America, take heed of authoritarianism

September 16, 2018

At last I can no longer hold back my anger about the potential damage Donald Trump is capable of doing to this country, to the ideals of democracy and to the entire planet Earth.

The tipping point for me was Andrew Oxford’s story (“Feds plan to allow drilling around Chaco,” July 26). This issue is close to my heart for several reasons, especially because, as a former member of the Democratic Party State Platform and Resolutions Committee, I was instrumental in passing a resolution to prevent any fracking which would endanger this precious, and most unique World Heritage site. I was then very proud of our Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M. and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., for their powerful and outspoken support for this Democratic Party platform initiative.

Oxford’s article informs us that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has held off immediate action on leasing lands in the surrounds of Chaco until his administration has done some “cultural consultation.” The article goes on to record efforts by our Democratic representatives, environmental groups and Native American leaders to fight oil and gas industry efforts that pose a threat to the spiritual values of New Mexico’s indigenous people.

This brings me to the point I wish to make regarding the entire Trump administration and the threat it poses for all humanity. I enjoy watching MSNBC and have taken note of an apparent increase in references to authoritarianism and authoritarian leaders across the world, usually in a context of Donald Trump’s admiration for many of the world’s most notorious despots.

In my younger days, I was a medical student at the University of Oregon with the goal of becoming a psychiatrist. Part of the curriculum was a course in social psychology. One of the textbooks for the class was a book by one Theodor W. Adorno. This was a massive study by some of the country’s greatest minds in social psychology. The study followed closely on World War II and was intended to prevent fascism from ever coming to our country.

The book is still the bible for graduate courses in social psychology and can be ordered from the public library. The study concluded that the authoritarian personality is a male and one who was abused by his father. It also concludes that the certain prevention for this malady is a loving home and a set of loving parents.

Americans, take heed!

Charles Cambron is a general building contractor for the state of New Mexico and a writer on topics concerning Southwestern history and archaeology.

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