Monday, November 04, 2019

Insight Into the Fearful Fifth

I am coming to think that there is a permanent group -- call them the Fearful Fifth -- who want a strongman to govern.  This layer is the base of nationalist movements all over the world.

I was given some insight into this way of thinking from a workman with whom I was discussing elections.  He said he "wasn't into that politics stuff."  He was OK with whoever won because if they messed it up too much, the military would declare martial law.

He described himself as a military brat. He offered that this casual acceptance of martial law was his father's view of the normal way to make order in disorderly countries.

The Fearful Fifth (I hope it is only a fifth) does not fear fascism.  They welcome it as the ultimate, and perhaps only, solution to the problems of government.


Mac McCarty said...

As a retired officer of Marines, I think you are grossly overstating the threat. "The military" does not declare martial law. Every officer with whom I served over a quarter of a century was well-aware and fully believed that his or her oath is to support and defend the Constitution; it is not a Fuerher Oath.

Ken Lammers said...

I think that guy was having you on. If anything, he was probably a Trump supporter who knew he was talking to someone highly unlikely to agree with him. It's pretty much taken as gospel by Trump supporters that you cannot have a rational discussion with anti-Trumpers so they deflect. And a tradesman has a lot of reason not to publicly espouse an opinion that could cost him work. Better to be seen as strange rather than evil.

You're right that people tend to follow strongmen (or women) but keep in mind that the biggest strongman we've had in US political history was FDR and he's not exactly seen as fascist. In fact, the US's biggest strongmen have always been political populists: Happy Chandler, Harry Byrd, Huey Long, Boss Tweed, etc.