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Tue Feb 14, 2012, 05:58 PM

The Right-Wing Id Unzipped [View all]

Although Mitt Romney used the word "conservative" 19 times in a short speech at the February 10, 2012, Conservative Political Action Conference, the audience he used this word to appeal to was not conservative by any traditional definition. It was right wing. Despite the common American practice of using "conservative" and "right wing" interchangeably, right wing is not a synonym for conservative and not even a true variant of conservatism - although the right wing will opportunistically borrow conservative themes as required.

Right-wingers have occasioned much recent comment. Their behavior in the Republican debates has caused even jaded observers to react like an Oxford don stumbling upon a tribe of headhunting cannibals. In those debates where the moderators did not enforce decorum, these right-wingers, the Republican base, behaved with a single lack of dignity. For a group that displays its supposed pro-life credentials like a neon sign, the biggest applause lines resulted from their hearing about executions or the prospect of someone dying without health insurance.

Who are these people and what motivates them? To answer, one must leave the field of conventional political theory and enter the realm of psychopathology. . .

Right-wing alchemy transforms freedom into authoritarianism.

Robert Altemeyer, a Canadian psychologist, has done extensive testing to isolate and describe the traits of the authoritarian personality. His results are distilled in his book "The Authoritarians." He describes religious fundamentalists, the core of the right-wing Republican base, as follows:

They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide.


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elleng Feb 2012 OP
southernyankeebelle Feb 2012 #1
lob1 Feb 2012 #2
southernyankeebelle Feb 2012 #5
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2012 #3
elleng Feb 2012 #4
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2012 #8
elleng Feb 2012 #9
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2012 #11
Jackpine Radical Feb 2012 #6
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2012 #7
Jackpine Radical Feb 2012 #12
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2012 #13
Jackpine Radical Feb 2012 #14
zeos3 Feb 2012 #10