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
As I keep saying, the Democrats and the Media are in cahoots, and sleep together in the same beds.
Psychological projection is as good an explanation for leftist behavior as anything.
And don't forget leftist complaining about Fox News. There's any number of left-biased media companies, but the existence of one mildly conservative media company is somehow cause for complaint.
I think the term "authoritarian right" is from the leftist fear of the Moral positions of the conservative positions. Leftists hate it when they are told they are morally wrong on abortions, crime, guns-self-defense, deviant sex, govt. power and mandates, taxes, racism, climate, terrorism, covid, etc. Leftists have the moral high ground don't cha know. And they should have the Power and Control to impose their code of morals. Because of the leftist world view of Oppressors and Victims, they must have the power to control others behavior and thought. It is always others that are to blame for problems, therefore others must be controlled. Leftists hate self-responsibility and independence. As Jonathan said, they project their hate and anger on the Other. Leftists must demonize their enemies to justify the terror, horror, and pain they intend to inflict.
Assistant Village Idiot: The big-ticket item, first off the conveyor belt, is that they want to limit or eliminate abortion.
So, you are apparently talking about recent American politics. Okay.
Assistant Village Idiot: Hasn't the brouhaha over the last decade, especially the last two years, been about them not obeying the government enough?
There is a difference between limited and excessive government authority. Most everyone believes the government should has significant powers, especially during emergencies.
Assistant Village Idiot: 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.
Except that creationists wrongly insisted upon it being taught in science classes alongside evolution, not just in classes on comparative religions.
Assistant Village Idiot: 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.
That's what populists on the right are led to believe, anyway. Looking at the history of racism and how it impacts the modern world is a valid prism, one often neglected or minimized, but certainly not the only prism through which to view history.
Assistant Village Idiot: 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.
Good point. For generations, conservatives have undermined anti-trust enforcement. Populists were harnessed to resist government elitists making decisions that conglomerates said should best be left to the market, you know, markets like Mom-and-Pop stores. Today, we can see the fruit of that effort, and populists now feel the weight of the new monopolies they helped create.
Assistant Village Idiot: I wonder about a more emotive, less-acknowledged cause.
People who worry about emerging authoritarianism in the U.S. are primarily concerned about the erosion of the democratic principle, the principle that people will accept the results of elections and that those in power will attempt to govern for all Americans. Even before Trump, the democratic principle was under assault: the Clinton impeachment; then Bush v. Gore. But, Clinton continued to work with Congress, and Gore acquiesced to the Supreme Court, even though the decision was patently partisan.
Then, Trump welcomed Russian interference in the 2016 election. Though he won, he lied about the election, insisting he won a popular majority. Then he lied and lied and lied about the 2020 election. The effect has been to undermine the duly elected president, making it much more difficult to govern, further undermining the democratic principle that elections can lead to effective government. And that is what has historically led to authoritarianism.
The LEFT is authoritarian.
Sam L: The LEFT is authoritarian.
The political left is a very wide and broad category, which includes moderate liberals to radical communists. The political right is also a very wide and broad category, which includes moderate conservatives and reactionary militants.
The left-right spectrum is orthogonal to the libertarian-authoritarian spectrum.
The Labour Government of New Zealand is mandating the teaching of creationism in NZ science classes; but it's okay because it's the Maori creation mythology and not the Hebrew creation mythology!
OMG, you are kidding me. Please tell me that is only sorta partly kinda true. I assume there is at least smoke and mirrors?
Which is to say, I should have seen this coming, but didn't think it would happen for another few years.
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