Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life imitating art: Obamaphile desires dictatorship

In response to this post by Ma LibertyBelle, a few of Woody Allen's defenders crawled out of the woodwork to rationalize away his desire for an Obama dictatorship. One of the most laughable comments was that because Woody Allen is a comedian, we must therefore view everything he says through that lens. Pardon me, but as a person that works closely with many comedians, I can tell you that they are intelligent people that sometimes say serious things about which they feel passionately. But like I said, that was a laughable comment.

However, the following comment was not funny at all, rather, it was an extremely informative look into the mindset of some leftists/progressives/Obamaphiles. I don't usually have time to respond to commenters, or to repost their comments, but I could not let this one pass without calling attention to it.
Secondly, I had a realization many years ago that living in a dictatorship under the ruler who shares all of your values would not feel like a dictatorship. You would be able to live your life as you please because that's they way the dictator requires you to live. Allen's joke about an Obama dictatorship reflects this, just as you might fantasize about a Bush, Cheney, or Ron Paul dictatorship.
Where to even begin with this???!! I don't know whether to be disgusted, saddened, frightened, appalled... The commenter "Dancar" actually wants someone ordering him/her around and thinks it would be quite nice, so long as the dictator shares his/her values. This begs so many questions, including, if you share values with Herr Diktator, why not just run your own life??

What in the world could possibly be going on inside someone's head to think that any type of dictatorship is not just acceptable, but preferable somehow? Are you that lazy? Incompetent? Is it a lack of self-esteem? No ambition? Do you hate yourself? Do you hate others? It defies the fundamental nature of the human being to desire slavery for oneself, and it morphs into the ridiculous when the desire is based on the tenuous, flawed and ludicrous idea that you "share" values with the dictator.

I have never, ever, ever known a Conservative or Libertarian, etc. to EVER desire a dictatorship regardless of who is in power. Never, ever, ever. The notion of voluntarily handing over your rights as an individual, the rights inherent within each human being, to anyone, is wholly antithetical to everything we believe in. I don't care who is in power or what party they belong to, I will never submit to, nor have I ever "fantasized" about, a dictator.

You, Dancar, are one sick puppy, and I sincerely hope that there are not many more people like you out there.


  1. "because that's the way a dictator requires you to live" words for someone who believes that in any way shape or form that constitutes freedom of liberty.

    Dancar, please move to Venezuela and get back to me on how that dictatorship works for ya...

  2. I don't like the sound of a dictatorship, especially not an Obama dictatorship, um... but a monarchy with God as a King sounds great. God is just and loving and perfect. He would rule justly and mercifully. God is the King of Heaven. He sits on a throne.

    A Christian's goal is to submit himself or herself to the will of God... so again, if God were the dictator, I would like to live under the rule of a dictator, because I believe God knows what's best for me, and he wants me to be happy.

    I'm actually a proponent of a true Christian theocracy...

    I think that Jesus is going to get back one of these days, pretty soon, and the wicked will perish and and then Christ will set up his godly kingdom here on Earth, and then we'll have a true Christian theocracy.

    But until Jesus gets back, or until we die and go to Heaven, I think small government, liberty, and capitalism is the way to go.

    We live in a fallen world, and so for right now, I consider myself a fellow tea party activist.

    (Also, just so people know, I agree with the seperation of church and state. I disagree with forcing religion on people. I'm a Mormon, and one of my articles of faith is "We believe in worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.")

    Just thought I would add to the conversation. Great blog!

  3. I am truly surprised you thought I was advocating dictatorship. I first came up with this idea several years ago after being fired from a job with a culture that was not as it first appeared. The owners of this business viewed themselves as hip and laid back. Indeed, if you visited the office you might see employees wearing shorts and listening to the Grateful Dead in their cubes. But they had their own peculiar ideas of how employees should behave, and there were punishments for not conforming. For example, I got in trouble for not spending enough time chit-chatting with my co-workers. I’ve also had experience with a certain religious cult, whose members sincerely believe their movement is all about freedom while the church leadership enforces strict discipline over their lives.

    My observation is that many people would not recognize a dictatorship, provided it was their values that were being dictated. Consider five to seven years ago when many conservatives suggested it was “un-American” to protest the Iraq War, or those in the Religious Right who want our laws to be more consistent with their views of Christian values. (See telemoonfa's comment) Aren’t questioning the government and religious freedom major parts of what America is all about?

    Although Woody Allen’s joke reflects this, I don’t think he’d actually advocate an Obama dictatorship. The “dictatorship where only my views are allowed” model wouldn’t work for me either, since I enjoy exposing myself to ideas I disagree with, whether they be from Fox News or the Revolutionary Communist Party. I believe everyone should explore ideas that challenge their own, which would not be possible if only one point of view could be published.

    So no, I DO NOT support dictatorship, even if the dictated lifestyle is consistent with mine. No one who understands the Constitution would. But like Allen, I would appreciate it if the Republicans would make helping the American people a higher priority than sabotaging Obama for political gain.

  4. Alright Dancar, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt about your comment - though it reads like an endorsement of dictatorships - if you'll give conservatives and Republicans the benefit of the doubt that we are not trying to sabotage Obama for political gain. We are making the American people our highest priority and we think Obama's policies are bad for America. Deal?

  5. I'll agree that not all Republicans want to sabotage Obama, and some of the criticism is on legitimate issues, but when people cheer when Chicago loses it's bid to host the Olympics (NOT a conservative vrs. liberal issue), condemn as "Socialist" policies they supported or even proposed when a Republican was in office, or spread complete fiction as fact (death panels), then there is something besides honest debate going on.

  6. I had replied by suggesting that saying Woody Allen "molested" and then married his step-daughter (he was never the adopted father) was over-the-top. It suggests sexual abuse. I'm not defending Woody Allen as much as I'm calling out the insinuation behind saying he "molested" Soon-Yi. I find it creepy, too, personally, for such an older man to go after any woman with such a profound difference in age, but to suggest he committed sexual abuse takes Soon-Yi's own personal decisions out of the equation, which is antithetical to feminism. This is America, and if a 22-year-old woman decides to marry an old, crusty (and not nearly as talented as he once was) father figure, that's her choice. It doesn't make the crusty old man a criminal who committed sexual abuse. That hyperbole is why I can't take Tea-Party people seriously, because I can't trust them. And note I'm not using term "teabagger" -- that would be a rude and pointless attack (though you are free to label me a "Obamaphile" (partisan ideologue, fascist, etc.) "crawling out of the woodwork" (insect, something that is undesirable that hides and then lurches out to do something bad) to "defend Woody Allen" (ostensibly defending sexual abuse). Talk about being rude!

  7. I'm not sure where in Dancar's text you got the idea that they 'wanted' a dictatorship, considering that they said nothing of preference. They made a statement about the alignment of values contributing to a sense of freedom. That's it. It seems like your desire to find what you expect in your opponents is leading you to misread their comments.

    Even in your first point about comedians being intelligent people missed the point of the comment you are responding to. That comment was intended to point out that comedians intentionally step beyond what is 'politically correct' or expected reaction to say something inflammatory in order to provoke and amuse, not to be taken seriously. To take him completely seriously is to miss the point.

    Finally, and this is a much broader point, I don't think you can really mean the following statement: "The notion of voluntarily handing over your rights as an individual, the rights inherent within each human being, to anyone, is wholly antithetical to everything we believe in." Unless I'm mistaken, you live in the United States of America, abide by its laws, defer to the justice system, obey law enforcement officers, pay taxes to support education, the disabled, and elderly persons(though I acknowledge that this may be unwilling), and make any number of sacrifices in terms of individual choice to better the common good. Is this not true?

    I appreciate your opinion, and I'm glad to have found your blog.

  8. Andrew:
    Dancar's comment that I highlighted in the post appears to very clearly say that living under a dictator with similar values to oneself would be great. Dancar also suggested that I, and other conservatives, "fantasized" about Bush, Cheney, or Ron Paul dictatorships. These two parts, put together, gave me that initial impression. Now, Dancar has come back and said that was not what he/she meant, and we are working on mending our relationship. :)

    Comedians may say outlandish things, but my point is that sometimes they say things they really mean, even if outlandish. To write off Allen's statement as a joke just because he is a comedian could be quite naive.

    As to your other point about my statement about voluntarily handing one's individual rights, you were correct in asserting that many of the taxes are not voluntary. It is under threat of jail that many people pay much of their taxes (not all, but a good portion). However, many of the laws in the US uphold individual rights. My individual rights end when they begin to infringe on someone else's individual rights. For example, my individual rights do not include the right to your property and police exist to enforce laws against theft of property. So yes, I meant what I said because the laws that make the United States of America great are the laws that protect the rights of the individual, and I have no problem with those laws.

    Thanks for your opinions. :)

  9. I think that the real point is that if you think a person in power agrees with all of your views, then every action that person takes will be acceptable to you. The real danger in this is that if you think that a candidate for a power position agrees with all of your views, then you will vote for him/her. We must remember that Hitler was elected in a relatively honest election, and that he had the support of lots and lots of German citizens. I was fearful that "Saint Obama" had been elected and that any criticism of him would become risky. Fortunately, hat certainly hasn't turned out to be the case, has it? What I'm fearful about now is that a charismatic "Saint Xxx" from the other end of the political spectrum will appear and get elected. The emotion of the tea party movement does make this a possibility...

  10. Oops, pardon me! I misspoke when I said that Hitler was elected. He was actually appointed Chancellor by the President of Germany, and then was given "plenary powers" by the Reichstag. The elected politicians were the ones who gave him power, not the voters. He did, however, have support from lots and lots of German citizens...

  11. Perhaps I should clarify my "Bush dictatorship fantasy" comment. How many people who follow politics have never had the comic thought "if everyone just did what I say they should do, the world would be a better place." This is a comic thought because of it's conflicting implications. We like the idea of everyone behaving as we feel they should, but it would also be dictatorship and we don't like that. Imagine if everyone were required by law to eat ice cream when it was 90 degrees outside. Oh the Tyranny!

    So instead of imagining oneself as a dictator, delegate that to a politician you like. While we really wouldn't want a dictatorship under any name, most of us would like to see our favorite politicians implement their policy without having the opposition blocking them with political BS (yes, Democrats block Republicans with political BS too).

  12. telemoonfa... too weird... you must belong to a cult that speaks to snakes?

  13. Libertybelle,
    Thanks for your response. The individual rights point you bring up is true, but I think you have glossed over the paradox inherent in your earlier assertion. Because the context of your post is regarding dictatorships and thus limited freedom, I assume that the individual rights you allude to include individual freedom. The paradox arises when, as you say in your response, freedom is constrained by others' rights to that same freedom. Thus we DO 'voluntarily' hand over part of our rights as individuals in order to co-exist with others. Do you acknowledge that individual rights necessarily limit individual freedom? This, of course, leaves open a huge area of debate surrounding what those rights are exactly, but I think it helps clarify the discussion to point out that nobody really wants unchecked individual freedom to guide our policies and values. We're really discussing where, when, and how to constrain individual freedom and rights, not whether to constrain them.

  14. "...I think it helps clarify the discussion to point out that nobody really wants unchecked individual freedom to guide our policies and values. We're really discussing where, when, and how to constrain individual freedom and rights, not whether to constrain them" (Andrew)

    True, a civilized society has, by definition almost, some constraints on individual freedom. However, the absolute bottom line is that one person, one office, one branch of government, should never have the power to determine the where, when and how of those constraints. When we, the American voters, fill the executive and the legislative branches of our government with one-agenda politicians, who in turn can make the judiciary look just like them, we are in trouble. When overly ambitious politicians and the NYT moan about "gridlock", we the people should understand that what is going on is a healthy push and pull so that one party cannot ram their agenda through without real debate.

  15. I'm a Dr. Sean Salazar supporter (U.S. Senate candidate against Patty Murray) because, among other things. he actually knows and teaches classes about the Constitution. He is gaining voters from the Democrat and independent sectors in addition to his normal Republican base. It's refreshing to have someone who is willing to put a hard hat on instead of playing the "good politician" role.....that definitely isn't Salazar! Funny how Didier started carrying around the Constitution with him only AFTER he realized Salazar takes his everywhere. I guess one must copy what looks good just to get elected?

    Bottom line: know who you are really voting for. Know who can REALLY get the job done instead of who's just loud. Don't let the sparkle and shine throw you off. Know your candidates, it's important for getting this country back on track and we must choose who can actually shows personal fortitude, courage, knowledge of the political lay of the land, and I might add, one that doesn't wait until the temperature is "warm" before getting in the water.

  16. I am an "Obamaphile" who has never cared much for Woody Allen and who cares less for Allen's reported remarks about dictatorship. Like Allen, I am disgusted with the partisan "if Obama wants it let's fight it" stance that the Republican party has taken. Unlike Allen, I don't think anyone can be entrusted with absolute power. I think that "benevolent dictatorship" is an oxymoron.

    And if you asked Obama himself what he thinks about Allen's remarks, I'd bet you all I have that he would be found to share my sentiments.

  17. The general idea and definition of a dictatorship does not denote slavery. It's kinda like monarchy, in so far as having an appointed ruler making all the decision.

    Dictatorships have stability. Democracies have chaos.

    And it has advantages. The recent rise of the Chinese economy for instance. Every time there's a political crisis, such as the recent lack of a clear winner in Britain's last election, there's uncertainty in the future and all the talking head on the financial news talk about how it's causing the market to suffer.

    Through the history of industrialization, private companies in a capitalist economy have virtually enslaved people too. Democratic government or not. Slavery was legal in this county while it was a democracy.

    considering the simple principles of human rights, and one's right to choose there leaders. A history in which dictatorships have always been surrounded in corruption and rarely worked for the benefit of the people they governed. And the reality that we'll all never agree on anything. I'd rather just accept the chaos and constant redirection of focus, with the regular uncertainty of whose going to be in charge next election.

    The benevolent dictatorship is a Utopian idea that just does exist in reality. Like expecting Goldman Sach's CEOs to be concerned about the welfare of the union workers who's pensions were invested in doomed securitized mortgage while they were betting on there failure. That's just not the way reality works.


I believe in free speech, including offensive speech, and especially political speech. Comments that are left on my blog do not necessarily represent my views nor do I necessarily endorse them. I am not responsible for other people's views or comments. That is how the 1st Amendment works.