The “F” Word and Sarah Palin: Is the Authoritarian Anti-Intellectual Politician the Future of the Republican Party? And Could It Lead to an American Brand of Fascism?

Can we be honest here?

Sarah Palin’s instincts are authoritarian through and through.

And she’s indifferent to, and even impatient with, complexity and intellectual nuance.

And what should be alarming about her, she tries to make less so by a saccharine-cutesy “aw shucks” winking manner.

In other words, she is George W. Bush with ovaries.

And at least half of those who identify themselves as “Republican” did not get excited—really excited—about voting for McCain UNTIL Palin came onto the ticket with him.

What this means is that Bush is not a historical anomolie—a nightmare from which the country is waking up.

From here on out, the Bush-Palin style politician will be the Republican party NORM.

This will be the kind of Republican politician that will be served up every four years—until one of them wins again.

Think about that.

It’s what the Republican party has become.

It is not a conservative party. It’s not a party that, say, George Will can be comfortable in anymore.

It’s not a party like the Margaret Thatcher Tories in England. 

It is an anti-intellectual and religious authoritarian party now. It’s a party increasingly fueled by the energies of know-nothing fundamentalist dominionists.

And it is in danger of drifting, in a time of dramatic economic or foreign crisis, in the direction of being a fascist party.

An American fascist party.

I think that Christopher Hedges’ book, American Fascists, is an important read for thoughtful people right now.

What is at stake in this election, I believe, is whether or not we arrest the drift of the country toward anti-intellectual authoritarianism.

Here’s the link to Hedges’ book at

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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