Update: James continues the discussion at his site. Fearing Guns
Or, to use the older forms, Authoritarian Right-Wing, or Authoritarian Conservatives. I am curious what they mean with the "authoritarian" part. The big-ticket item, first off the conveyor belt, is that they want to limit or eliminate abortion. That applies less-universally to populists, I believe, but I think is still a general rule, so there's that. That is of course enough to brand them as Stalinists or Nazis, though the abortion policies of both Stalin and Hitler were more complicated than that. But what else? Hasn't the brouhaha over the last decade, especially the last two years, been about them not obeying the government enough? Or is the thought that they won't obey these Washington-elite governments we keep electing, but if they ever get in even marginal control* of government themselves they will not only quickly turn obedient, but insist everyone else do it too?
Teaching evolution used to be a hot-button topic, but even at its peak the insistence was that some sort of Creationism was at least co-taught as something frequently believed. I think they would have settled for "Just don't say anything bad about it, even slyly," frankly. Doesn't sound that authoritarian to me. Similarly in modern curriculum controversies, the objection to CRT-derived lessons is that it claims to be the only prism with which to view America. Teaching children to consider race as a possible or partial explanation for events would perhaps annoy some, but not to this level.
The claim used to be that Republicans would let Big Business run rampant and do anything they want to the poor helpless schmoes, which was an equivalent to authoritarianism. Well, how'd that work out? Facebook? Twitter? Microsoft? Darn those conservatives.
What else? Is it just feeling powerless when your tribe is not holding the whip hand? And assuming that they will use the whip hand the same way you do if they get the chance?
I wonder about a more emotive, less-acknowledged cause. They are more likely to carry guns, and that therefore suggests that they must be authoritarian, or at least they could all do so more effectively is they ever got in power. They just feel authoritarian.
*When Bush had a 50-50 Senate, slight control of the House, and some conservative Supreme Court votes plus some justices who occasionally voted with them, the elite media wrote automatically about "controlling" all three branches of government, with that whole fevered appeal to the few stalwart remaining liberals holding back the deluge. Even when Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate, it still felt to them as is the Republicans were dangerously close to assuming authoritarian power. I note also the general political slant of those who work for the
federal government, which may matter more than any of the three branches