Electing Trump: What Happens Then? Pt 3

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There are tens of millions of Americans who, although personally lacking the self-confidence, ambition and leadership qualities of authoritarian dominators like [Newt] Gingrich or Sarah Palin, nevertheless empower the latter to achieve their goals while finding psychological fulfillment in subordination to a cause. [Robert] Altemeyer describes these persons as authoritarian followers. They are socially rigid, highly conventional and strongly intolerant personalities, who, absent any self-directed goals, seek achievement and satisfaction by losing themselves in a movement greater than themselves. One finds them overrepresented in reactionary political movements, fundamentalist sects and leader cults like scientology…. Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds. [citing Altemeyer] They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result…. And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going away.

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Looking Left and Right: A Better Future? Pt 5

 

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Personal responsibility as a defining feature of our nation’s character also encompasses the need to demonstrate integrity, honesty, and courage. We do so by accepting unpleasant truths, and then dealing with them to the best of our collective abilities, regardless of the ideologies we cling to in an abstract environment where outcomes never matter.

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