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John Dean’s new book: “Conservatives Without Conscience”


This is a post about a post about a new book: “Conservatives Without Conscience” by John Dean.  Those of you over sixty will remember John Dean as the member of the Nixon White House who ratted out the whole grubby little conspiracy.  I say “grubby” and “little” because, by modern standards, the Nixonian transgression was trivial and his attempts to cover up half-hearted.  Nowadays, our leaders lie to us without compunction and you can usually tell when they’re lying but they’ll lie about that too.  Can you really sit there and tell me you put any credibility into the statement by Vlad “the Impaler” Putin that he did not have anything to do with hacking the presidential election last year?  By the same token, why would you take Don the Con’s word that there is no there there?

The secondary source is the website DailyKos, which has a decidedly Democratic bent; a Mrs. Robinson posted a series reviewing the book and more importantly, laying out the basics of the authoritarian follower type of personality.

To get back to John Dean’s book: he defines the authoritarian follower personality as someone who first, submits to authority (the one who agrees with his views) without question, second, aggressively (even violently) supports authority, and third, sees things with a black-and-white or four-year-old type of worldview, what he calls conventionality or conformity.

The type of people who see things this way are most often moderate- to low-educated, raised by parents who were extremely religious and have incorporated that, and frequently mid-to lower-intelligence but primarily when raised by religious bigots as parents.  They are also frequently lower-income with unskilled trades or manual trades.  The higher the educational level, the less likely one is to follow an authoritarian leader.

We already know what makes an authoritarian leader, but it is more important to understand what makes an authoritarian follower.  The closer the person you encounter comes to following these traits, the harder it will be to convert that person away from Don-ism.  Unfortunately, if they’re susceptible they’re probably already under the spell of our liar-in-chief.  Once you have made the decision that a person is inconvertible, it is easier to avoid them entirely.

Now, my notes here may seem like a game of telephone, but they’re intended to point out to you that you really should read the book.



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