ABOVE: Fred Thompson and two friends, protecting their most valued assets
Ever notice how so-called "Law and Order" Republicans often have such trouble accepting the nature of authority as it has been long-established in our country?
In other words: Why do authoritarians have so much trouble with authority?
Here are a few examples of authority-hating authoritarians I've either read about or dealt with directly in recent weeks:
- In Montana, according to Talking Points Memo, residents associated with local militia efforts are demanding that sheriffs and other public officials in Ravalli County sign oaths, swearing that they'll act to prevent enforcement of certain Federal oversight and powers.
- In Columbia County, New York (where I live), thuggish attorneys for the local Republican Party brought lawsuits seeking to take away the votes of hundreds of residents who they suspected of leaning Democratic. When a relatively high State court issued clear instructions effectively barring their disenfranchisement effort, they asked a lower court to ignore the higher one's ruling. To their surprise, their attempt was soundly rebuffed -- by a moderate Republican judge.
- Similarly, in the Town of Taghkanic (again, where I live), we've seen zoning agency members, elected officials, town employees, and even a town attorney act as if their local authority were exempt from State laws and court decisions; in one recent controversy, it required an unusually firm ruling from a judge to prevent them from nullifying prior decisions which were binding upon them.
So how come these Republicans (who elsewhere espouse the virtue of submitting meekly to authority) are so eager to ignore authority, when it suits their short-term goals?
The answer seems pretty clear: Namely, that such attitudes are driven less by their private fantasies of Law or Order, and more by a need to get their own way now without having to deal with any pesky obstacles. It often seems their actions are driven more by a childish need for instant gratification than by any Rule of Law, or by the Lakoffian yearning to be led by strict father figures.
Even that dubious latter impulse is secondary to their impatient demands: "I want my [......] noowwwwww!" Obeying authority -- the church, law enforcement, judges, politicians, and other paternal figures -- is important to them, and acquiescence is demanded ofthe rest of society. But people and interests that hold power are selectively exempted from those same rules.
Cross-posted at SamPratt.com