Monday, April 11, 2005

The Autocrats

Unscrewing the Inscrutable points out that Lean Left is asking Are the Theocrats Coming?:
Atrios says that they are, Sam Rosenfeld is not so sure. I think Atrios is on the winning side here, but I also think it is important to look at just how deeply the “Culture of war” (in the memorable phrasing of Echidne) has become embedded into the Republican Party, and how much of their agenda they are successfully enacting.
TfK readers already knew that the answer is yes. Here, we call them authoritarians, because it's the imposition on everyone else that's objectionable, not the religion specifically. I don't like what their doing to religion, but that's a separate matter.

The war on judges is of a piece with the bizarre vigilantism in Arizona, the gay marriage nonsense, evolution battles, and, apparently, gambling. The rise in white supremacists that Dave Neiwert is tracking is another side of it. Terry Schiavo's final days were a battlefield.

I think it has to be engaged ideologically, not piecemeal. It was never about Schiavo, or abortion, or gay marriage. They think it's about crushing all but their world-view, and I think it's about keeping reasonable limits on government. Let's all articulate a view of what government should do, and what it shouldn't. Let that be the debate, and we'll win.

Government should respect individual freedoms and defend collective rights. Minimum wage laws, anti-monopoly laws, worker safety laws, product safety laws, etc. all serve the latter mission. We can win this with a positive message.