Skip to main content

Analysis of Right-Wing Authoritarian (RWA) Followers: An Insight Into Donald J. Trump and His Followers

ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.

The Milgram Authoritarian Obidience Experiment

THE EXPERIMENT'S SET-UP

THE EXPERIMENT'S SET-UP

STANLEY MILGRAM

STANLEY MILGRAM

Who is a RWA?

I have brought up the idea of Right-wing Authoritarian (RWA) followers in many of my political hubs because of their importance to the Conservative movement. This personality characteristic provides the army used by the Social Dominator (SD) leaders. Now I am not making these names up out of thin air. They actually are labels developed from research that began when scientists started studying why otherwise intelligent people blindly followed such obviously, in hindsight, terrible leaders. The prototypical example that got the ball rolling in this research was the German people's fascination with Hitler. Hitler is the poster child of what has become to be know as a Social Dominator (SD) (not to mention a sociopath) and the people of German, en masse, were what would become to be known as Right-wing Authoritarian followers; someone willing to follow authority figures without questioning the SDs directions even though it may not pass the common sense test. (The Right-wing part of the label actually comes from where the more conservative members of the French parliament sat.)

There was a very famous experiment carried out in 1963, by Stanley Milgram, a professor in social psychology, who showed that a majority of people are susceptible following an authority figure beyond their personal comfort lever.

The experiment went thusly: An Experimenter, the Authority figure, had a Teacher, the unsuspecting Subject, administer electric shocks of increasing voltages up to 450 volts to the Learner who, unknown to the Teacher, was part of the experiment. The Learner had previously let the Teacher know he had a "heart" condition. Also, in the beginning, the Teacher didn't know he would be the Teacher, he thought he could have been the Learner.

The Teacher gave the Learner, whom he couldn't see, things to learn and with each wrong answer, the Teacher administered a shock, one which he had been given the chance to experience earlier. After each shock the voltage was increased 15 volts. After a certain point, the Learner, which is now a recording, began to make sounds of distress, which increased in agony and finally went silent. Somewhere along the line, the Teacher began to get uncomfortable and told the Experimenter so. There came a point where the Teacher said they didn't want to continue, but the Experimenter would prod the Teacher first with "please continue", then "this experiment requires that you continue", after that it was, "it is absolutely essential that you continue", and finally, "you have no other choice, you must go on".

If the Teacher refuses at that point, the experiment is over or, if the Teacher administers a final third 450-volt shock, the experiment ends. Teachers even offered to give their money back to be allowed to quit, to which the Experimenter might reply "Although the shocks may be painful, there is no permanent tissue damage, so please go on" or "Whether the learner likes it or not, you must go on until he has learned all the word pairs correctly, so please go on".

Before the experiment began, Milgram surveyed students, where the test subjects came from, and other professors what they expected the likely outcome to be; though groups were clear they thought almost all subjects would quit when their comfort level was exceeded and only thought maybe 3 out of 100 would reach the 450-volt level.

In fact, 26 out of 40 did, or 65%! An astounding result. Another social psychology researcher, Associate Professor of Psychology, Bob Altemeyer, later dubbed a person who exhibits this kind of personality characteristic as a Right-wing Authoritarian (RWA) follower.

(In the middle of this The Atlantic article titled simply The Mind of Donald Trump, you will find a great, more expert discussion of Authoritarianism.)

The Man Who Popularized RWAs

JOHN WESLEY DEAN III WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT NIXON

JOHN WESLEY DEAN III WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT NIXON

BUY THIS BOOK - Says the Social Dominator

John Dean of Nixon Fame, a Conservative in His Own Right

JOHN DEAN, IN HIS BOOK, "Conservatives Without Conscience", introduced me, last year, to the concept of RWA followers and Social Dominators. He was attempting to distinguish between the Conservatives of his era, the Barry Goldwaters, Richard Nixons, Bob Doles, etc, and the Conservatives of the new generation, e.g., Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Mitch McConnell, and the like, as well as the people who became their supporters.

Dean's book, which I keep trying to plug, unsuccessfully so far, I might add even though it is extremely interesting and easy to read, is not so much an opinion piece but a presentation of Professor Alteman's research, in detail. While I will only summarize it here, Dean does a wonderful job in bringing the reader to a clear understanding of what drives the army of supporters of today's conservative movement, for they are quite different than those who support the Conservatives of the past.

What are the RWA Characteristics?

NOW, WHILE I briefly describe the 12 traits of a Right-wing Authoritarian, think to yourself if you know anybody or have seen anybody on television or heard on the radio anybody who might fit some or all of these characteristics. If you have, my bet is they will score very high on Bob Altemeyer's Right-wing Authoritarian assessment. Hopefully, you don't find yourself coming to mind, but if you do, don't despair, that can be a good thing because the research also shows that once a RWA discovers this about themselves, they can often change.

The 12 traits are as follows:

  1. Fear: RWAs are afraid of many things. It can be said that many people are afraid of many different things, but RWAs carry this to the next level of irrational fear, even when there is no factual basis for it. They are afraid that Obama is a Socialist, a Communist, or will become a dictator; they are afraid of teaching secular science to our youth, they are deathly afraid the burgeoning national debt will spell the end of America; they are afraid that a single regulation on guns will lead to a total prohibition of gun ownership in America, and the list goes on. No amount of reasoning or facts will dissuade high scoring RWAs of their fears so long as their Authoritarian leaders tell them to be afraid.
  2. Self-Righteous: If you run into someone who appears inordinately self-righteous, then you are probably observing a snob or a RWA follower. If that self-righteousness takes on a holy-than-thou or "more patriotic than thou" flavor, then most likely you have a high scoring RWA.
  3. Dogmatism: This characteristic is a clear signal a person is likely to be a high scoring RWA, whether on the extreme Right or the extreme Left. What they are told to believe is set in stone and nothing short of a nuclear blast is going to move them from their core beliefs. All of the provable, clear, certain facts in the world will not change an RWAs mind. If, for example, Rush Limbaugh says 1 plus 1 now equals three because 1 plus 1 equals 2 is a left-wing liberal subversive plot to destroy America, the RWA will, until Rush says differently, believe 1 plus 1 equals 3 and will do his or her best to twist and turn their logic and arguments to support this view.
  4. Authoritarian Submission :This is the characteristic I just described in Milgram's experiment. If we are talking politics, however, instead of Teacher-Learner, what this means is that whatever people like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Senator Mitch McConnell, Speaker John Boehner, or Representative Bachmann from Minnesota have to say, it becomes gospel, it is simply the Truth to those who follow them. No further thought or reasoning by the listener is needed for the authority has spoken, if the listener is a high-scoring RWA. In religious terms, this might be the late Jerry Falwell, the late Jim Jones, the late Martin Luther, the Pope, any evangelical or fundamentalist preacher. RWAs will accept, without questioning its reasonableness, what is said, they will repeat it, and they will defend it.
  5. Hostility: RWAs frequently become hostile when confronted. It is not because they are naturally mean, far from it. It has more to do with extreme frustration with their inability to logically defend their positions, which are often contradictory. Because they accept their position as gospel from their SD authoritarian leaders, they have not reasoned through why this position makes sense. So, when questioned about it, all they are left with are slogans and anger. There were many examples of this hostility at many of the Town Hall meetings held around the country leading up to the November 2010 elections.
  6. "Biggest Problem" Syndrome: RWAs tend to focus on the Big Problem of the day, be it drugs, the liberal take-over of America, the national debt, drugs, or other such crisis conjured up by their Social Dominator leaders.
  7. Compartmentalized Thinking: RWAs accept what they are told; lock, stock, and barrel, and file it away in their memory; this is a function of taking their lead from their Social Dominator Authoritarian leaders. Many of these positions end up being contradictory with each other or with reality, but, that is OK, because all of the ideas, since they are not processed mentally and only memorized, are not integrated in that persons thinking. Therefore, you have an individual who ends up believing they are living under an Obama/Democratic dictatorship with no rights at all while, at the same time, expressing their opinion about this by freely using their 1st Amendment rights.
  8. Double Standards: This is included as an RWA characteristic but I am not sure why. It has been my observation that double standards in society is ubiquitous and not just isolated to one group or another.
  9. Feeling Empowered Within Groups:Again true on the extremes, because RWAs are followers of authority figures, if follows they must be conforming individuals. Because they don't think for themselves, they have to look toward others to let them know how they should be acting. Consequently, alone, a RWA may even be timid, but with a demonstrating group, the RWA feels empowered to demonstrate vigorously alongside his fellow RWAs; high scoring RWAs feel most comfortable with groups where they get support and validation.
  10. Prejudice:Most RWAs honestly do not believe they are prejudiced when, if truth, their actions and speech clearly show they are. Why? Because this type of personality does not believe all people in the world should be equal, inequality is a natural state of affairs to a high scoring RWA. They sincerely believe that equality is not good for society. This simply makes sense to them and doesn't derive from meanness; the women being "bare-foot and pregnant" syndrome (meaning women should be subservient to the man). There is still a significant portion of American society, mainly fundamentalist Christians, both men and women,who still believe this, because the most authoritarian figure of all says so ... God, Himself. They don't see a problem because they believe this is simply the "natural" order of the universe. much the same way that Aristotle believed, and argued for, the idea of "natural" masters and "natural" slaves. (Slavery, in his time didn't have quite the same connotation as it does in our time; for one thing, it wasn't race based.) This view becomes a basis for their politics.
  11. Ethnocentrism:This is a characteristic in all people, but it becomes more pronounced as you move to either extreme, Left or Right. It is more prominent with RWAs, again, Left or Right, however. There has to be a "Them vs Us" paradigm in order to validate what they believe. They rarely go beyond their circle of believers to receive information while characterizing others as very biased, e.g., the left-wing or liberal mainstream media.
  12. A Lack of Critical Thinking:This characteristic is central to the RWA type for if a person exhibited critical thinking regarding what they were being told regardless of source, including the Social Dominators, then they would less likely be blind followers of Authority figures. One of the most stark exemplars of this is that most Tea Parteyers, who are middle class, absolutely believe their taxes have been raised under President Obama when, in fact, they have been noticeably reduced. The only reason for this unreasonable belief is their total, unthinking reliance on what they are told by their SD leaders. If the "Teachers" in Milgram's experiment had really thought about the implications of what they were doing, most would not have kept increasing the voltage when told to by the scientist. This is also where frustration can build when confronted about opposing positions such as asking an RWA how, in one breath, they can say "America is the best country in the world" but yet in the next breath say "Obama is now a dictator".

You will find a few of these traits wrapped up in what should be a familiar description many of you may recognize: An RWA when faced with truly logical evidence that contradicts the position of his or her authoritarian leader, rather than say "I'll get back to you" and go back and challenge their leader, they let their intelligence devolve into stubbornness, rhetoric, dogmatism, and finally anger.

Empathy

Not included in the above list is Empathy or the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It has been my observation that one distinction between high scoring and low-scoring RWAs is that the high-scoring RWAs lack empathy. Well, a recent study I found changed my mind somewhat. Now I must put a nuance on it. The study by the journal Behavioral Brain Research concluded that liberals and conservatives both exhibit empathetic behavior to roughly the same degree. What is different, however, is who they are empathetic towards.

Liberals, it turns out, are empathetic to others, in general. Conservatives, on the hand, are empathetic, but only, for the most part, with their own kin. And that makes sense to me.

Go here if you want to know your Empathy Quotient

How do you Know You RWA Tendency Is?

BY TAKING AN ASSESSMENT, OF COURSE. What the assessment does is ask a series of ambiguous questions that center around each of the traits just described above. The higher you score on this assessment, the more likely you are to be an RWA because you express those characteristics found most often in that personality type. Know that an RWA does not make an SD, a Social Dominator, who is often seen in negative terms.. While RWAs believe they are doing right, and most often are, the SDs generally are not and most often for very selfish reasons. Said another way, one major difference between Social Dominators (the leaders) and the RWAs (the Army) is that the SDs know whether they are lying or not, while the RWAs do not, they simply trust their SD leaders to be telling them the Truth.

The assessment below doesn't speak to your "conservativeness" or "liberalness", or lack thereof for Conservatives and Liberals come in all varieties, including those who think for themselves and are not Social Dominators; I suspect that is the large majority of those who think of themselves as conservative and the vast majority the liberals plus virtually all of those who fall in between, however, they are out of power at the moment. What the assessment does try to predict is the level of acceptance an individual might have in following their chosen authority figure, regardless of their own personal perceptions, just like the "Teachers" in Milgram's experiment who went beyond their comfort level simply because the "Doctor" told them to. The higher the score, the more likely it is for you to fall into this trap. Once aware that you have this tendency, you can guard against it by engaging your mind and weighing what the other side is saying, be it Left or Right (yes, there are high score Liberal RWAs, just not as many of them), their reasoning and their facts, then compare it to what your authority figuring is saying AND to what your own research of both Liberal and Conservative sources brings up.

Scroll to Continue

Now, let's see where you stack up on the RWA scale. The following assessment has 22 ambiguous statements, which are based on the actual assessments, to which you have a bunch of choices for answers as to the degree you agree or disagree with the statement. Be aware that some of the statements have more than one part and you may fell one way about one part, but a different way about another part. What you do in that case is "average" you answer. For example, what if you "Strongly Agreed" with the first part of a statement, but "Strongly Disagreed" with the second part; you answer then would be "Neutral". But then you think to yourself, "but wait, I am not "Neutral" on this whole statement but sort of lean toward agreeing with it; in that case, you might pick "Barely Agree" or "Slightly Agree".

Keep in mind the results of this assessment, just like the actual, professionally given ones, only have validity in the aggregate, not individual results. Granted, your result may give you an idea of where you may rank, it is certainly not set in concrete. Having said that, once there are enough results, even in this survey, because it is a difference survey and because we are looking at aggregate results, the results are valid for comparing the self-identified Left-leaners with the self-identified Right-leaners; and not the "skew" each distribution will show. I am aware the distributions of each graph will probably be skewed to the left (more lower scores) because a few higher scorers will not feel inclined to report their scores; this will probably be more prevalent for the Left-leaners.

Right-Wing Authoritarian Assessment (Modified)

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. Established authorities generally turn out to be right about things, radicals/protestors are loud mouths and ignorant.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Agree
    • Neutral
    • Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  2. Women should have to promise to obey their husbands when they get married.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Bare Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  3. We desperately need a mighty leader to do what needs to be done to destroy radical new ways/sinfulness that ruin us.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disgree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  4. Gays and lesbians are just as healthy and moral as anybody else.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Stongly Disagree
  5. It is better to trust the judgment of the authorities in government/religion than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhate Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  6. Atheists/others who rebel against established religions are as good and virtuous as those attending church regularly
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Nuetral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  7. To defeat the crisis ahead is to return to old values, elect tough leaders, and quiet troublemakers spreading bad ideas
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  8. There is absolutely nothing wrong with nudist resorts.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  9. Our country needs free thinkers who have the courage to defy traditional ways, even if this upsets many people.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  10. America will be destroyed oneday if we don't smash the perversions eating away at our morals and traditional beliefs.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Diagree
  11. All should have their own lifestyle/religious beliefs/sexual preferences, even if it makes them different from others.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  12. The “old-fashioned ways” and the “old-fashioned values” still show the best way to live.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Stronly Disagree
  13. You admire those who challenged the law/majority’s view by protesting for pro-choice and abolishing school prayer.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  14. What our country really needs is a strong, determined leader who will crush evil, and take us back to our true path.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disgree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  15. Some of the best people are those who challenge our government/criticize religion/ignore the normal way things are done
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  16. God’s laws on abortion/pornography/marriage must be followed before it is too late, and those who break them - Punished.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  17. Many radical/immoral people today are trying to ruin us for their own godless purposes; authorities should stop them now
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  18. A “woman’s place” should be wherever she wants to be. The days when women are submissive to their husbands are over.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  19. Honor the ways of our forefathers, follow authorities, and getting rid of “rotten apples” leads to National greatness
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  20. There is no “ONE right way” to live life; everybody has to create their own way.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  21. Homosexuals and feminists should be praised for being brave enough to defy “traditional family values"
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree
  22. America will work better if troublemakers would just shut up and accept their group’s traditional place in society.
    • Strongly Agree
    • Somewhat Agree
    • Slightly Agree
    • Barely Agree
    • Neutral
    • Barely Disagree
    • Slightly Disagree
    • Somewhat Disagree
    • Strongly Disagree

Scoring

Use the scoring guide below to add up your total points based on your answers.

  1. Established authorities generally turn out to be right about things, radicals/protestors are loud mouths and ignorant.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  2. Women should have to promise to obey their husbands when they get married.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Bare Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  3. We desperately need a mighty leader to do what needs to be done to destroy radical new ways/sinfulness that ruin us.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disgree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  4. Gays and lesbians are just as healthy and moral as anybody else.
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Stongly Disagree: +4 points
  5. It is better to trust the judgment of the authorities in government/religion than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhate Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  6. Atheists/others who rebel against established religions are as good and virtuous as those attending church regularly
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Nuetral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  7. To defeat the crisis ahead is to return to old values, elect tough leaders, and quiet troublemakers spreading bad ideas
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  8. There is absolutely nothing wrong with nudist resorts.
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  9. Our country needs free thinkers who have the courage to defy traditional ways, even if this upsets many people.
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  10. America will be destroyed oneday if we don't smash the perversions eating away at our morals and traditional beliefs.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Diagree: -4 points
  11. All should have their own lifestyle/religious beliefs/sexual preferences, even if it makes them different from others.
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  12. The “old-fashioned ways” and the “old-fashioned values” still show the best way to live.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Stronly Disagree: -4 points
  13. You admire those who challenged the law/majority’s view by protesting for pro-choice and abolishing school prayer.
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  14. What our country really needs is a strong, determined leader who will crush evil, and take us back to our true path.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disgree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  15. Some of the best people are those who challenge our government/criticize religion/ignore the normal way things are done
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  16. God’s laws on abortion/pornography/marriage must be followed before it is too late, and those who break them - Punished.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  17. Many radical/immoral people today are trying to ruin us for their own godless purposes; authorities should stop them now
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  18. A “woman’s place” should be wherever she wants to be. The days when women are submissive to their husbands are over.
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  19. Honor the ways of our forefathers, follow authorities, and getting rid of “rotten apples” leads to National greatness
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points
  20. There is no “ONE right way” to live life; everybody has to create their own way.
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  21. Homosexuals and feminists should be praised for being brave enough to defy “traditional family values"
    • Strongly Agree: -4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: -3 points
    • Slightly Agree: -2 points
    • Barely Agree: -1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: +1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: +2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: +3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: +4 points
  22. America will work better if troublemakers would just shut up and accept their group’s traditional place in society.
    • Strongly Agree: +4 points
    • Somewhat Agree: +3 points
    • Slightly Agree: +2 points
    • Barely Agree: +1 point
    • Neutral: +0 points
    • Barely Disagree: -1 point
    • Slightly Disagree: -2 points
    • Somewhat Disagree: -3 points
    • Strongly Disagree: -4 points

Interpreting Your Score

A score between -88 and -36 means: Your answers describe a person who has a low degree of RWA follower characteristics, well below the norm in America

A score between -35 and 17 means: This score is comprable to what most Americans report when taking this assessment and express a normal level of RWA characteristics which we all possess to one degree or another.

A score between 18 and 52 means: Your answers describe a person who has a high degree of RWA follower characteristics, above the norm in America

A score between 53 and 70 means: Your answers describe a person who has a very high degree of RWA follower characteristics

A score between 71 and 88 means: Your answers describe a person who has an extremely high degree of RWA follower characteristics

THERE ARE THREE SURVEYS (one brand new one as of 3/16/15) below, one for those who agree with the Right a lot, the second for those who agree with the Left a lot, and the new poll, one who think of themselves as politically in the middle or something else. Please choose the survey which fits your political leanings.

HELP THE READERS UNDERSTAND THE DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION BY TAKING ONE OF THE TWO POLLS BELOW

Right-Leaning

After 86 results:

  • # Scored above 74%: .............. 8
  • # Scored between 50 - 74%: . 10
  • # Scored between 25 - 49%:,, 20
  • # Scored below 25%: ............ 48

In The Middle

After 20 results:

  • # Scored above 74%: ............. 0
  • # Scored between 50 - 74%: .. 1
  • # Scored between 25 - 49%: .. 3
  • # Scored below 25%: ............. 16

Come On Y'all, Don't Be Shy, Let Us Know Where You Scored :-)

Left-Leaning

After 180 results:

  • # Scored above 74%: ............... 4
  • # Scored between 50 - 74%: .... 2
  • # Scored between 25 - 49%: .. 13
  • # Scored below 25%: ............ 161

A Composite View

After 286 results:

  • # Scored above 74%: ............. 12 (4%)
  • # Scored between 50 - 74%: .. 13 (5%)
  • # Scored between 25 - 49%: .. 36 (13%)
  • # Scored below 25%: ............ 225 (78%)

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY

The Book Behind This Hub

A WORD ABOUT THE ABOVE SURVEY RESULTS

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT some commenters will say my sampling is highly biased due to the filtering effect which takes place as people find their way to this Hub and then decide to take the survey. Normally, that would have to be taken into account when reviewing what the surveys show, such as with my Hub on Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, but not, I think, in this case.

That is because the responses to the three surveys are being compared with each other. Consequently, the fact that I don't have a "random" sample of Left-leaning vs Right-leaning responders is no longer important; it is enough that there is a sufficient number of survey takers from each camp to provide meaningful results.

For instance, even if not all of the truly high scoring RWAs from either the Right-leaning, Independent, or Left-leaning groups were interested in sharing the survey results, it doesn't really matter so long as there is a sufficient number of results to provide meaningful numbers.

What I am looking for in this analysis is to see if the "distribution" or "shape" of the results from each political camp are different or not. My hypothesis is that they are and, so long as the sample size for each self-identified group is large enough, the results should reflect a "typical" distribution for each side. Even if the distributions of a particular political view are off somewhat in magnitude and frequency, it only matters that the distribution itself is roughly right. What is important is the measurement of the comparative shape and parameters between the two systems.

By inspection, the Democratic results appear to be entirely consistent with the philosophy that brings people into the Democratic Party. The fact that there are a few high scores for liberals would not be unexpected for it simply speaks to the diversity of people in general. It is the skewness of the distribution that tells the story.

The Republican results are also consistent with the findings of Professor Alteman.for three reasons: 1) The fact that because, in the general population, high scoring RWA's aren't that common, the distribution will be skewed to the lower scores, 2) the fact the distribution seems "flatter" than the one for the Democrats strongly suggests a different believe-set and one that is more oriented to leaders and control; given the way the survey is scored, and 3) if the skew of the independents fall between those on the Right and Left (there aren't enough results yet to really tell) then that would be further corroboration that there are significant differences between them.

Unlike the top scale of the Social Dominator survey, there is nothing manipulative or spiteful about a high-scoring RWA, it merely defines a particular set of beliefs which are honestly held and, from that person's point of view, with good reason. Nevertheless, it is, as you can see, a system of belief and perception about life that clearly separates those who see themselves as politically Left-leaning and those who think of themselves as politically Right-leaning.

8/16/12: And now there are 40 results, 15 from the Republicans and 25 from the Democrats. Their respective percentages from the top of the scale to the bottom currently are: 7%, 27%, 13%, 53% (R) and 4%, 4%, 4%, 88% (D). Could the distribution of these percentages simply occur by chance? Well, a little yes, but mostly no.

It is almost impossible, when you calculate the probabilities, to get the Democrats results,solely by chance, even with only 25 votes. The probability you can get that type of result is something less that 1 out of 2.2 x 10 -13times. For the Republican survey, the distribution of the bottom three possibilities by chance is more likely, but not much. Only the distribution between the second and fourth rows might be by chance. Further, while the mathematics is a bit more complicated, I can show that the difference in distributions between the Republicans and Democrats is extremely unlikely to have happened by chance either, all of this on just 40 results, isn't statistics wonderful?

What this tells us, ta-da, is that something else is going on; there are dynamics taking place to cause the distributions you see within each survey and between each survey and that the dynamics are different the Republicans and Democrats. The general dynamics are explained in the Hub. For details about each distribution, we will need many more results.

12/3/13: We have more results, 131 of them. Compare the distributions with those over a year ago. These is still a significant difference between the shapes of the two distributions, but with over three times a many surveys, I can say those differences are statistically significant. Today, the Republican results from highest score to lowest, are 10%, 15%, 27%, and 49%, a more realistic distribution, although with only 41 Republican returns, the amplitude of these figures will change, there is less likelihood the shape will change much as more results come in.

For the Left-leaning, with 90 results, that highly skewed shape ( 2%, 1%, 8%, 89%) is more certain to remain the same, especially since, it hasn't changed that much from last year. What has surprised me the most is how skewed this distribution remained with 89% of those leaning to the Left scoring in the lowest ranking. The difference between how those on the political Right and those on the Left see the world is remarkable, isn't it. It says volumes about why Congress has come to a stand-still given where the majority of Republicans stand on the political spectrum and the movement of the Democrats to the Left with the defeat in recent years of the more conservative elements.

12/7/14: There are now 55 politically Right-leaning and 128 Left-leaning results. The 91-7-1-2 distribution for those veering Left is still starkly different from the 53-25-13-9 distribution seen on the Right. It is little changed from 2013 and is very strong evidence that the the two political philosophies spring from fundamentally different ideas regarding the relative importance individualism within a societal structure.

2/20/15: With 60 Right-leaning responses, I don't expect the shape of the distribution to change from here on out. Obviously, the same is true with the larger sample for Left-leaning respondents. Has I pointed out in earlier discussion, the point of this Hub was to show that Right-leaning readers respond differently than the Left-leaning ones to the same set of questions. There should be no question now, with distributions of 50-25-14-11 and 88-8-1-3, Right and Left respectively, that they do.

(I took the test for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz answering the questions the way I think they would; when I was uncertain, I answered the same way. And they scored 93% on the SDO test and 83% on the RWA survey.)

Findings From Altemeyer's Studies

  1. Between 1990 and 1993, Professor Altemeyer conducted surveys of American State legislators as well as legislators from his home country of Canada. He sent surveys to legislators in 42 states, forgoing, for whatever reason, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Rhode Island, and West Viriginia; none, I notice have large populations. His findings were from the 1233 who responded, and converting from his scale to the one you just took, you get:
  2. Democrats had a median score of 46%, with a low of 29% and a high of 75%
  3. Republicans had a median score of 62% with a low of 46% and a high of 75%
  4. Lowest four Democratic states were WI, OR, MI, and WA, while the highest four were TN, LA, GA, and way off in the distance, MS.
  5. Lowest four Republican states were CT, MA, NM, WA, while the highest were NC, GA, TN, and KY.

As you can see that, as expected, you have much more dispersion in the Democratic party because it is a much more politically diverse party that has a well defined right, center, and left wings. On the other hand, it was in early 90s where the Conservatives and Religious Right were consolodating there hold on the Republican party. If such a survey were held today, I would be surprised to find the median Republican score greater than 75%.

One final point I offer from this part of Altemeyer's book "The Authoritarian" is this closing paragraph from the State legislature study:

"Stomp Out the Rot.

One last thing: an item on the RWA scale that I used in these legislator studies goes, “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within.” It’s a ridiculous statement, isn’t it? People usually laugh when I read it out loud to an audience. It sounds like it came out of some Nazi Cheer Book. And a solid majority of the legislators who wrote the laws in American states when I did these studies rejected it. But 26 percent of the 1,233 lawmakers in my samples agreed with this. That's already half-way to a majority. And in terms of later developments, I’ll point out that these studies were all done before 1994."

In the Canadian study, similar results were found. One difference in the Canadian political parties is that the New Democratic Party is about as cohesive on the left is our Conservative Party is on the right today, and it shows up in the following results:

  1. New Democrats median RWA score was 29%, with a low of 19% and a high of 38%, they are much left of the left wing of our Democratic Party
  2. The conservative Alliance Party's median score was 60%, with a low of 48% and high of 67%, very similar to our Republican Party.

Nevertheless, the relationships are still the same, the more conservative you are, generally, the higher a RWA score you will have and will support or champion the kind of authoritarian, non-egalitarian policies that are characteristic of high RWA individuals.

The DOUBLE HIGH

AS DESCRIBED IN MY hub on Social Dominators (SDs), they are a driven bunch, driven to power. The higher on the SD scale they score, the more driven they are and the more likely they are to do whateverit takes to reach the particular pinnacle of power they seek; high scoring SDs hold nothing sacred or honorable. Well, SDs do not have to be high scoring RWAs, but they can be.

When they are, this person is called a "Double High" and will have not only all of the attributes of both the high scoring SDs and the high scoring RWAs; this can be a powerful and potentially dangerous combination which I will discuss in future hubs.

What Professor Altemeyer found was that many of the higher scoring RWAs in his study, that I presented in the last section, also presented tendencies toward Social Dominance orientation as well, however, the scale had not been fully developed at that time so he is only estimating based on questions he asked. Altemeyer noted that it is only natural that political bodies would have a bias toward SD-types because that would a natural next step for a SDs quest for Power.

Note also, this was in the early 90s, I can only imagine how many "double highs" are in the State legislatures and Congress given the 2010 sweep by the Conservatives and the Tea Party.

I will leave this hub at this point and pick it up again with a more in-depth look at what RWAs support and don't support, what positions they adopt and those they find morally objectionable. It should go along way to understanding why we are in the predicament we are in today.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Scott Belford

Comments

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on November 28, 2019:

Thanks for reading Don. I appreciate the comment.

Rex on November 28, 2019:

I remember learning of this study first way back in my first year of undergraduate studies, and recently watched The Experimenter for the first time. However, I wasn't familiar with Altemeyer's research/traits.

From an early age, I sensed a difference in people in that some are more genuinely "comfortable in their own skin", no matter the situation they find themselves in. These people just like to have a decent time and don't have a compelling need to compete ALL the time compare themselves to others, be like others, or even not be like others. Some people are just better at "being" and thus better at being happy. Over the past several years, I became confident that this sort of basic characteristic difference is reflected in how we vote, specifically and especially, whether we vote for or against Trump. Of course, this is all just my opinions, but the scale seems to add credence to my thoughts. --From a Zero Percenter

Brad on February 27, 2019:

Scott

Do you consider Toobin, and Lemon newscasters? Or this person?

" By Nicholas Fondacaro September 27, 2018 5:08 PM EDT

Judge Brett Kavanaugh came out swinging against Senate Democrats during Thursday’s show trial at the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was angry and pulled no punches as he called out the bad faith actors trying to destroy his life. But to CNN liberals, he was acting “unhinged” and his comments were “deeply political”.

“I don't believe Brett Kavanaugh is telling the entire truth,” declared CNN political commentator Symone Sanders. “I just thought it wasn't believable. I think, he – he – he told non-truths. He lied about things I don't think he needed to lie about. Perhaps he felt he could not give any ground because he didn't want to be found culpable for anything.”

According to Sanders, who has a history nuclear outbursts of rage on the network, Kavanaugh’s anger was “striking”. “I understand if you have been -- if you believe you have not done something wrong and you are upset and you are angry, but the way portrayed himself at the outset of this hearing today, he looked unhinged,” she spat."

--------------------------------

Scott

"CNN will offer wall-to-wall coverage during both Judge Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford's testimonies and questioning along with in-depth analysis during the hearing's breaks."

B: It is this in-depth analysis that takes most of the air at CNN, MSNBC and Fox. This is what people watching these networks are there to watch.

------------------------------

B: This is a good one from Fox New

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/kavanaugh-and-for...

------------------------------

B: CNN’s Ana Navarro: Kavanaugh Allegations Will Be ‘in His Obituary,’ ‘Huge Black Cloud’

Do you think that CNN viewers differentiate between the reporting of news, and comments like this.

------------------------------

B: This is the Washington Post

Post Partisan Opinion

In the Kavanaugh hearing, Republican rage overrides the desire to seek the truth

By Max Boot

Columnist

September 28, 2018

In the 1976 movie “Network,” Howard Beale is a dyspeptic TV anchorman with a high-decibel mantra: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” If Beale were alive today, he would feel right at home in the Republican Party. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday on Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court showed that, among Republicans, rage has triumphed over reason.

As John Harwood of CNBC noted, Republicans don’t care what the science says about climate change. They don’t care what the economic models say about the fiscal impact of tax cuts. And they don’t care what the evidence says about the possibility that Kavanaugh may be guilty of sexual assault charges. All that matters is sticking it to the “libtards.”

Kavanaugh channeled this vibe perfectly in the most acerbic and abusive appearance of any nominee I have ever seen before any Senate committee. His face contorted in anger, he blasted Senate Democrats for replacing “advise and consent with search and destroy,” and turning the confirmation process into “a national disgrace.”

He reflected a conspiratorial mindset — another hallmark of the modern GOP — when he charged that he was the victim of “pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election” and even of Democrats seeking “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” If that’s what this was about, why didn’t the previous Trump nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil M. Gorsuch, face any accusations of sexual assault?

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), showing that he is bereft of the adult supervision once provided by former Senate colleague John McCain, matched Kavanaugh outburst-for-outburst. He snarled that “this is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”

Here is something about Feinstein sandbagging

----------------------------------------------------------

He had a point about the failure of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to investigate the charges promptly. Yet he and the rest of the Republicans showed little interest in investigating them, either. Instead of seriously questioning Kavanaugh, he sarcastically asked, “Are you a gang rapist?” eliciting a perfunctory “No.”"

Once again people conflate this with the news, and these are the sounds they make, and the links they cite.

Brad on February 27, 2019:

Scott

Going to school and doing the job are two different things. And who didn't take micro and macro economics. It is less useful than meteorology. How long ago did you take these courses, When Adan Smith was still alive? When did you last use them on the job?

Scott

I made that comment on the CNN example that you gave me. Give me some more and we will see:)

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 27, 2019:

Do you have a long background in cost and economic analyse? OR, are you just guessing at what you think it ought to be with no economic education?

Have you taken courses in microeconomics? Macroeconomics" Finance?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on February 27, 2019:

Scott, it boggles my mind how you can interpret the data the way you do. I think you may have lived inside the government bubble too long and have no understanding of what real economics and real productivity and real profits come from. The government is a necessary evil. Most things the government runs are inefficient and full of fraud.

Your analysis is just that, a biased view which does not reflect reality. Anyone who rejects the fact that Trump is making a huge impact on our current economy is out of the main stream. Like him or not, he is shaking things up and dismantling the bureacracy created by Obama. It must pain you that your hero is being torn down day by day. That is how I see it IMHO.

On an unrelated topic,

Why did you decide to change your name?

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 27, 2019:

So Jack, let ME get this straight - you refuse to think and use logic in order not to see the obvious.

Brad. so you admit CNN reports actual news (which must other humans already know.)

Brad on February 26, 2019:

Scott

"Brad - This is called reporting, not opinion.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-kim-j...

B: This is the news because they can't change the Tweet. And no one need CNN to copy and report Trump's Tweet.

--------------------------------------

Jack - How did Wienstien keep producing movies for so long given his propensity to sexually harass women?

B: How did Bill Cosby, the same way, and just like Bill Clinton they had the power, and no one was interested in taking it from them.

----------------------------------------------

TRUMP is the definition of a RACIST. He probably doesn't like Asian Americans either. He makes no bones that his favorite color is white."

B: Now you are the ultimate dictionary making your own definitions. What has he done that is racist? You used the word probably, and because of that what weight should we give your opinion.

A favorite color is just that, it doesn't translate to people. You did that because you don't know any better. You are a hammer and everything looks like a nail:)

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on February 26, 2019:

Scott, so let me get this straight. The reason you think Trump is a racist is because he hid it from the public like Weinstein? Meanwhile, he has pardoned blacks, he has reformed the incarceration laws which disportionally hurt minorities, and he hires blacks and hispanics in his many hotels and residences..,

Well if he was a racist, he sure hides it well...

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 26, 2019:

Brad - This is called reporting, not opinion.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-kim-j...

Jack - How did Wienstien keep producing movies for so long given his propensity to sexually harass women? TRUMP is the definition of a RACIST. He probably doesn't like Asian Americans either. He makes no bones that his favorite color is white.

Brad on February 25, 2019:

Scott

""Cable news is not news, it is an editorial." - You really need to get your facts right, Brad. CNN News is News. Fox News IS news. Fox Opinion is NOT News, just Trump propaganda. CNN Opinion is not News either, must opinion."

B: Scott give us some examples of CNN Trump news, and tell us how it is not an editorial? I guess we need to know what is your definition of the News?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on February 25, 2019:

Scott, you missed the point of my question. Perhaps deliberately.

I will say it again. If Trump is a racist, how did he survive in Hollywood? With a number one rate show?

Given the problem of Paula Dean and Roseanne Barr.

You can’t answer it with a straight face.

HE IS NOT A RACIST, for wanting to secure our southern borders.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 25, 2019:

"Cable news is not news, it is an editorial." - You really need to get your facts right, Brad. CNN News is News. Fox News IS news. Fox Opinion is NOT News, just Trump propaganda. CNN Opinion is not News either, must opinion.

Brad on February 25, 2019:

Scott

What has he actually done that is racist, something more than words that you twisted in something racist? An accusation is not a fact, it is not verified and you use that as a circular argument to maintain Trump is a racist.

Again, what did he DO?

In fact, you calling him a racist without proof makes you a racist.

Cable news is not news, it is an editorial. Remember before Cable News there was the news, and then if the media wanted to give their opinion they said it in an editorial.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 25, 2019:

Yes I did, it just timed out. Let me recreate it.

"I bet you think Trump is a racist." - I don't THINK Trump is a racist, I KNOW he is a racist. All one had to do to know this is listen to him for the last four years starting "Mexicans are murderers and rapists" followed by something like "maybe some of them are OK".

Then you say I say "Only Fox news is the pervayor of “fake news”..." - This tells me you really are brainwashed. I said EXACTLY the OPPOSITE about Fox News.

"The Apprentice?" Give me a break. I didn't realize that show was intended to a racist show. The fact that Trump is a racist doesn't reflect on the show, does it now.

As to "this day and age", you do know The Apprentice was a long time ago.

And how about the myth about Trump never being accused of being a racist - you could have found this as easily as I did: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/donald-trump-rac...

Brad on February 25, 2019:

Scott

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on February 25, 2019:

Scott, you didn’t answer my question...

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 25, 2019:

No, Jack, you are the one who is "brainwashed".

Brad on February 25, 2019:

Scott

"You are slightly, nee, a lot biased."

B: Once again, you only want your questions answered while chumming the waters with your red herrings, deviations and name calling. Your articles are filled with your Bias, a bias that you adopted and didn't even have the independence to create on your own.

----------------------------------------

"How did you say I answered the first question "Established authorities generally turn out to be right about things, radicals/protestors are loud mouths and ignorant."?"

B: I never said but instead I marked you as a total biased person. This particular statement of yours is vague, ambiguous, categorical, and without reference. It is meaningless.

--------------------------------

My guess for you is you answered "Somewhat or Strongly Agree""

B: Why would I answer any of this biased meaningless test questions.

--------------------------------

Tell me again, what was the point of this article?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on February 25, 2019:

Scott,

You’ve been brainwashed and fell into the very things you accuse of others. Here is one example. I bet you think Trump is a racist. In fact, I know you think he is a racist. All the news media agrees with you...right? Only Fox news is the pervayor of “fake news”...and a Trump defender and supporter...think otherwise.

Here is my simple question to you. How did a “racist” like Trump succeeded in Hollywood with a number one rate show - the Apprentice, for so many years? How is that possible in this day and age when a statement or tweet by Paul Dean and Rosanne Barr got them kicked off their shows?

Can you explain that?

Not one accusation of racism against Trump was layed out before he ran for President. How did he suddenly became a racist after 2015?

Hmmm?

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 25, 2019:

Actually the title is a statement of fact (or rather a well researched hypothesis and proof)

EVERYBODY probably fits at least one of those 12 traits. Its those that fits most of them who score high. Scoring high on the RWA scale, if you read what I wrote, is not the sole purview of the Right-wing. Those on the Far-left also tend to score high. It is just much more common among the Right - as the results show.

The biggest threat to democracy is demigods like Trump and the people who blindly follow them. Only sites like Fox Opinion, Brietbart, the Beltway Pundit, MSNBC are biased media. Not ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Fox News, etc.

The only "Fake News" comes from the far-Right media (not even Fox Opinion, as biased as it is) and Donald Trump.

Those that use their brain and think for themselves tend to score low on the RWA assessment.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on February 24, 2019:

This article is biased in its own way. The title is provacative and miss leading. The 12 traits described as being RWA fits many on the left of the political spectrum. Therefore not conclusive. IMHO, the biggest threat to our democracy is a biased media. The “fake news” is what is driving the big divide between progrssives and conservatives. It is unfortunate that many people fall into the trap of listening to them instead of using their brain and think for themselves.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 24, 2019:

You are slightly, nee, a lot biased.

How did you say I answered the first question "Established authorities generally turn out to be right about things, radicals/protestors are loud mouths and ignorant."?

My guess for you is you answered "Somewhat or Strongly Agree"

Brad on February 24, 2019:

Scott

I just scored you based on what you say and do here, and you are 100% not 20.

You live in an artificial world where you assume and the project you opinion but calling it facts.

"One last thing: an item on the RWA scale that I used in these legislator studies goes, “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within.” It’s a ridiculous statement, isn’t it?

B: Ridiculous because this describes the 21st century democrat party! And ironically doesn't the democrat party consider Trump the rot and they have spent 3 years trying to stomp him out.

--------------------------------

People usually laugh when I read it out loud to an audience. It sounds like it came out of some Nazi Cheer Book.

B: You have no idea of what NAZI means, and you continue to misuse to make it all the despicable acts done by Adolph Hitler. You want people to think NAZI and Hitler are the same. Where it would be more appropriate to see the similarity of the democrats with NAZI, with no reference to Hitler.

--------------------------------------

And a solid majority of the legislators who wrote the laws in American states when I did these studies rejected it. But 26 percent of the 1,233 lawmakers in my samples agreed with this. That's already half-way to a majority. And in terms of later developments, I’ll point out that these studies were all done before 1994.""

B: What is the relevance between 1994 and anything in the 21st century? Everything radically changed on 911.

----------------

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on February 21, 2019:

What did you score? I was pretty low, 20s, I think.

Brad on February 20, 2019:

Scott

"the research also shows that once a RWA discovers this about themselves, they can often change.

The 12 traits are as follows:"

B: You fit all 12 traits, so you get a perfect score here.

jonnycomelately on November 28, 2016:

Jackclee, with great respect I am viewing this discussion as a spectator. It is not my place to argue the politics of you country; that would be impertinent.

However, the presumptions that America has a christian/religious prerogative to save the the world and its people from itself is a dangerous one. Britain has used it before before you; so has the Roman Catholic church; and other christian denominations in recent history.

You are entitled to your beliefs like anyone else. But to imply those beliefs must be held by others is wrong. Because it's a political ploy, nothing to do with personal faith.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on November 28, 2016:

Yes, Washington was the first "President" to declare the last Thursday of Nov 1798 as a day for people to thank God, the Christian one in this case. He did it again in 1795. John Adams continued this nascent tradition, but not necessarily Christian, in 1798 and 1799.

Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, did not recognize this day during his eight years. Madison picked up once in 1814. The celebration lay dormant until Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Every President after that declared a national holiday annually until Congress codified it in 1941.

Only Washington, Cleveland, and McKinley specifically made is a Christian holiday; several others put in Judeo-Christian terms. The rest did not and encompassed all religions.

In the end Congress made Thanksgiving a public (not religious) holiday on par with New Years Day through July 4th through Christmas ... just a public holiday.

https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/than...

I find it odd that throughout most of our history, Thanksgiving was celebrated on a hit 0r miss basis.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on November 28, 2016:

Yes, this Holiday is very specific. It was created by George Wasington, our first President, as a day set aside to offer thanks to our God for the many blessings He bestowed on our nation. Did you miss this lession in school?

jonnycomelately on November 28, 2016:

Are you saying that your God is the focus of your thanks?

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on November 28, 2016:

The answer is they don't celebrate this Holiday as most others. They want to make it a secular holiday to be about the turkey and the Indians and the Fall harvest...anything to avoid the God aspect which is central to this holiday. The public school, does their best to teach a secular view. They will thank everything and anything as long it is not about the Creator.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on November 24, 2016:

I assume you meant atheist and not a theist.

I presume an atheist gives thanks to no supernatural entity but may give thanks to the Universe, if they give thanks to anything. Maybe they could give thanks to their parents who brought them into this world ... although that leaves the question of where do you stop that train of thought.

jonnycomelately on November 24, 2016:

A question for you from a foreign spectator:

If a very patriotic American is a-theist, to whom does he/she give thanks at Thanksgiving?

If you are theist, do you give equal respect to your a-theist compatriot?

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on November 24, 2016:

You have a great one as well, Jackclee

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on November 24, 2016:

My esoteric, I don't wish to debate you on this Thansgiving day.

Leave it to another day.

Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday. Giving thanks to our creator with all our blessings once a year is a great tradition.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on November 24, 2016:

Don't bring up history to defend the current administration. The past 8 years is what's on the ballot and that even Obama agrees before the election. Checkout this -

https://hubpages.com/politics/The-Bigger-Story-Beh...

It is a landslide by any measure...

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on November 24, 2016:

Losing by over 2 million votes does not a landslide make. The same is true by barely squeaking by on electoral votes; which are now being questioned.

By being against progressive policies, that means, had you been alive, you would have opposed the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 24th, and 26th Amendments? Each deals with expanding the liberty (the root of liberal) of individual citizens.

Specifically, conservatives (we aren't talking about Ds or Rs here, just political philosophy) opposed the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 21st, and 23rd amendments. My guess is they opposed the 17th as well.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on November 23, 2016:

The reason Trump won is because the people rejected the progressive policies of the last 8 years. In fact, any Republican candidate would win a landslide in 2016.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on October 23, 2016:

Also, Straw Man, keep in mind, re: "because I'm not interested in moving from one brand of RWA culture to its equal and opposite" that Ds are much, much more likely NOT to blindly follow their chosen leader with no critical analysis than your average R.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on October 22, 2016:

I assume you are referring to "The Authoritarian". If so, I think you may be missing Altemeyer's point a bit. The fundamental purpose of his work is to determine what it is about people who are willing to follow authoritarian figures as compared to those who don't. Milgram showed that some people will follow an authority figure well beyond the point they would normally make a different decision own their own. Altemeyer has taken the next step.

So, he began looking for what kind of personal characteristics are common, if any, within each group. Once developed he applies to political orientation. BTW, the term "right-wing" doesn't come from Bush are anybody else. It comes from "one of its earliest meanings, for in

Old English “riht”(pronounced “writ”) as an adjective meant lawful, proper, correct, doing what the authorities said." (from The Authoritarian)

Once established, Altemeyer applied his findings to the political arena all over the world.

Your application to President Obama is, I think, dead wrong. First, the view of the use of drones depends on your definition of self-defense, doesn't it. If you want to wait for the terrorists to build and get stronger while we watch and then react when they attack, e.g. bin Laden.

That is not my idea of self-defense. To me, self-defense is a good offense and a good offensive is killing or capturing the terrorist who are going to kill you and yours; and that is what the drone program does with as few civilian casualties; much fewer, btw, that what we might suffer from another attack or actual warfare in a foreign location.

What makes you think the prisoners in Gitmo are being tortured in any manner, other than being incarceration. Please show me those sources. What PBO wants to do is jail them in America in supermax prisons. Rs and some Ds say "not in my back yard". PBO promised to close Gitmo, but Congress refuses to let him, so he is forced to release a growing number to other nations under various conditions.

His work clearly shows Ds are not, by and large, RWA's or SDOs. That is not in question from his work. But you are correct, the high scoring Rs and Ds do worship different authorities. If you look back on the questions I asked, or any of the other RWA surveys out there, ask yourself, does how you answered fit your impressions of how Ds believe. If you say a lot, then there you have it, Ds are, to a large degree, low scoring RWAs. If some one answered the opposite you did, then that will reflect how high scoring Rs and Ds answer with the majority of them being Rs.

I will have to look at Bayes' Theorem vis-a-vis my survey; your findings are very interesting.

From another hub I wrote on Meyers-Briggs, I found that most of the people who read my hubs are introverted (by a large margin), intuitive, thinkers. That probably holds true for this hub as well.

You might read or reread the section above titled "A WORD ABOUT THE ABOVE SURVEY RESULTS". It explains why the results I get, with enough observations, are realistic and can be extrapolated if you understand I am comparing distributions to see if there is a significant difference between the two. While the distribution of Ds and Rs may not be individually precise, their difference is. Clearly, the Rs have a higher RWA score than the Ds do. (While I don't need to, there are techniques to compensate for the kind of error that is introduced on the R side that you pointed out.)

If you read the Hub on SDOs, the distinction between the two are even more drastic.

Straw Man on July 14, 2016:

Hi! I realize I'm two years late, but I just discovered Altmeyer's book and am reading it with delight. A bit of googling around led me to your page.

I'm not a sophisticated stats person, but I ran your survey results through Bayes' theorem and found that, for your respondents, someone scoring above 50% on the RWA instrument has a 71% chance of self-identifying as Republican, and a 20% chance of identifying as Democrat. Similarly, someone scoring below 51% on the instrument has a 27% chance of being Republican, 69% of being Democrat.

This, unlike your analysis above, can clearly not be extrapolated beyond your survey, because your respondents were self-selected and D's outnumber R's by about 2 to 1. The R's that take your survey are probably the ones less likely to get high scores on the RWA instrument. I'd guess it's not a terrible first approximation at least.

I'm interested in this as a recovering right-winger and Fundie (my score was 3%, BTW, on the instrument, for what that's worth, which isn't much). Altmeyer is at pains to say that RWAs can be politically left or right, but he contrasts not R's and D's, but R's and Russian Communists. In other parts of his book he appears to equate RWAs and the political right wing. This may be partly because Bush was president when he wrote it, so "the authorities" at the time were also right-wing.

What I notice, though, is that Obama has continued many of Bush's worst policies--for example, continuing and greatly escalating the drone killings--while my new-found fellows on the moderate/left end of the political spectrum seem to be in denial. Obama claimed to want to shut down Gitmo, but his proposals involved moving the torture elsewhere rather than stopping it. Many liberals seem to give him credit for his stated good intentions, rather than the actual content of his proposals...

In short, today "the authorities" are Democrats, and I'm seeing the same sort of apologies for them as I saw for Bush. Perhaps not the same magnitude; I have no metrics on that. But the pattern is familiar. My perception is that RWAs on the political left and right are distinguished by which "authorities" they regard as "legitimate," but not by their compartmentalization, willingness to believe what they want to hear, etc.

I'd like to understand this better, because I'm not interested in moving from one brand of RWA culture to its equal and opposite. (I replied as an "Independent" to your poll above.)

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on February 24, 2015:

We have such strong differences of political convictions in America these days. I think one of the reasons for this is that we too often look to our government to reflect our religion back to us. A difference of opinion is taken as a personal attack to our core beliefs. The purpose of a party's platform is not to inflict one religion on another person who believes differently. It should be to elevate the opportunities in America for every citizen no matter what they believe religiously.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 23, 2015:

I have this bookmarked, so I can come back and read it over and over again.

I love this.. Voted-up across the board and shared.

Blessings and Hugs dear friend.

Shyron

Bella on January 17, 2015:

Ah, i see. Well th'ats not too tricky at all!"

Amanda on January 16, 2015:

There's a soundtrack here? I never heard a peep; need to check my stetings. On something. Somewhere. anyway The second graph, Percentage Change in Family Incomes, was difficult for me to understand, and that made me half-tune-out most of the rest. Dubya's tax policies WERE his economic policies and they were the most irresponsible policies sinc Reagan's. Aitch Dub had it right when he called Reaganomics Voodoo Economics but true to family form, sociopathic lust for power and position, he sold what was left of his soul by renouncing reality, suspending disbelief and common sense and embracing the fantasy. When a person sells something that they don't believe, that IS evil.Obama has his finger in the dike. He's temporarily slowed the hemorrhaging of jobs, but has failed to reverse the ongoing trend of another Voodoo invention, The Jobless Recovery. Jobs are not creted out of thin air. They aren't created by rich people bored with sitting on their money. They are created by demend. Most of all though, no matter how many might be created, they must be retained, and this is done by underlying economic policy, not tax policy or stimulus packages. The economic policies of the conservatards, especially since Reagan, do not inject money into the economy, they draw money out. Wall Street is a DRAIN with their financial innovations that go far beyond stocks and bonds. We have an economy where money does not chase goods as in previous times too much money chasing too few goods equals inflation we have an economy where money chases money: a Paper Chase, unlike the movie. Nothing is created; nothing is left behind; when the value of the paper disappears, there is no collateral beyond more paper. THAT is why they need our social security trust fund.Unless Obama can change this fundamental policy, this Paper Chase, and I see no evidence that ha desires to do so, nothing else he does will matter. We WILL have a depression.

Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on December 18, 2014:

I appreciate you coming back to read and contemplate the article @Shyron. There are no right and wrong answers to any of the questions. Depending one one's values, the questions can make sense or sound ridiculous. Just to pick on one example you offer ... "going back".

What you said is perfectly reasonable you people who see the world as you or I do; we are on the Left side of the fence, after all. But Conservatives, think "conserve". don't think change, or