Something that I find constantly fascinating is how conservatives embrace fascists. Other than truly radical people, you don’t see a corresponding embrace on the left. In fact, if you look at Noam Chomsky (or me for that matter), you don’t see an embrace of left wing dictators. But on the right, as long as the fascist is willing to left Exxon make money in his country, he is just fine with establishment conservatives.
The best recent example of this is Augusto Pinochet — a truly vile figure. Yet he was a hero to people like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. It’s very interesting. I’ve always felt that the American left’s infatuation with the Soviet Union was overblown. Most people on the left just wanted labor unions and social insurance. The left in this country has never really been radical. But even if conservatives want to believe that it was, wouldn’t this fact act as a kind of cautionary tale?
As it is, if it weren’t for the Jews and the fact that we were part of a world war against them, I think conservatives would generally think fondly of Hitler. And it isn’t exactly open to debate. Because conservatives are generally pretty positive toward Francisco Franco. And I think the reason for this is that conservatives are, at base, authoritarians. So they may have problems with bits of ideology, but they really do dream of a leader who comes in and just tells them what to do.
This is exactly why conservatives continue to adore the traitor Oliver North. And that’s why Dick Cheney is still considered a good guy: he may be wrong about everything; he may only be interested in enriching himself and his friends; he may have done irreparable damage to the United States; but damn it, he barks orders at people so he’s okay for the Republican Party! Ditto for Allen West (a classic authoritarian). Ditto for Ted Cruz. In fact, this may be the biggest problem that Rand Paul faces: he seems too thoughtful and not nearly belligerent enough (although he’s working on it).
I came upon this interesting quote about Francisco Franco from Hélène Zuber:
Franco was not exactly a conservative hero in America, but he was certainly no great villain either. But to his people he was. That didn’t matter to American conservatives, of course. That never matters to American conservatives. What matters are profits for American corporations — or multinational corporations that are largely owned by rich Americans.
Anyway, I did a Mad Kane and turned this little story about Franco into a limerick (with a slant rhyme that she hates):
I assure you that this ain’t no jive
The year was 19 seven five
People felt no more pain
They ran out of champagne
Because Franco the despot had died.
Conservatives are the most shortsighted people I know. Their ideas have a shelf-life of one generation at max. So they live their lives being seen as acceptable. But future generations will see them for what they really are. When Cheney dies, there will be lots of champagne corks popping!