Thursday, August 6, 2009

Of Authoritarians and Crickets

Here is the result of a fairly detailed online quiz (via Facebook) locating my political views on the libertarian side of the libertarian-authoritarian continuum and on the left side of the left-right continuum. I bring it forward not to discuss the results, which were predictable and consistent with a similar quiz I took not long ago, but to point out an interesting-to-me factoid about this quiz as it exists on Facebook: the rarity with which right-wing results get posted.

Have all my right-wing FB friends -- they are legion -- suddenly become shy about their political beliefs? That would be pleasant if true, but no, that is not it. They're out there slinging ridiculous right-wing nostrums as avidly as ever -- how President Obama is Hitler, how President Obama thinks he's Jesus, President Obama's pretensions to deity, the ways in which President Obama's birth in the foreign nation of Hawaii suggests that he, not to mention his supporters, regard him as the glorious, wrathful reincarnation of King Kamehameha, intent on overthrowing God, Jesus, and all earthly powers to enshrine a totalizing superstate modeled on Hawaii's odd and ancient form of government.

No, I think the cricket-like silence has a simpler explanation -- the taint of the authoritarian label. I gather it is disquieting to be told that your pro-freedom rhetoric is belied by your anti-freedom commitments; I'd blanch a little too. Still, the authoritarian label fits. Once again, the truth has a distinctly anti-conservative bias.

Sadly, though, larger recent events show that the far right is as vocal and noisy as ever.

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