Promoting a new book, I guess. "How Conservatives Have Become Authoritarians and What it Means"
Authoritarianism is not well understood and seldom discussed in the context of American government and politics, yet it now constitutes the prevailing thinking and behavior among conservatives. Regrettably, empirical studies reveal, however, that authoritarians are frequently enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian, and amoral. They are also often conservatives without conscience who are capable of plunging this nation into disasters the likes of which we have never known.
Although I have only recently learned the correct term for describing this type of behavior, and come to understand the implications of such authoritarian thinking, I was familiar with the personality type from my years in the Nixon White House. We had plenty of authoritarians in the Nixon administration, from the president on down. In fact, authoritarian thinking was the principal force behind almost everything that went wrong with Nixon's presidency. I had had little contact with my former colleagues, or with their new authoritarian friends and associates, until the early 1990s, when they decided to attack my wife and me in an effort to rewrite history at our expense. By then I had left public life for a very comfortable and private existence in the world of business, but they forced me back into the public square to defend myself and my wife from their false charges. In returning, I discovered how contemptible and dangerous their brand of "conservatism" had become, and how low they were prepared to stoop for their cause...
The rest is mostly a set-the-record-straight account of his own story.
I have no real opinion wrt Dean himself. It does make sense to me to differentiate between "conservative" and "authoritarian."
I like conservatives, real conservatives, even if I often disagree with them. Conservatives actually want to, well, conserve some stuff. Besides their own o'erswollen egos, that is.
They do seem to be a rare breed these days.
In other news: woke up around 4:30 ayem last night and had something of a panic attack. Ostensibly it was about the devolving situation in the Middle East. I suspect it also wasn't totally unrelated to the wretched, bonecrushing heat and humidity. Whatever it is: I don't like it. You'd think one would be, should be, even, used to feeling this way ever, especially if you've been living in New York since before 9/11 and have been paying any attention to world events and trends for, well. Quite some time.
All's I know is that I simply can't go to the sources I'm most familiar with for comfort or wisdom. Don't want to hear the talking heads, professional or amateur, poking around the spilled guts of the body politic and hazarding guesses about What It All Means, Dear. don't want to go to the family and compound the worries with personal shit about health and finances and "gee, I'm really Not Okay At All." Can't go to the "spiritual leader" I'd wanted to be a sort of mentor/group leader and instead turned out to be another garden-variety narcissist, even less emotionally evolved than a lot of not particularly "spiritual" folk I know. don't want to get into another pointless fight about stupid shit with people I don't know to take my mind off the larger pointless fights about (I suspect) stupid shit that have more weight simply because they're backed up with weapons of mass destruction (seriously, aren't *all* weapons pretty much by definition "of mass destruction?"
I went back to sleep saying a sort of prayer/mantra: "Please, please, please, please. Please calm down. Please let it go. Please cool off. Please. Calm. Listen: please, please, please..."
eventually the cat came and sat on my chest and purred, as he is wont to do, and that certainly helped.
I don't know. I suspect that what you put out does indeed return to you one way or another. I also suspect that there is a collective way in which this works and that the individual karma, or whatever you want to call it, can get swept away with the larger...motion.
At the same time: it couldn't hoit.
and if i can't get the world to calm down, at least maybe i can get myself to calm down enough to get some rest.