The cult of Bush

February 12th, 2006 – 4:30 pm
Tagged as: Politics

Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post up today about the way that Bush’s followers have changed the meanings of “conservative” and “liberal” so that they have nothing to do with actual ideology, and everything to do with whether or not someone supports the Dear Leader.

As much as any policy prescriptions, conservatism has always been based, more than anything else, on a fundamental distrust of the power of the federal government and a corresponding belief that that power ought to be as restrained as possible, particularly when it comes to its application by the Government to American citizens. It was that deeply rooted distrust that led to conservatives’ vigorous advocacy of states’ rights over centralized power in the federal government, accompanied by demands that the intrusion of the Federal Government in the lives of American citizens be minimized.

Is there anything more antithetical to that ethos than the rabid, power-hungry appetites of Bush followers? There is not an iota of distrust of the Federal Government among them. Quite the contrary. Whereas distrust of the government was quite recently a hallmark of conservatism, expressing distrust of George Bush and the expansive governmental powers he is pursuing subjects one to accusations of being a leftist, subversive loon.

This is an important point that too many people discussing politics seem to ignore. Bush’s supporters seem to believe that loyalty to America means loyalty to G.W. Bush, not to the people or the Constitution or any of the rest of it. Apparently our President is the source of all that is true and good in America, and anyone who disagrees with him, even if they share his views on the vast majority of subjects, is a traitor to Bush’s vision.

While we can debate whether or not these people have the ability to bring about true fascism in America, it certainly looks like it’s not something they’d object to, as long as it was G.W. Bush who was leading us.

ETA: Glenn follows up by talking about some of the reaction he’s gotten to his post. Much of it apparently just served to prove his points.

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