect in segments of our population, people who have been brainwashed into the false dichotomy of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ There is an idealization of ‘rugged individualism’ and ‘self-actualization’ which directly influences personal choices towards selfishness. We see it in ‘climbing the corporate ladder,’ we see it with the ‘hero’ in Hollywood who kills others in pursuit of his glorious ‘goodness,’ we see it in sport, where teamwork gets lip service and individuals get massive salaries. It’s the ‘nobody wants to be second place,’ and in Sarah Palin’s “reload” mantra. We see it in the miserably naive gun and bullet stockpilers and the evangelical movement which actually wants an apocalypse.