In fact, that naivete -- deceptively packaged as purity and innocence -- is one of the main things people are seeking when they're drawn into authoritarian systems. They join up because they feel overwhelmed by the complexity and nuance in the world. There's just too much to keep up with, too much responsibility, too much chaos. Often, they've been caught in the gears of the machinery of modernity, and have had large parts of their lives chewed up by the works. It all feels out of control. (Chris Hedges, in his new book American Fascism, describes how Christianist proselytizers are taught to seek out people going through hard times-- they're the hottest conversion prospects.)
This ties in quite nicely with the revelation that the Kansas Republican party is now considering some form of loyalty oath
The state committee's actions struck a sour note for some Republicans, particularly moderates on issues such as abortion. Bob Beatty, a Washburn University political scientist, suggested the loyalty committee could prove a "public relations disaster."
"Ironically, it smacks most of the Communist Party," Beatty said Monday. "That's the kind of public irony that most parties try to avoid -- the party of freedom telling people they have no freedom."