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View Diary: The Father, the Son and the Holy Vote (150 comments)

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  •  You can't win that way. (7+ / 0-)

        We're dealing with people with high RWA scores (see Stenner or Altemeyer) who simply ignore fact.  They will take your facts and tell people that you are evil for presenting them - or anything else that helps to demonize you.  Make no mistake, these people use bully tactics to suppress truth, no matter how it makes them look.
         The issue is one of compartmentalization, however.  These high RWA scorers can be given two completely incongruent or contradictory statements and not understand that they are contradictory, even if they read the contradictory statements immediately before one another.  That compartmentalization helps them cope - they hurt people but believe they are decent - there's only one way for them to deal with themselves past that point.  This is the cornerstone of denial.
         The only way to deal with people like this is to appeal to their strong sense of in-grouping.  They value it over almost everything else.  Oxytocin is what's released when people receive the "good puppy" pat on the head.  Also, it's released during orgasm, and I would suggest, during bullying.  Since it informs/is informed by instinct (depending on how you see that relationship) it's also something they cannot prevent being used against them.  They'll back an idea to the point of dying for it if they've internalized an idea.  To trigger this, I've found the best tactic is to make them believe the idea is theirs - they they are in the in-group by believing it and since the idea is "theirs" are not only the good puppy, but the top dog.
        That's how you do it...

    •  Good suggestions, but I wouldn't spend energy... (3+ / 0-)
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      eps62, OhioNatureMom, politicalceci

      ... time or money on "hard core" Republicans. Yes, as one commenter observed, the women in those Far and Farther Right families might well give misleading answers to the pollster at the door or on the phone within earshot of others ... then go into a voting booth and vote for Obama and hopefully the Democratic "down-ticket" as well.

      Both-Sides-Now ads about Mitt Romney should be aimed at making uncomfortable the moderate and leaning Republicans, independents/middle-of-the-roaders and undecideds. They can be influenced, I believe, because they don't really want to be like Mitt and his fellows. Get them beyond the large-abstraction three-word code phrases that discourage thinking, get their attention to how duplicitous and ambitious Romney/Ryan are and how eager they are to toady to the wealthy, and I believe we can steer some votes to Obama. Or at least maybe get the thinking crowd - a crowd everyone wants to believe they're in! - to leave blank the Federal elections on their ticket.

      (Don't get me wrong. I want everyone to vote, but blank squares at the top of a die hard Republican's ballot after all is a vote for Obama!)

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 09:44:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But how? (1+ / 0-)
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            High RWA scores aren't just a product of the hard-core Republicans.  Most moderate right-wingers score high on this scale too - they are the authoritarian "followers."  The hard-core you're speaking of are considered double-highs.
             Sorry for the three letter abstractions, I just wanted to present an argument for how to go about it and using this scale is the best I've found to help explain WHY they are the way they are before I explain my tactics for how.
             However, to summarize my opening, getting them to think will not work.  They won't listen to an opposing view if it contradicts something they've been told to think by a so-called authority figure.  It will become noise, they will double down on their initial beliefs and cling to them more tightly - like we're seeing the world do (and you a little in your last response :)).
             Case in point - I had an aunt who didn't believe in national health care because she was told it was socialist (and the rest of that banter), and voted it down every chance she could - she was so adamant about it she actively worked to ruin people's careers over it.  However, she was somewhere between centrist to moderate right - the very type of person we are trying to reach!  She was also the type who would have scored high on the RWA as an authoritarian follower.  She died from a preventable cancer because she was out of work and couldn't afford to get herself healthcare. People are willing to die rather than think.
             So back to my main question.  How do you suggest we make them think when they aren't willing to, and when they are willing to die rather than think?  My response is to simply not make them.  Drive the idea home another way. I've presented one tactic that has worked for me in the past, but I'm open to hearing others.

        •  Good questions! (1+ / 0-)
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          I give up in advance on anyone "willing to die rather than think." Campaign funding mismatch is a big problem in this election and I believe in using resources where they might do some good.

          Your "think when they aren't willing to" is a real problem, too. People with double-digit Right Wing Authoritarian scores may be mostly beyond reach. If they accept authority that capsulizes huge bundles of issues with slogans like "Taxed Enough Already" or "More Freedom, Not Less" or "Regulation is Bad" or "Medicare is Socialistic" or "Drown Government in a Bathtub"- and that's as far as they feel a need to go - then they've closed down and there is no room for reason.

          I like the simplicity of ads that do side-by-side-by-Romney, because standing for something we can visualize is important to everyone. It may be all we can do to make people uncomfortable and edgy with demonstrable proof of the weakness of leaders they salute. Ultimately, we will each have to think critically for ourselves and act accordingly or democracy is in big trouble.

          (By the way, I was criticizing the Far Right - not you! - with my earlier reference to three-word abstractions and code phrases.)

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 11:23:01 AM PDT

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    •  +1 Insightful (0+ / 0-)

      Your comment is possibly the most insightful point in our modern political calamity since we caught on to the Overton Window. And possibly more fundamental.

      Do you have citations specifically for the RWA frequency among Conservatives? For the oxytocin dose during bullying?

      Do you have a specific example of using that in-group switcheroo? If it could be played inside an Overton Window strategy, it could even the odds dealing with these Conservative autards back closer to the natural balance, despite the money weighted on the other end.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:27:11 PM PDT

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      •  Citations (0+ / 0-)

            Here's a whole free book on the RWA frequency among Conservatives!  It also shows how Democrats score on the same scale - it is worth a read and explains quite a bit about what we all are being disheartened by.
             As for oxytocin release - I have no clinical data to point to, only speculation so far on this one.  If you can find any evidence on this I would be intrigued, but you'd have to make a connection between sex, aggression, and the oxycotin release.  Probably not hard to do if you examine the motives of sexual based crimes, but not something I've yet looked for hard evidence of.  This seems like a good place to start, and taken with Altemeyer's reference where he makes a case for high levels of ethnocentrisim in high RWA scores points (at least for me) in the direction of a high probability of a connection.
             The in-group switcheroo examples I can give are purely personal.  Try it and see on this one.  If you've ever had a boss and suggested something to them, and then noticed later that they were using your idea (and usually taking credit for it as well) it's the same kind of thing.  I found you can make this happen if you try and there are likely multiple approaches.  You can always phrase something like "I thought you said ___" and phrase something you're trying to get them to do or believe using their tenets/narratives - like he or she would be saying it.  They may deny it at first, but if you hit enough of their personal narratives they'll want to believe it was them and you stand a chance of succeeding.  It's a bit devious, I admit.  Here's a for instance.  "Wait, didn't you once say that global warming would likely be solved by the private sector? Jeez whoever comes up with that fix would be a hero to America AND corner the market!"  So you hit the hero syndrome, pride, the patriot narrative, and their capitalist drive while at the same time getting them to mentally bypass that they're not supposed to "believe" in global warming in the first place.  I realize this isn't a perfect example, but hopefully you see what I'm trying to say.

        •  Bully/Slut Parallel (1+ / 0-)
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          For years I've been researching on-and-off the makings of a book I've outlined titled The Bully/Slut Parallel. My premise is that masculine bullying is the gender-role equivalent of feminine sluttiness. Each is an aggression disorder rooted in gender-role inadequacy, anxiety, overcompensation. Further, more moderate roles like soldier and prostitute are equivalent.

          I will see if oxytocin plays equivalent roles in the two behaviors.

          I will also consider how RWA plays out in either side of the gender role boundary.

          On "I thought you said...", that's a brilliant formulation. It's like the reverse of "throwing the drowning guy an anchor". I'm going to practice some variations on the phrasing, to try on some of these RWAs.

          Later I'll claim I taught you how to do it ;).

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 09:17:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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