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View Diary: Gov. Bobby Jindal explains what 'the left wants' (157 comments)

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  •  Re: This is seriously what they have been . . . (11+ / 0-)

    Amen, brother! It frightens the shit out of me, too. Over the past couple of years I've been seriously researching this phenomenon, and it's real and it's getting worse. I finally decided that I was really not paranoid and that this was something to worry about when I read a book by Robert Altemeyer titled "The Authoritarians." Dr. Altemeyer is a research psychologist who studied this phenomenon for his whole academic career and has won prestigious awards for his work. Towards the end of the book he has this to say:

    Authoritarian followers, who have always been there but were usually uninterested and unorganized, are now mightily active and highly organized in American politics. They claim to be the “real Americans,” but the America they yearn to create seems quite antithetical to the nation envisioned by the founding fathers. Far from seeing the wisdom of separating church and state, for example, they want a particular religious point of view to control government, and be spread and enforced by the government. Furthermore, if research on abolishing the Bill of Rights and tolerance for government injustices is to be believed, authoritarian followers frankly don’t give a damn about democratic freedoms.

    If being prejudiced makes it easier to commit atrocities, high RWAs rank among the most prejudiced people in the country. If obedience to malevolent authority makes one more likely to persecute others -- hey, authoritarian followers can chant “We’re Number One, We’re Number One!" If wanting to belong, and loyalty to your group, and a tendency to conform play a role in attacks on others, high RWAs lead the league in those things too. If inclination to persecute any group the government selects counts for something, we know from the “posse” studies that right-wing authoritarians head up that line as well.

    If illogical thinking, highly compartmentalized ideas, double standards, and hypocrisy help one to be brutally unfair to others, high RWAs have extra helpings in all those respects. If being fearful makes one likely to aggress in the name of authority, high RWAs are scared up one side and down the other. If being self-righteous permits one to think that attacks against helpless victims are justified, authoritarian followers have their self-righteousness super-sized, thank you. If being able to forgive oneself and forget the evil one has done make it easier to attack over and over again in the future, right-wing authoritarians know all about that kind of forgiving and forgetting. If being defensive, blind to oneself and highly dogmatic make it unlikely one will ever come to grips with one’s failings, authoritarian followers get voted “Least Likely to Change.”

    Add it all up and tell yourself there’s nothing to worry about.

    Then I read "Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics" by Marc Hetherington and Jon Weiler. These guys have studied the evolution of the political polarization that has taken place in this country since the early 70s. They show that it is the rise of authoritarianism that has fueled this polarization.

    I don't know how this is going to turn out. Authoritarians don't negotiate. They have no need to. They are RIGHT. I'm afraid we, or at least the Republican Party are in for some pretty ugly times before the dust settles . . .

    "The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

    by lartwielder on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:45:54 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  What will need to happen (0+ / 0-)

      is a war of aggression against the religitard authoritarians.  We will have to use all of the government's resources to root them out and disenfranchise them the same way they have disenfranchised minorities, women and the LGBT community.  Fight fire with bombs.

      •  Please do not casually or hyperbolically (0+ / 0-)

        speak of bombs. The NSA is listening. Freepers are listening. They can take a comment such as yours use it to smear all kossacks. They've done it before.

        You're entitled to your opinion. Just please be thoughtful in how you express it. For what it's worth, I don't even agree with your opinion. We lefties don't own the government. And if we did, it would still be immoral to use it to oppress or retaliate against those that disagree with us.

        Authoritarians are dangerous but they are not unstoppable. We have the benefit of experience: we know how to identify them. We just need to work hard to stop them become they consolidate power and get a full-on fascist elected president. The authoritarians in this country have some daunting challenges before them. Americans are becoming increasingly less religious (as Europe did before us). The religious leaders are often their own worst enemy and fall to scandal (sexual, monetary, or both simultaneously). The Republicans have a huge problem attracting young and non-white voters--and the demographic trends are very much against them as whites become a minority. Most of the voter ID laws they tried in 2012 were shot down by the courts. The LGBT community has been on a winning streak starting with the backlash against California's prop 8. If the Supreme Court rules against prop 8 later this month, that will be a big win. If they rule for it, the fight will continue. The House republicans are overplaying their hand with their 20 week abortion law. This solidifies their base in areas where their base was already strong but it sabotages their chances of picking up independents and moderates. It is also likely to create a backlash among women. It is mind-numbingly stupid to alienate women. We can fight authoritarianism. We will fight it. At the ballot box and in civic discussions. We don't need to resort to bombs, literal or allegorical.

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