An Authoritarian is defined as characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom: an authoritarian regime. Of, relating to, or expecting unquestioning obedience. Authoritarianism is defined as the habit of conduct, thought, and speech expressing total submission to rigid principles and rules. The principles and views of the rule maker.
I will never forget when I walked into my 7th grade World Civ class in 1967 at Central Junior High School in Newark, DE. As I walked to my seat I saw a bumper sticker-like flyer on the cork board that said, “Question Authority.” Since I was raised a Pentecostal in an Assembly of God Church, I was indoctrinated with an authoritarian God who breathed either blessings or fire and brimstone with the same breath. That phrase, “Question Authority” stuck in my head and became a theme for my life. Yes, it caused me a great deal of grief at times but it was my individual salvation. It taught me to learn to think for myself.
Being raised in a Republican family, I went along with the tenets and politicians of conservatism, not knowing what it was all about. In fact, when I turned 18 and voted for the first time, I voted for Nixon. Not something I am proud of, but I was indoctrinated and uninformed about the truth. When Nixon fell, it woke me up to my responsibility to research not only what a politician says, but what he doesn’t say as well. But Nixon was a religious man; a Quaker by faith. Yet, with all his lessons of propriety and obedience absolute power corrupted him absolutely. Soon after, I dropped out of the political game and pursued my musical career.
In the eighties I returned to college and learned logic. My professor instructed me that I would be using a part of my brain that I had never used before. His statement of “most people don’t think, they emotionally react” triggered my memory about questioning authority. He further taught my class about the Socratic Dialectic where the philosopher Socrates taught his students by not answering them, but by replying with another question. This forced his students to think. During the school year President Reagan (I refer to him as Raygun) came to our campus and gave a speech. My professor got an advanced copy of the speech and gave an assignment to break down the speech by logic principles and write a summation. Also, we had to attend the rally and compare the speech given with the advanced copy and break it down with logic principles. When I completed the assignment I couldn’t believe what I discovered. President Raygun really didn’t say anything of value. He stated platitudes such as “What a great land, this country of ours.” What the hell is that? The crowd cheered and howled when truly nothing was said. There were only two people in class that got an A for this assignment and I was one of them. He never said anything of value. He was the major proponent of supply side economics and the trickle-down theory.
History has proven that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Yet the neo-conservatives continue to whine the same old tune of returning to the Raygun years. How many times do we have to hear this out of tune song and continue to listen to it? The modern day conservatives, neo-conservatives and moderates operate on the authoritarian model of government. They cry about less government control and they deregulate their greedy buddies and allow them to send our economy on a roller coaster ride into hell. I recently heard Tom Delay state how our economy was stable during the “W” years. This guy is delusional! “W” walked into a budget surplus over 200 billion dollars and left us with a trillion dollars in debt. “W” listened year after year to his diabolical advisor and consummate “Spin Doctor” Carl Rove. All of their oil cartel buddies consistently got their wallets padded at our expense. And now Dick Cheney’s assassination squads have been revealed. Will we demand justice for individuals who were in authority positions and blatantly violated the law? Torture and death squads originating in our country and we do not prosecute? What does that say about us?
Yet, why is it that almost fifty percent of this country voted for the lies of John McCain? Don’t get me wrong here. I hold John McCain in high regard for his loyalty to this country, but his lies and foolishness ended up in his political demise. Why do you think the Republicans forced such an apparent airhead as Sarah Palin on him as a running mate? I really got sick and tired of hearing the “Maverick” crap during the campaign. John McCain bucked the neo-cons and they wanted him to lose. It’s a shame that he couldn’t see that. Let’s get back to their authoritarian model.
Jesus was persecuted for speaking the truth. Some of those he spoke the truth to were uncomfortable with the fact that he knew their game and that they didn’t want anyone else to know their game. Jesus questioned authority and could see within the hearts of men. That’s why authoritarians seek and most times get support from common folk because they believe they will blindly follow them and never question their authority. Jesus questioned authority and died for it.
People like Rush Limbaugh dupe the masses with their rhetoric. After examining his audience I have come to an interesting conclusion; most of Rush’s listeners are rednecks and are uneducated in the ways of the modern world. Where are Rush Limbaugh’s answers? He wants Obama’s policies to fail! Where does that leave us? Why don’t you say the truth, Rush? You want us to fail so you can succeed! So you can be proven right. What a way to validate your ego! You don’t truly care about this country or the people in it! The way this man thinks is childish at best. His message operates from a space of lack and limited resources. Yet his bank account is loaded! Why would anyone with half a brain listen to this man? What really strikes me very funny is that a comedian is the figurative leader of the Republican Party. The lies are continually being perpetrated on those who accept for gospel what they say and DON’T question authority.
Recently I have been under attack by some nay sayers. That’s OK because we are all entitled to our opinion. I will daily continue to question authority and stave off mediocrity. The real enemy is mediocrity. I suggest you read this article to find ways to shake off the stain of mediocrity.
In summation, I would like to say that I am a Libertarian. I believe that government needs to regulate our economy and trade to stave off the greedy, but should stay out of our personal lives. Just look at what the fascist regime of George W. Bush did to our Bill of Rights and got away with it. I believe that we all need to learn from the greed and control freaks in the world. Their time has come to an end. They are old school and we now have a President who wants to defend and protect our individual rights. Wake up people!
For more info: Download my free Wilmington Spirituality Examiner toolbar. “Life is a gift. Be thankful for it and it will be replete with abundance. Encourage others to express creativity, release negativity and embrace pro-activity." Dean A. Banks, MCIWD, DD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or banksnet.com. Download my free eBook on Articles 1-10 here.