Why is it that so-called “Law and Order” Republicans often have such trouble grasping the structure of authority as it has been long-established in our country? In other words, why do authoritarians have so much trouble with authority?
- Attorneys for the Columbia County Republican Party, who either failed to grasp or just wanted to ignore that lower courts are bound by higher court precedents and rulings;
- Taghkanic zoning agency members, elected officials, employees, and even a town attorney who have acted as if their local authority is superior to that of State laws and court decisions;
- Montana militia members who, as reported in Talking Points Memo, are demanding that Ravalli County sheriffs and other officials sign oaths to block enforcement of Federal environmental laws and other well-established powers.
The answer seems pretty clear: Namely, that such attitudes are driven less by their private fantasies of Law or Order, and more by a need to get their own way now without having to deal with any pesky obstacles. It often seems their actions are driven more by a childish need for instant gratification than by any Rule of Law, or by the Lakoffian yearning to be led by strict father figures.
Even that dubious latter impulse is secondary to their impatient demands: “I want my racetrack/election victory/gun permit/census-taker tarred-and-feathered noowwwwww!” Obeying authority—the church, law enforcement, judges, politicians, and other paternal figures—is important to them, and acquiescence is demanded ofthe rest of society. But people and interests that hold power are selectively exempted from those same rules.