Friday, March 25, 2005

Red State Rabble on Kansas, Marriage, and Authoritarians

Pat Hayes has a comprehensive essay up at Red State Rabble: Kansas Isn't Kansas Anymore Toto. He manages to tie the authoritarianism I've been chatting about recently to a deep change in Kansas, and how he sees himself as a Kansan.

In the end, he issues a challenge to the state (in my words here): if you don't want even your own native sons to think you're backwards and authoritarian, vote against the discrimination amendment.

After pointing out the way authoritarian conservatives abuse psychology and science to scapegoat gays, he says this, which is the most succinct expression of the authoritarian worldview:

What I find almost amusing about the gay marriage debate, and I emphasize the word almost, is that the Christian conservatives make virtually all of their arguments based on the assumption that "everyone" is a Christian who believes that the Bible is the source of absolute truth and law, and that somehow their religion and morals trump all others.
I actually think this is generous to them. I don't think they believe that Pat, Tom Jefferson (both proud deists), or Gandhi are traditional Christians and should, therefore, be subject to Christian readings of Biblical law. No, no, no. Authoritarians think that it's enough that they are Christian; they justify their imposition on everyone else not with some appeal to common morality, but by appealing to the morality of a select few.

Apparently, political scientists use the phrase selectorate to refer to the decision makers in a dictatorship. That sounds pretty apt.

Update: The essay is by Jason Miller, of Thomas Paine's corner. Jason and Pat are both cool and good writers. Props to both.