The Monmouth University Polling Institute conducted a poll in 2019. One thousand people were interviewed about their attitude towards religious fundamentalism, ethnocentric prejudice, and their political views and affiliations. The book written on the subject, “Authoritarian Nightmare: Donald Trump and his followers” by John Dean and Bob Altermeyer, was reviewed in the Washington Post on October 4th 2020. The following points are abstracted from that review:

– Most Trump supporters are highly authoritarian and religious. If necessary, were Trump unavailable, they would back another “strong” leader to take his place.
– Trump followers are overwhelmingly concerned about the “corruption” of American society. They don’t care about incompetence and dishonesty but are highly prejudiced against non-Anglo colored people, and would back Trump just as long as he protected them from the “danger“ of “lawless” minorities and immigrants.
– Trump supporters would support prosecution of his opponents, and would back him in the event that he had purportedly lost re-election, if he claimed it to be fraudulent, labeling it “fake news” (he has done so)
33% of respondents would “follow him anywhere”.
– Donald Trump followers have a remarkable lack of self-awareness. They assume that the “swamp” occupants look down on them anyway and don’t care about them or the views of the outside world, applauding Trump’s treatment of women, the military, the established system of American allies etc.

The book concludes (well before the recent election) that the US could be facing more strife and even an existential challenge.

My take: Yes, this blog is not supposed to discuss partisan politics. But the possibility of the undermining (even end) of the democratic system, enabled by politicians in Congress, is scary. The anxiety is made worse by the probability that the new Administration will meet a stone wall if it tries to get bipartisan agreement on anything important. One cannot govern successfully if obstructed on everything, and with a former President undermining the government every day of his life.

Who envíes President-elect Biden?


  1. There was a time when the debate between “liberalism” and “conservatism” was a contest between legitimate opposing philosophies. The champion on one side was Gore Vidal; on the other side was William F. Buckley, Jr. Their debates were considered classic. They both wrote prolifically and presented their views for all to read and evaluate. At universities, their writings were read, analyzed, and debated openly and freely; they were both frequently invited as speakers. Unlike today, universities back then were beacons of free speech. The liberal arts premise was that exposing students to the widest range of opinions and perspectives was a good thing. Today, viewpoints that are unacceptable under liberal criteria are banned. The Monmouth poll and Dean’s book are not an objective examination of why people voted for Trump or are of the conservative persuasion. They are examples of a movement, if not a strategy, to demonize conservatism in furtherance of achieving the goals of liberalism. The term “Trump follower” is being used to maximum effect in furtherance of this objective.

    It’s unfortunate that the Republicans couldn’t field a candidate who could take the Primary from Trump; and it’s also unfortunate that Republicans had lost the will to actually fight for conservative principles. The fact is, both parties are rooted in the swamp that Trump promised to drain. Americans have long since lost their republic to money. Elections require lots of it (a candidate cannot become an incumbent without spending millions on advertising), special interests and lobbyists spend lots of it (incumbents don’t get rich from their salaries), and most of the government isn’t elected but is a vested bureaucracy whose first objective is self-preservation, not public interest. Unfortunately, Trump never had a chance to get at the swamp in a meaningful way. I certainly agree that that one cannot govern successfully if obstructed on everything. No other president was obstructed in so many ways with the vehemence brought to bear against Trump from the outset of his term. He never had a chance.

    As a conservative, there was no way I could vote in 2016 to support the Democrats’ platform which even then was a hallmark of liberalism to which no conservative could in good conscience subscribe; not to mention Ms. Clinton’s warts. Hers were camouflaged as only professional Washingtonians know how to do; in contrast to Trump whose braggadocio exhibited his warts to all. I had to vote for Trump, however repugnant he was on a personal level. And, if he could get a good start on draining the swamp, I could tolerate his warts. Regardless of one’s reason for it, a vote for Trump makes one a Trump follower which, thanks to the media and the likes of Dean and Monmouth, makes one a disgusting racist white supremacist misogynistic xenophobe. I don’t believe I’ve exhibited any of those traits over my lifetime; in fact, I condemn them. Yet, that doesn’t seem to matter. I have experienced the inability of friends and family to differentiate between a conservative and a Trump follower.

    But, I digress (how I love that phrase!). I was talking about the demonization of conservatism, the purpose of which is to elevate liberalism, which is the foothold of socialism, which inevitably ripens into fascism and authoritarianism. This could be a good thing if one believes in the concept of the benevolent tyrant. But, it’s said that absolute power corrupts absolutely. This truism applies to governments as well as to tyrants. Our nation’s founders knew this, and it’s one of the reasons we’re a republic, not a true democracy. The rumblings about doing away with the Electoral College evidence the extent to which liberalism has advanced against conservatism. People these days are all in favor of majority rule. They’ve forgotten (or were never taught) what many of America’s colonists were fleeing: the tyranny of the majority. Much of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was premised on protecting the rights of minorities to practice their lifestyle, whether it be in matters of religion or of political persuasion (if not race). Ah! But liberals are enlightened! They are woke! They don’t need those documents to know what’s right. Conservatives who want to preserve the Constitution really just want to preserve white supremacy.

    The strategy of using Trump to demonize conservatism is working pretty well. Anyone who espouses a conservative perspective is labeled a Trump follower; and Trump followers are, by definition, despicable reprobates who should be institutionalized for corrective education, or at the very least be forced to give all their money to the government for redistribution. Go ahead, ask the liberal majority of the country if they believe that, and would do it if they could. Indeed, something scary is afoot.

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