Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Schizophrenia of the Republican Party: Anarcho-Libertarianism or Police State?

Republicans (“Conservatives”) are torn by two extremisms, both equally baneful: On the one hand, there is the Rand Paul libertarian wing, loons such as Michelle Bachmann and much of the Tea Party.

This group is the reductio ad absurdum of the seductive slogan launched by Ronald Reagan in 1980: “the government is the problem, not the solution.”

By now, it is conceivable that this group has managed to brainwash and capture a majority of American public opinion. Judging by website comments, letters to the editor, audience reaction to Jay Leno’s jokes, and small talk by the water cooler, most Americans now seem, like zombies in a trance, to agree that

the best form of government is a non-existent government,
all taxation is theft,
national mandatory health insurance is fascism,
dependence on food stamps and other government hand-outs is immoral,
all public employees are corrupt, incompetent and overpaid,

Until recently, such Tea Party imbecility seemed to be limited mostly to the usual suspects - uneducated old timers, people whose calcified brains could explain a lot. Sadly, the Gen X and the Millennials are now also jumping on the bandwagon.

It is now useless to ask a worker: “How about that road you take to work every day? Who built it and who maintains it?” or: “Don’t you want to land safely, next time you fly?” or: “Do you want to drink clean water, or poisoned water?”

No. The near unanimity is that we don’t need government. I call this anarcho-libertarianism. It is spreading dangerously. On November 1, there was another anarcho-libertarian terrorist attack, when Paul Ciancia murdered a federal employee and hurt several others at Los Angeles International Airport. His motive was the same as Tim McVeigh’s and Terry Nichol’s: blind hatred of the government. It was the same as that of thousands of gun-toting survivalists and white supremacists holing up in places like Idaho, Montana and elsewhere.

Then there is the other side of Republican conservatism: Traditionally, the GOP has been the most vocal in advocating a strong military, an arms race with the Soviet Union, war against Communism, war against terrorism and other perceived threats, spying and torture. It has advocated government regulation of sexuality and marriage (the DOMA), the prohibition of abortion, the eviction of illegal immigrants and their children who grew up in the US, building more and more prisons and beefing up what is already the most punitive criminal justice system in the world.

In other words, it is the Republicans and the conservatives who have been the most favorable to an Orwellian police state, as long as that state protects a pure, nativistic, Christian, all-American society. They have been the most AUTHORITARIAN. The heck with liberty for all. Only liberty for some.

So which is it? Republican conservatives are Anarcho-libertarians when they rant against government assistance programs. But they favor an authoritarian police state when they wish to impose their agenda and their cultural values on the rest of us.

They claim, absurdly, that the federal government is becoming a dictatorship, because it spends money on roads, on schools and on food stamps. They consider fixing roads evil.

On the other hand, they feel that the state must be allowed to profile, to stop and frisk innocent people, especially when they are black. Nuts.

Listen up, you anarcho-libertarians and McVeigh-type survivalists and aspiring terrorists: America is NOT a dictatorship. It is a democracy.

And listen up, you authoritarian conservatives: We don’t need more of a police state, more spying, more warrant less stopping and frisking, more torture, more prisons, more punitive laws, more power to the NSA, more censorship. America enjoys enough policing and surveillance already. leave comment here