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tv   John Dean Authoritarian Nightmare- Trump and His Followers  CSPAN  October 31, 2020 5:25pm-6:31pm EDT

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author isabelle wilkerson, and then all about love and wrapping up the best-selling nonfiction books accord dog new york city's strand book store, is, intime missions, collection of essay biz novelist saidy smith on the early days of the covid-19 pandemic. some authors have appeared on booktv of. you can watch. the online at >> hello, this is gary love, the marketing manager at the book loft. exciting to be joined by mr. john dean, who is the author of "authoritarian nightmare, trump and his tollers" we'll talk about the book and joined by edison gonzalez.
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i'll hop of here and let everybody get started. thank you so ." >> all right. well, good evening or hello, whatever time of day you're watching this. i've got a brief power point i'm going to use to get into this book. it's based on academic study presented in a nonacademic manner. that was my job as a collaborator. i have been studying this science for a little over a decade and written an earlier book on it, as i'll mention. so my job was to keep my co lab -- to keep it for a lay audience. before i get into the book i discovered a very interesting study done by the democratic fund, their voter study group,
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that is actually an examination of attitudes in america of authoritarianism, and i will define authoritarianism for us. we could spend -- i could do a whole book on that subject alone. but i think most people have a pretty good idea what it is. larry diamond at stanford shared this information with me and it's fascinating. americans are overwhelmingly love their quote democracy, but that overwhelming love often masks some really troubling truths. for example, one out of three -- these he recent polls, 2020 polls. >> one out off three say that a strong leader is a good way to run a country. that's very authoritarian. one out of four say they'd favor, quote, army rule in america. that couldn't by much more authoritarian. fewer then half americans would
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object to a president unilaterally acting -- that should be a type -- without constitutional or congressional authority. that's pretty authoritarian. and 41% say it is appropriate for a president to act unilaterally because, quote, large majority of the american people believe he should act. now, i don't know if that is because we don't have civic training anymore in america or people have really gone full authoritarian but a hefty amount of the population is very authoritarian. they are by disposition and clearly they are in their thinking. the polling that we did for the book i'm sharing with you tonight draws right out thereof -- right out of this severely confirms it in our study as well.
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authoritarianism -- the oxford dictionary -- the enforce. ors a vote cass of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom. we all recognize the authoritarian personalities and that's really what -- rather than getting into the avertsous authoritarian systems of government, we try to stay out of that in the book. we believe that most people recognize an authoritarian government and political scientist will tell you how our democracy is backsliding from democracy towards authoritarianism. what it means to us and doing this book is it's the relationship of followers to leaders. stripped to it's essential shalls authoritarianism happens when followers submit too much to the authorities in heir life. what is too much? it is tolerating lying, cheating
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and stealing by your leaders. that would certainly be too much in the estimations of many. it's also a allowing them to rule in a frk fashion that undermines democracy we feel that is too much but there are all variations and gradations of authoritarian rule. ... >> and i took a look at what
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was the increasing influence of authoritarian personalities and leaders on the religious right and the conservative movement. i called conservatives the conscience it had a nice six-week run on "the new york times" bestseller list but also picked up sales again with donald trump at him and come to understand the science that exist around these types of personalities. when they were ignoring that science when donald trump emerged that prompt me to do this book was very well done
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piece by amanda todd who was then writing for fox - - box blx but amanda did address was of authoritarianism in america and that abbreviate a scientific test and what kind of personalities are attracted to those personalities and immediately demagogue was the first to every amanda and ted cruz they are now powell and they certainly call him out for his is demagoguery. even stephen hawking said this
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is a demagogue of the server. "the new york times" took the first six weeks of terms campaign insisted on the campaign rhetoric and those that studied rhetoric the way have a demagogue running for president. and that is used in the headlines. >> and then i contacted my a collaborator who helped me on the board conservatives without conscience. bob all my are studied religious fundamentalism for about 40 years. born in st. louis and then to
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make a better attractive offer. but he is a yale undergraduate carnegie mellon graduate and psychology and has established the basics of the science and is one of the foremost authorities on who is and who is not a and authoritarian personality so after working with him and generosity and conservatives without conscience i first encouraged him to take his science to do away man's explanation and he did.
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the last time i worked there were 700,000 people had downloaded the book. i did read the book when it was first posted it was sending a lot of people to read. he liked that exposure. i told him who are these people that are his followers? i said i think we had to do something about that. we first began, i had a verdict publication and it is a legal analysis and i got him to address trump supporters back in july 2017 after that
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he said kill me in. one - - count me in and you're the expert so i can make sure it is a need. particularly with the amazon reviews because we don't like the outcome to give it one star even though we haven't read it or even on the book. the reviews have been overwhelmingly good. it has four.five or whatever is half a point less than the and five stars like five.six. so interesting feedback when you read the reviews.
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so to focus on the three types of personalities with authoritarian leaders and they are labeled and social science of authoritarian follow standing any group that social dominators are people who emerged that are interviewing and developing testing with the social dominance. these tend to be people that to qualify for certain criteria with dominating personalities and also like to
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draw us if you don't miss him the deputy attorney general when wallace rose famously saying he will not be segregating schools, an awful example of inequality but the social dominators are part of the groups to show that philosophy where they themselves are espousing inequality. they also desire personal power that can be personified but when you start killing her family to maintain power. and those dominating personalities the desire person all power and also have other traits.
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>> and then donald trump is a poster boy he will never pass that personality test. and that they have the weaknesses of somebody walks like a duck or? like a duck and looks like a duck be pretty sure it is a duc duck. but then you see people just conspicuously display these personality qualities you can be sure where they fall. with that medical analysis. that personality type is a little different with that
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psychiatric analysis. that is conspicuous. >> and for those authoritarian presidents were dominators. >> and that where is andrew jackson and richard nixon and the is the incumbent president. they also show social domination. also those traits that follow and this is one of the things that got attention when my book came out excuse me but
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then to show those personality traits of people and it looks like donald trump with social dominators. and back in 2006 social dominators are intimidating that are exploitive and manipulative highly prejudice working like i described trump i had no idea he would run for president at that point. and those on reality television so they can be a
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good theater so most of the science of studying authoritarianism doesn't pay a great deal of attention to the social dominators of the leader types they are pretty conspicuous and those that are followers that have attracted most of the science in fact when i do the book in 2006 justin was a social dominance orientation scale emerging these personalities. >> it started because the hitler and mussolini wondering if it could happen in the united states of happened in italy and germany so much of
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the population had been attracted to fall to the story of these authoritarian personalities. world war ii resulted in a jewish a scientist upgrading from berkeley and began studying it happened in the united states and italy and germany. what people authorities leaders? the short answer is yes. >> and in 1951 starting this body of science and the study of hours.
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and then to be worked and then to come up with the test with authoritarian followers so bob all meyer is a key player in the development of that scale that has been widely tested and replicated throughout the country. >> take a look at the scale because it is very telling that's more detail than you need national that is a page. so coming back to is submissive to authority and i couldn't find a picture that
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is submissive to authority. and with that type of behavior don't become aggressive on its behalf. just looking like regular folks also the third type of personality that is the double high but let me go up here. and update of your observation i will just share because the
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right weighing authoritarian to have been tested and retested for a long time before 50 years they have been available and the file emerges where social dominators are 99.9 percent men right weighing authoritarian followers are men and women they are submissive to authority and aggressive on behalf of that authority and conventional and their life and also to be highly religious they are mean-spirited and narrowminded they are zealous and dogmatic and hypocritical in fact in
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the book we spent a good bit of time explaining how this happens and how they can compartmentalize their thinking is science doesn't know for certain if it is nature or nurture all meyer has been testing these people for 40 or 50 years with the students and the parents were decade after decade and used to become largely convinced so with that type of personality and is the training. work we have no idea mary trump to the work she has done which is a psychological and uncle. she is trained in psychology, phd that we had already found many of the same
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sources she'd do to come to the same conclusion while she is now looking for the authoritarianism router try to explain why she rose why the way he was released the same conclusion that it is from the father fred trump senior a very negative influence he had on his son to create the man he is today. for going over to the followers almost incapable of critical thinking. then i see the are contradictory thinking that are not helpful they are to panic or recognize the self-righteousness or moralistic behavior. they don't necessarily realize
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they are strict disciplinarians. to have little also for earnest the profile of these people based on what was largely done with college and university student bodies. before i go on it probably is the most troubling of all. it shows the traits and social science initially didn't understand how somebody could test high as the authoritarian dominators but yet to be submissive and aggressive on behalf of the authority when
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taking the right weighing authoritarian power the social dominators the themselves how they want people to respond to them so social dominators are capable to become followers a classic example is mark meadows chief of staff at the white house were clearly a social dominator one of the founders of the tea party and he gave all that up to become chief of staff and now he has
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to follow orders and he is no longer the dog. it is clearly a double high they can take that power from themselves to become followers and they do become followers. this is a particularly dangerous type. so in writing conservatives without conscience and bob meyer was always surprised and said he doesn't have that many double highest we have to put our own science to the test
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and then to rely on his own studies because he knew their strengths and how they tried to persuade weaknesses. we test them wide and broad one of the foremost in the united states and patrick murray who runs the institute , is somebody that i know. i that they were doing and he was extremely interested in appealing standpoint. to make a long story short he agreed to take on testing for us on a nationwide basis. he first did it and new jersey and how best to administer roughly five personality test.
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have a lot of graduate students working at the polling institute and they devised a platform so this could be done online. it was tested on telephone and one of the more convenient testing devices with online polling. so they devised a platform it took about 35 minutes with five personality test to provide information. it's all done anonymous. after successfully doing it with 900 people in new jersey for a sample, from a pool of
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230,000, 990 were selected from trump lovers from the trump haters the entire spectrum of all registered voters. we went toward the republican and then to get a better understanding of the trump base. because it collaborate on - - a confirmed his lifetime approach to leave your first of all that the republican party has become the authoritarian party led by social dominators, and populated right weighing authoritarian followers come over the book of them or a staggeringly number of double
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highs and those who just tested. so we have evidence now that you could take to court beyond question the nature and makeup of the republican party. because this can be done online. and then trump has created a coalition of the most prejudiced american base in american history. that is the dominant revelation. not only are they authoritarians but highly
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biased. and there seems to be a high correlation between authoritarianism and being prejudiced. was is surprising but certainly confirming. so that's the background of the book. will answer any questions a professor might have. >> thank you. so to further elaborate on the book with the lives of the authoritarian leader and then to keep up with that belief system. but with covid-19 decimating the economy and those in the
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pandemic do you think something as blunt as the pandemic could loosen the grip? and if not what does the data provide? >> we finished a draft of the book when covid-19 hit in march. i told bob i had done a book once on the supreme court about nixon's process of appointing supreme court justices and it was released right before 9/11 and it took years to become a bestseller that it did because everybody wanted to talk about 9/11. i said i think everybody wants to talk about covid until we get through it so we cannot do this book without putting
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something about covid and we both thought it made a terrific example of the various points that you make. something a serious and deadly as a pandemic make people who are watching trump that are aware of the fact that he lied to the american people and told bob woodward it is serious, airborne, a killer pandemic and we will play a dow down. which is not what should have down one - - it up done unusual been honest. at least people who are not authoritarians would want to know about this man not be told. so we knew that the white house was not squaring with the public about what was
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going on and it would not disappear in days going from 15 cases down as he will and will get worse. and the public health authorities. so it made it perfect what we include in the book to show these people are so locked in on their authority and so submissive that authority that virtually none of them have gone anywhere. and trump's approval rating has always been between 41 and 45 percent and still there today because up and down depending on the pool. one - - the and to have his handling of covid-19 to go through the process we described in the book of people rationalize this and
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compartmentalized and take the word the authoritarian leader. at the trump rally last night i believe that the president says if it's my turn then it is god's will i'm here to support the president and that they don't want to question the authority. so the answer to your question is it will not make a difference. there are a few people on the edge that are not deeply authoritarian they will be unhappy with that information and say i want to be a prejudice person.
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i want to be capable of self-examination and critical thinking and try to deal with it. but these are few and far between. our message in this book is if you are unhappy and those that are demolishing all the norms and don't try to change the mind of his followers that are not going to do it. the only way you can do on - - deal with it is to control the government, they are a minority and where they belong in a democracy. because it doesn't work with these kinds of people in charge and this is the message and to explain what they will do and they can use techniques
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to suppress the vote or the tactics that are there. one of the things that we pulled what how would you feel if trump claims after losing it is a rigged election and he wants to stay in power? surprisingly a high percentage. that you skew the pool taking 19 or 24 percent are okay with this. and let him stay in power he wants to. and that is the democracy study at the outset. and they have no trouble with authoritarian rule but trumps followers it is 30 percent
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have no trouble with his behavior whatever he does. >> so the pool that you are talking about, there is one thing that caught my attention that made my jaw drop the way it plays out over the summer. and in chapter ten specifically the line stomping out the lot and the peripheral explain what the data showed you including that statement into the survey. >> it is staggering how many people were willing to subscribe. that is something that we label the as an
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across-the-board test of people on the fringe event came in to support that. there was a pretty high number. the data generally on the pool just a note to myself just taking the groups that leaned about 470 some people who either for highly approve the trum trump, and they fall into three categories. white males without a four-year college education , evangelicals or born again or they are both evangelical and born-again some religious right to find themselves differently.
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you can see the high approval rating generally white males were 73 percent evangelicals were 80 and the born-again were 80 percent approval rating. also all of them went up in their prejudice we had a separate prejudiced test in the test. the most striking figure to me here is at the end when you see how many of these people are double high. 23 percent of the white males without a four-year college education are double highs, the evangelicals over the born-again's are 30 percent and both
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evangelical and born-again are 36 percent those numbers are staggering. we also found in the data the republican party is controlled by the double highs and this is unsuited for democracy at least not our type of democracy so it is a little terrifying. >> and so to continue as you say to have such a world under the modern-day applicant part party, where do you see the republican party going showed trump failed to gain the election? talk about the authoritarian personality types. and i get that they don't
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replicate with that and ability to generate and to get that and should he fail to and reelectio reelection? >> that will depend on how badly they are defeated or if they got for beer and survive and he is reelected. if it is a sunol me election and he is washed out and they
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are all washed out to lose the house and senate, which is the healthiest thing then the republican party will be examined itself. the people who support trump, the authoritarian personalities who we discussed are going nowhere. they will be looking after trump. he will be around and some sort of formal or informal voice for a long time but you can be sure that right now there are people who have witnessed what trump is doing and has done and they recognize it for what it is and they are plotting their own how to become the next authoritarian leader they are social dominators and double highs and they say i'm a lot smarter than trump and trump
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may have been a good sheet in business getting by successfully but he has no knowledge of government he just doesn't understand how it works. he doesn't have a good newspaper knowledge of washington he has been a disaster and hasn't hired anybody who can tell him how it works and this has been his own handicap so only by learning the process and then the more dangerous he becomes and then the republican party has kept him in power because the base is so solid they are terrified of this 40 or 45 percent who he seems he can reach through the twitter account and direct them. mitch mcconnell to all of them, susan collins to just fall in line because of the base they've done a lot of pulling now.
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they didn't know this body of science existed. and for a long time nobody even and recognized it was out there and there's more pulling going on like we did you find out who these people are and where they live so where is the public and party going? and then to have very little influence and the moderates will come back to him to rebuild the party. and after obama won the it was the assessment made where they thought how foolish it was to
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turn away people like hispanics and they were reaching out to bring hispanics into the republican party. that was the big contribution they should be a part of the world. they are driven them out of the party. and that democracy will survive the authoritarian s2s on the palate sadly. >> so regardless of donald trump is on the ballot and
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then what he has cultivated for himself there will still be a voting presence and someone who learns the lessons of the administration and figures out a way to do more intelligent to navigate the mechanisms of government even more authoritarian results than his current president is trying to do. so we go back to nixon, your former boss, and.
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>> i followed assume that the next president would have this type of power grab. will have the same stakes so how can the public safeguard against future aspirations and what would it look like without authoritarian reach in the white house? >> so between trump and nixon, nixon was not a demagogue. he was an authoritarian behind closed doors nobody knew the degree of his authoritarianism before his secret tape recording system that was recording behind doors and until i started to have
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regular meetings i didn't really sense that even in those meetings i have 39 meetings with him which and deadly for him but we did have 39 conversations i should say some of those were telephone calls. wasn't really and tell i went through all of the watergate related conversations and then i realize the depth of the four-year project and i realize how much of an authoritarian this man really was at heart something he didn't share but with only his trusted staff. see you might not know the next authoritarian comes along because more likely he is a
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social dominator will realize we can't have another donald trump to play this game and have people except it. it may sneak in and we won't know but there are some pretty good cues nixon did bring a reputation with him. i almost didn't go to work for him because i was a little weary of his repetition he was called tricky dick and i thought he mellowed out as a senior statesman and i didn't realize where and tell i assembled when it was all over he was ruthless but for a unique cause and because of trump next it will start working better nixon believes that himself. he thought he was a peacemaker to bring a generation of peace
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but to be an effective leader he thought you had to be ruthless. this is a tough game and wildflowers don't make it. play on the world stage, you have to play as tough as the other guys that are out there. that's why he and his own line justify the ruthlessness. >> so with the trump unsophisticated ruthlessness because that's the way he will win, but it just doesn't work in a democracy. woodrow wilson john adams, all authoritarians and social dominators and varying degrees of obnoxiousness you might say
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not all of them were demagogues like george wallace or mccarthy that are obnoxious people i find donald trump he of noxious. i just don't like people take that approach to life. >> so to wrap up my questioning portion, in the beginning of the book, you are hesitant to give for psychological profile of the president by giving her research into the man along what we see the last four years and concurrent with what has recently come out how does he have electoral defeat is he capable and how will he react when that moment comes? >> we do you do with that in the book it will depend on the degree of defeat if it's what
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we think is necessary as a tsunami he has no option but to accept it now he's become a loser now he will blame everybody but himself and he will never accept he is a loser and in his own private moments know what didn't serve the american people. will he go away quietly? know. but he will go away if it is a tsunami and he will know he doesn't have a leg to stand on. if it is close to being a threat up until the week he is removed. if he loses the republican senate that would be easier and i think that will happen. it will likely happen either
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way if he goes on to the senate we are in the last days of our democracy. >> so this wraps up my questioning so the first question is what ramifications politically from the boys under a trump victory over biden victory? >> and a trump victory they grow and blossom democracy as we know it is a very of trump wins reelection under the biden victory they are back under the lock where they should be.
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>> the next question is from jim with that constant comparison to trump and nixon what are your thoughts with the resignation of august 9, 1974. >> as we have gone along i wrote a lot more about him after i left. i was a mid-level staff person as white house counsel dealing with the president but infrequently more and the for the exchange of memos coming from the chief of staff. i have a lot of personal dealings with him but what i did have was delightful he was always terrific with me and wrote nice things in his diary about me how impressed he was and enjoyed talking and
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visiting with me. it was a professional relationship. i didn't and jewelry doing what i had to do but i was unwilling to lie. there was only one other way to go and that was to put it all out there i've tried internally to get my superiors to join me to do the right thing and that didn't sell and then they decided i would make a good scapegoat and then we were at war. that didn't play out well for them. it was an education i have had several high level jobs in government. achieve minority counsel the house judiciary committee at a young age the associate deputy attorney general before i went to the white house to become white house counsel so i understand how it all works.
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i had more good days and bad days and then to learn about nixon as a result of trump that he would be viewed and that will result in the presidency that should be examined. >> the next question is can in trumps claims to no space against the grievances, should the country be prepared for outburst of violence if there is a trump loss on election day? >> again that will depend on the size of the loss. if it is a tight race, i think
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is more likely than not. if it is a certain one - - he smell me, the losers, one - - a tsunami the solar losers will not play well to make the case and that it will be virtually impossible. there is a potential for violence and trump has encouraged it and has created a context and has an attorney general who seems willing to participate to facilitate violence. people should be placed for the worst case. >> seeing nixon and the authoritarian manner what other ways of his who stayed different from donald trump he
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had been in the house of representatives and in the senate and vice president and actually for several months and with the understanding of the presidency. where the revenues were and the towers to be exercised and how they can be used and then to have no idea and could not find a way switches and nobody knew they were and then to start with a tremendous
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handicap and they've never come up the learning curve. they have never hired people with much experience and the turnover at the white house has been for lucius the criminality far exceeds anything that happened during watergate four times worst that could even get much worse. so those were very different understandings but nixon left because he experienced shame and it feels shame over what happened and that he got caught. donald trump doesn't feel shame and that is very unique and then how to regulate
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someone so we regardless of his ignorance of the process he has no respect and then to respect the presidency and a sense of institutional background. with his very different presidencies. >> and then to serve voters will in the last couple weeks. the book "authoritarian
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nightmare" you can purchase the book here john was kind enough to sign book plates that will be added to copies of the book when you make your purchase. thank you, john. >> thank you. i appreciate book loft sponsoring this and i work for to this next time. >> we look forward to having you here.
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