Orcinus worries about where things could go:
“My very clear impression of the rank-and-file American right is that many if not most of them, at the behest of their leaders, now believe that opposing George W. Bush and the Iraq War, as well as his handling of the War on Terror, is an act of genuine treason worthy of the ultimate social condemnation, including incarceration and execution. They feel not only vindicated but profoundly empowered by the election result, empowered to silence their opposition, by force if need be.”
I’ve been noticing this in the tenor of posts and comments at right-wing sites but especialy on the radio, saying us Progressives hope America loses in Iraq and siding with Saddam or bin Laden, that we hope our troops get killed, that we are helping undermine troop morale… If you have relatives or friends in Iraq, and you believe this stuff, what is it encouraging you to do?
The leadership of the Right certainly isn’t asking them to tone it down or to stop. Have you heard Bush condemn such talk – ever?
From a comment following the Orcinus post I discovered this piece at the Libertarian Lew Rockwell site:
“Year’s end is the time for big thoughts, so here are mine. The most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. It is the dramatic shift of the red-state bourgeoisie from leave-us-alone libertarianism, manifested in the Congressional elections of 1994, to almost totalitarian statist nationalism. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing.
This huge shift has not been noticed among mainstream punditry, and hence there have been few attempts to explain it – much less have libertarians thought much about what it implies. My own take is this: the Republican takeover of the presidency combined with an unrelenting state of war, has supplied all the levers necessary to convert a burgeoning libertarian movement into a statist one.
[further down, talking about increasingly violent right-wing rhetoric] … I’m actually not surprised at this. It has been building for some time. If you follow hate-filled sites such as Free Republic, you know that the populist right in this country has been advocating nuclear holocaust and mass bloodshed for more than a year now. The militarism and nationalism dwarfs anything I saw at any point during the Cold War. It celebrates the shedding of blood, and exhibits a maniacal love of the state. The new ideology of the red-state bourgeoisie seems to actually believe that the US is God marching on earth – not just godlike, but really serving as a proxy for God himself.
Along with this goes a kind of worship of the presidency, and a celebration of all things public sector, including egregious law like the Patriot Act, egregious bureaucracies like the Department of Homeland Security, and egregious centrally imposed regimentation like the No Child Left Behind Act. It longs for the state to throw its weight behind institutions like the two-parent heterosexual family, the Christian charity, the homogeneous community of native-born patriots.
[. . .] In short, what we have alive in the US is an updated and Americanized fascism.”
This from the head of a Libertarian think tank! There’s more there, worth reading. So go read. An alliance between Progressives and Libertarians to fight the Republicans?