Thom's blog
Americans' Cartoon Vision of Authoritarianism Causes Us to Miss It
Authoritarianism has been interwoven into the fabric of our republic since its inception and the Republican Party is today fighting what will hopefully be a losing battle to hang onto and expand it…

Americans are afraid of the wrong thing.

When you ask most Americans what authoritarianism looks like, they'll describe jackbooted thugs goosestepping up to their house to drag them away to a concentration camp.

That, however, is not authoritarianism: that's Nazi style tyranny, aka totalitarianism, where the government controls every aspect of life including those that are social, religious, and economic, along with a police state that uses terror to rule with absolute power.

While the transition from authoritarianism to totalitarianism can happen rapidly (just ask any Chilean alive in late 1973 and early 1974), typically it takes time, sometimes years and sometimes even decades, for its corrosive power to morph into totalitarianism.

Which is why most Americans don't recognize the "softer" authoritarianism that is here now, on our doorstep, corrupting our election, legislative, and judicial systems.