Electing Trump: What Happens Then? Pt 2

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It’s part of the sport of electoral politics that we want our side to win, and thus we each and all will do whatever we can to ensure victory. More often than not, “doing whatever” means facts, evidence, and reality are all taking a back seat to encouraged fears and reinforced beliefs which too often bear—at best—tenuous connections to the real world.

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Looking Left and Right: A Better Future? Pt 2

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As I write this draft several weeks before posting it here, The Huffington Post reported it had done the following after an Anderson Cooper-moderated town hall meeting with Donald Trump at the end of March:

… assigned five and a half reporters to look into a roughly 12,000-word transcript of Trump’s town hall event on CNN the night before. It took us hours, but in all, we found 71 separate instances in which Trump made a claim that was inaccurate, misleading or deeply questionable. That’s basically one falsehood every 169 words (counting the words uttered by moderator Anderson Cooper), or 1.16 falsehoods every minute (the town hall lasted an hour, including commercial breaks).

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Looking Left and Right: Pandering Can Be Expensive – Pt 2

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You’ve got to feel some sympathy for authoritarian followers at this point, don’t you, because they get nailed coming and going. First of all, they rely on the authorities in their lives to provide their opinions. Usually they don’t care much what the evidence or the logic for a position is, so they run a considerable chance of being wrong. Then once they have ‘their’ ideas, someone who comes along and says what authoritarian followers want to hear becomes trustworthy. High RWAs [Right-Wing Authoritarians] largely ignore the reasons why someone might have ulterior motives for saying what they want to hear; it’s enough for them that another person indicates they are right.Robert Altemeyer, The Authoritarians

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Looking Left and Right: Authoritarianism Pt 1

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As we showed in our analysis of the Clinton/Obama primary fight in 2008, in our book, as well as in analysis of election data from 2010 and 2012, what distinguishes Democratic from Republican voters among whites isn’t education level or income level. It’s authoritarianism. The data are consistent in this – low authoritarian white folks with less than a college education, or who earn less than the median income, overwhelmingly support Democrats. Conversely, whites with high incomes and high education levels but who also score high in authoritarianism strongly support Republicans. In other words, it’s not “working-class whites” per se, who support very conservative candidates. It’s authoritarians, whether they are working class or not. This, too, is consistent with the composition of the (not-so-mysterious) Trump coalition. [1] 

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