Ford Nation’s reaction predicted by science

by doconnor

Once someone becomes a leader of the high [Right-Wing Authoritarian Follower’s] in-group, he can lie with impunity about the out-groups, himself, whatever, because he knows the followers will seldom check on what he says, nor will they expose themselves to people who set the record straight. Furthermore they will not believe the truth if they somehow get exposed to it, and if the distortions become absolutely undeniable, they will rationalize it away and put it in a box. If the scoundrel’s duplicity and hypocrisy lands him on the front page of every daily in the country, the followers will still forgive him if he just says the right things.

– from page 100 (footnote 5 of chapter 3: How Authoritarian Followers Think) of The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer. The book is by a psychology professor who spent his career studying authoritarians and authoritarian followers with surveys and experiments that give an empirical foundation to his insights.

Right-Wing Authoritarian Followers are the segment of society that largely driven by fear and believe what their leaders say without question. In our society they represent many, if not most, of the hardcore conservative supporters. They are probably the only supporters Rob Ford has left.

He shows that they are willing to forgive any wrong doing by their leaders not matter how blatant or hypocritical so long as they continue to say the things they want to hear. This is just one of the ways they are hypocritical.

The book is free and available at the link provided. I would recommend that anyone who wants a better understanding of how supporters of modern conservatives think should read it. It doesn’t really suggest ways to change their minds, but understanding they can’t really help themselves will make you less frustrated.

"Ford Nation’s reaction predicted by science" was published on November 11th, 2013 and is listed in Politics, Toronto.

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Ford Nation’s reaction predicted by science: 1 Comment

  1. MoS wrote,

    Thanks for the link, DoC. The Right indeed preys on the fearful which is reflected in the demographics of their supporters – old, white guys. Youth aren’t as easily captured by exploiting fear yet infused hate is a powerful motivator at least until enough years pass that everyone gets their fill of that. The fearful always remain fearful.


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Darwin O'Connor | doconno@gmail.com