Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Democracy Now! Asks If America Will Become More Authoritarian

     Today's episode of Democracy Now! had an interesting segment with John Dean, author of Conservatives Without Conscience. He discussed some conclusions made by social scientists after WW2 that the type of fascism that Italy and Germany experienced could come to the United States. The social scientists came to the conclusion that there were authoritarian elements within America that could easily rally around a leader regardless of what he did. Dean notes that 23% of people today still don't believe that Nixon did anything wrong. It wouldn't surprise me if that 23% was also part of the 33% that still supports Bush.

     It's easy to say "oh, it couldn't happen here", but what do you think would happen if tomorrow Bush announced a plethora of new programs and "security" measures that would be taken to protect against terrorists? The rally I went to on Saturday was very opposed to the actions of the Israeli government. What if he used that to claim that leftists supported terrorists and therefore should have restricted rights? Do you doubt that at least a sizable fraction of the 33% who support Bush would still support him?

     Imagine what would happen if there was another large terrorist attack. Mix that with some good media propaganda and patriotic rhetoric and I could see a very large portion of the American population supporting Bush and whatever actions he might take. If terrorists attack again, I will fear our government more than anything else.


Mookie said...

There are some hard-core Bush-supporters left, but I think the majority of people in this country are wising up. It would have to be a very bad attack to have rights curtailed to such an extent. I just don't want to have to put any of this to the test. After all, fear does make people stupid.

Anonymous said...

Yeah the sad reality is that you are absolutely right. It would take very little to send all those people into a frenzy that will allow our "great leaders" to take away whatever freedoms we still have left.

Have you seen a documentary called "State of Fear" about the Peruvian fight with terrorism and how it led their democracy into a dictatorship? There are many parallels that can be drawn between their past and our present.

Stupac2 said...

"When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." -Sinclair Lewis