When I was a kid growing up during the Cold War, there was one thing that most disturbed me. It was the same thing that disturbed everyone. Political systems, economic systems, those are important, but they aren’t personal. What was personal was how the power of the state was used to pit children against their families. The truth is, I don’t know how true that was. It could have all been propaganda. But the idea that one should love the state more than one’s family is typical of totalitarian governments.
What has amazed me over the years is how conservatives do the same thing. I remember Reagan (it might have been Bush) praising a young girl for turning in her parents who were supposedly dealing cocaine. Because, you know, filial love should always be trumped by arbitrary drug laws. When I first read about that, I was horrified. But even more horrific was the fact that there was no push back in the mainstream press. It was as though the whole country had turned commie: yes Virginia, you really should honor the state ideology more than your parents.
Yesterday, I saw another example of this. George Republican Representative Phil Gingrey spoke on the floor of the House. He was arguing in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act. It appears that children are getting the wrong ideas about gender roles, so he suggested that our schools should step in:
Where do children get their ideas about gender roles? I assume from their parents. But regardless, Gingrey doesn’t want to teach children; he wants to indoctrinate them. The funny thing is that if men really are better at some things than women are, then in general, they will end up doing them. The whole push is to tell little boys that they really ought to be playing with guns and throw those teddy bears away. But that shows a shocking lack of confidence in the validity of their position.
The main issue, however, is that conservatives like Gingrey are not against big government. They are only against big government in as much as it affects businesses. When it comes to individuals, they not only want a big government, they want an intrusive government. And that’s why I say that the Republican Party has become proto-fascist. They aren’t all the way there, but there are lots of green shoots. They want to enforce a limited range of religious beliefs. They want individuals to do what is best for the collective. They believe in crony capitalism. They are jingoistic in the extreme. They are nationalistic. They don’t like non-white races. Remember: hating the Jews was not a fundamental part of fascism (though it was of Nazism). I don’t see huge differences between the Republican Party and other explicitly fascist parties around the world today. And Gingrey is a great example of this.