Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"The Outer Limits" and Authority

Watching The Outer Limits, one frequently finds themes of fear and distrust of the government, as well as the corruption and insidiousness of authority (and those in authority). But these themes often focus on the negative power of the military, the dangers of an oppressive security state, and the potential tyranny of a secretive government.

But today's conservatives that rail against big government and government takeovers don't seem to have concerns about these issues. There is also a trend among many conservatives to trust government officials implicitly on all sorts of matters. They trust the government to know who should be tortured. They trust the government to know who should be detained indefinitely. On matters such as this, they certainly trust the government to keep them safe, and are happy to give government officials power. And do some of these same conservatives that distrust the government continue to support the government's military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan? Where was the distrust of the government when the Bush administration was selling the Iraq war?

This is not to exempt a Democratic administration from criticism on these issues: see this, this, remember this, of course we still have this, and there's this, and this. But what is striking me (while watching The Outer Limits) is the ideological disconnect in a conservative distrust of government in general with a conservative faith in the government on military and security matters.

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