I'm talking about the streak of authoritarianism that grips many Americans in their romance with gun barrels and uniformity. You can see it in Ferguson. You could see it (in spades!) in just about everything Dick Cheney touched. In the Patriot Act. In much of the reaction to NSA's leaks. In individual members of the tea party.
And it creeps Martin Longman out. He writes in Washington Monthly:
I voted against George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, and I spent most of his presidency actively working against his administration with every tool at my disposal, but I never said or wrote that I would prefer that the country be led by a foreigner or a foreign leader. Not so, for many pundits on the right. Ann Coulter wants Benjamin Netanyahu to be our president, Erick Erickson wants David Cameron to be our president, and Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle would be okay with either Netanyahu or Vladimir Putin being our president.
And, as he suggests, it often turns up in the rhetoric of "patriots." Not patriots, but "patriots."
Before you rush out to breathe some fresh air, let me counsel you stay indoors if you're anywhere near the border.
The U.S. is in the process of becoming a citadel nation with up-armored, locked-down borders and a Border Patrol operating in a “Constitution-free zone” deep into the country. The news is regularly filled with discussions of the need to “bolster border security” in ways that would have been unimaginable to previous generations. In the meantime, the Border Patrol is producing its own set of Ferguson-style killings as, like SWAT teams around the U.S., it adopts an ever more militarized mindset and the weaponry to go with it. As James Tomsheck, the former head of internal affairs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, put it recently, “It has been suggested by Border Patrol leadership that they are the Marine Corps of the U.S. law enforcement community. The Border Patrol has a self-identity of a paramilitary border security force and not that of a law enforcement organization.” ...TomDispatch
I haven't been down there much lately, but I have noticed that if you're within about 35 miles of the border you can feel and often see the presence of Authority.
Mahablog has a report of yet another instance in which the police tried to corral onlookers into lying on their behalf.