In a Theocracy, whether it be Islamic or Christian, reason, research, history, fact or critical thinking, it all becomes secondary and subserviant to dogma. The questioning of government then becomes as anathema as the questioning of it's underlying religious dogma. The worrying part of this equation for me is this. If these two extremes ever figure out that they hold their power as a correlation of the amount of fear and distrust that they can generate amongst their followers and the compelling security offered by their adopted dogma, then they could manipulate the fear that the "other side" means them harm, to suspend individual rights and aspirations as enshrined in declarations of democracy like the Bill of Rights. They might then figure out that they actually need each other. Could there be a scenario, in the not-too-distant-future, when the wheel comes around once again in America where we elect another reactionary, Right Wing administration like a Bush/ Cheney or a McCain/ Palin and that they then quietly set about a policy of secret mutual dependence with other extremist and repressive regimes around the world?
"You continue to terrify my people that you might explode a dirty bomb in the middle of New York: I will continue to terrify your people that we might invade at any moment - then you and I can hold on to power for as long as we like. We can suspend Habeas Corpus, roll back human rights, abolish elections, turn the economy of fear into a cash cow for our cronies..and the joke is....the people will ASK us to do it!!"
This is PRECISELY the future that George Orwell envisioned in "1984" and PRECISELY the world envisioned by both the last bunch of neo-cons here in the U.S. and the Ayathollahs in Tehran. A world where the nations are in a constant "state of war" that is actually one big publicity sham directed and controlled by a cabal of world leaders in order for them to maintain total control of a frightened, compliant populace who have willingly compromised all their values, beliefs and desires in the name of "Peace." I have often toyed with this notion and always dismissed it as something that this country could never allow, but listening to serious debate now in a Presidential election about the "legality" of contraception, even the morality of masturbation - where "life" could be seen to exist as a real potential when a man and woman so much as THINK about having sex - I remember how cavalier the people of Germany were when a different kind of extremism began to rear its head and was dismissed as only the views of an aberrant minority. "1984" and "The Handmaid's Tale" should now be made required reading for every man, woman and child in the United States.