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High RWA Thread Pt2: Social Dominators

High RWA Thread Pt2: Social Dominators

INTRODUCTION
Altemeyer: Suppose you were applying for a leadership position in a right-wing religious/political movement--a movement hell-bent on gaining total power so it could impose its beliefs and rules of conduct on everyone forever. (I realize this may not be your No. 1 career choice, but work with me a bit here.) As part of your application you’re asked to take an aptitude test. Indicate whether you dislike, or favor, the sentiments below on a -4 to +4 basis.
This country would be better off if we cared less about how equal all people are. Some groups of people are simply not the equals of others.
Some people are just more worthy than others.

These items are from the Social Dominance Orientation scale, and if you want the job of Dictator For Life you’ll agree with them, coming out foursquare against equality. In turn, you will disagree with:

If people were treated more equally, we would have fewer problems in this country.
We should try to treat one another as equals as much as possible.
Increased social equality.

Felicia Pratto of the University of Connecticut and Jim Sidanius at UCLA presented the test in 1994 as a measure of belief in social inequality.1 Whereupon Sam McFarland at the University of Western Kentucky used their scale and twenty-one others in a magnificent “pitting experiment”aimed at finding the best predictors of prejudice. He discovered that only two of the 22 tests he threw “into the pit” to fight it out could predict prejudice at all well: the Social Dominance Orientation scale, and the RWA scale.

I repeated McFarland’s experiment and got the same results. Generally, the Social Dominance scale predicted such unfairness better than the RWA scale did, and so gets the silver medal in the Prejudice Olympics over the bronze medal I awarded the RWA scale in chapter 1. Furthermore I found that these two scales could, between them, explain most of the prejudice my subjects revealed against racial minorities, women, homosexuals, and so on. Furthermore furthermore, social dominance scores and RWA scale scores correlated only weakly with each other--about .20. This “Lite” correlation has a ton of significance that we shall deal with later. But in the first instance it meant persons who scored highly on the social dominance test were seldom high RWAs, and high RWAs were almost never social dominators.

That’s why the two tests could predict so much together: each was identifying a different clump of prejudiced persons--sort of like, “You round up the folks in the white sheets over there, and I’ll get the pious bigots over here.” So it looks like most really prejudiced people come in just two flavors: social dominators and high RWAs. Since dominators long to control others and be authoritarian dictators, and high RWAs yearn to follow such leaders, most social prejudice was therefore connected to authoritarianism.2 It was one of those discoveries, thanks to Sam McFarland, that happen now and then in science when a great deal of This, That and the Next Thing suddenly boils down to something very simple. Most social prejudice is linked to authoritarianism; it’s found in one kind of authoritarian, or its counterpart.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

You don’t have to be a genius to grasp why someone would want to lead armies of people dedicated to doing whatever he wants. So as I said in the Introduction, social scientists have concentrated on understanding authoritarian followers, because the followers constitute the bigger problem in the long run and present the bigger mystery. But after Pratto and Sidanius developed a measure that could identify dominating personalities, and as we came to understand the followers better and better, attention naturally shifted to figuring out the leaders, and especially how the two meshed together. This chapter will tell you what we know so far.

Similarities and Between Social Dominators and Authoritarian Followers
1. Both groups tend to have conservative economic policies - it happens more often among the dominators than among “social conservatives”
2. Both tend to favor right-wing political parties. (Internationally, not just in the US)
3. Representatives from both groups likely agree on African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Jews, Arabs, homosexuals, women’s rights, free enterprise, union leaders, government waste, rampant socialism, the UN, which political parties they support.

Differences Between Social Dominators and Authoritarian Followers
1. Dominators desire power; RWAs typically don’t.
2. Dominators exhibit far less capacity to feel empathy or sympathy than High RWAs
3. High RWAs strongly tend to be religious fundamentalists (not just Protestantism, ALL religions). Dominators tend to be religious only where it’s convenient to advance their goals. Altemeyer: “Dominators can easily pretend to be religious, saying the right words and claiming a deep personal belief; gullible RWAs will go out on almost any limb, walk almost any plank to believe them.
4. Social Dominators show greater prejudice against minorities and women than high RWAs; RWAs are much more hostile toward homosexuals. However, when it comes to racial and ethnic minorities, RWAs will still aggress, over or sneakily, physically or verbally, but such attacks are less clearly supported by religious and civic authorities than they used to be — so their prejudice in these cases has dropped some. This is not true of Social Dominators. Dominators are hostile to minorities because they are mean, yearn for domination and just plain meanness, minorities are easy targets for this.
5. Dominators do not have the compartmentalized minds that RWAS do (the way they deal with contradictions in their own thinking). Dominators tend not to be particularly zealous about any cause or philosophy), what drives them is gaining power by any means. RWAs are hypocritical without realizing it at times; Dominators don’t care that they’re hypocrites.
6. Dominators want to control as the one out front; High RWAs want to belong to a group and don’t seek to lead, they are classic followers.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

Some More From Earlier Chapters Related to This

High RWAs don’t care about the republic or democracy. If Fearless Leader tells them to toss it aside they will do so in a nanosecond. What’s most important to them is to belong to a group and to believe that group is dominant in numbers and/or power. They are childlike in their obedience to authority. How many times have we seen this? When it became clear there were no WMDs in Iraq, a significant group still claimed there were because George Bush had told them so. As pointed out in the first thread, Nixon still had 25% support after it became clear that he had obstructed justice and was the true mastermind behind Watergate. The bond between High RWAs and their leaders are nigh unbreakable, their faith and capability to question authority puts them in blinders.

There is one more type of Dominator, what Altemeyer calls Double Highs. Though small in number, they are particularly dangerous because they tally both High RWA and High Social Dominance scores. Most of them tend to be religious leaders. Think Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the current crop of TV evangelists who fleece their flocks every day. Altemeyer considers this personality type to be the most dangerous, but at the moment our crisis is caused by a handful of Social Dominators, with the possible exception of VP Pence. He’s likely a Double High. Altemeyer: One thing has struck me as I’ve studied Double Highs. They’ve usually combined the worst aspects of being a social dominator with the worst aspects of being a high RWA. Thus we saw that when it comes to prejudice, they pack an extra load of hostility toward their many targets. And they’re just as power hungry as the rest of the social dominators are, rather than being uninterested in personal power as ordinary RWAs are. But when they land in between ordinary dominators and ordinary high RWAs, they usually land closer to the worse outcome.

The comments above in this post are mostly mine based on the text in Altemeyer's book.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

An Experiment Testing the Interaction of Authoritarian Leaders and Followers

the Global Change Game from the end of chapter 1? When I ran that experiment in 1994 comparing a low RWA world with a high RWA one, I had not screened the players for social dominance. (The dominance scale had just been published.) In all likelihood some Double Highs participated in the high RWA simulation that destroyed the world in a nuclear holocaust, and then went to war and hell again when given a second chance. But I had not controlled for that. So in 1998 I ran the game once more on two consecutive nights, only this time high RWAs covered the earth on both nights. However on the first night the world had no Double Highs lying in the weeds, whereas on the second there were seven.12
At the beginning of the “Pure RWA, No Double Highs” game, it took fifteen long seconds before one of the 53 authoritarian followers present stood up and made himself an Elite. Slowly, reluctantly others rose to their feet, in one case being pushed up by players more reluctant than herself. It took 40 seconds for the process to be completed--about twice as long as usual.
After the Elites got their separate briefing, they interacted very little with one another. Usually the Elites in the simulation travel the world playing Let’s Make a Deal. But on this night there were eight little islands of participants on the map, each island inhabited by its players and its Elite, trying to solve their local economic, social and environmental problems in isolation from the rest of the world. The three female Elites did try to interest the North American Elite in a foreign aid program, but when he refused no joint activity was ever attempted again. When the ozone layer crisis occurred, no meeting of any size resulted. The Elites seemed to shrug and say, “There’s nothing anyone can do about something that big,” and no one did anything. One of the facilitators put it this way: “The Elites went into their groups and never came out.”

The groups, which another facilitator noted sometimes said “Go away” when a “foreigner”(their word) occasionally came over to talk, worked enthusiastically and earnestly shoulder-to-shoulder. But they were singularly unimaginative and took a long time finding solutions to their problems. As was true in the 1994 high RWA game, the authoritarians had enormous trouble controlling population growth. Unyielding on the issue of birth control, the high RWAs took their stand in the corner they painted themselves into. Consequently, India began bursting at the seams while disease and poverty ravaged sub-Saharan Africa.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

Europe and North America made charitable contributions to the Third World, but it was not enough to keep the poor regions from going down the tubes. An atmosphere of gloom and despair settled in with a thick mental fog about two-thirds of the way into the simulation. Most of the players, assigned to the over-populated, poor regions of the world, had no idea what they could do to make things better, and glumly sat on the gym floor resigned to failure. They reminded me of my classes when I am lecturing, as only I can, in a way no one can possibly follow. “How much longer is this agony going to last?” The players were overwhelmed by the simulation.
There were no wars on this night, not even a hint of a threat. The basic high RWA attitude seemed to be, “You don’t bother us, we won’t bother you.” Still, most regions kept the armed forces they had inherited at the beginning of the game, even regions facing severe social problems. By the time forty years had passed, 1.9 billion people had died from starvation and disease, which the facilitators thought was close to a record for a non-war run of the game.
Gently Stir in a Few Double Highs. On the following night forty-eight ordinary high RWAs and seven Double Highs (all males) took the helm on the earth’s future. I made sure each Double High was “randomly” assigned to a different region. I also made sure at least one other guy was included in each group, so the Double High would not become the Elite just because everybody else was a deferring high RWA female. When the call for volunteer leaders went out, one of the Double Highs jumped to his feet instantly. All of the regions had their self-appointed Elites within twelve seconds--about half the time it normally takes.
Four of the seven Double Highs (57 percent) had literally leapt at the chance to lead their groups, in contrast to only 8 percent of the far more numerous, but far less self-promoting, ordinary high RWAs. And the Double Highs who did not quickly jump to their feet were not necessarily through. When the simulation began one of them went to the facilitators and gathered information on resource exchanges--a task assigned to his region’s Elite. He took this information to his Elite, convinced him of a strategy, and from then on became a co-Elite, never staying home with the other players in his region. (He was called a “Lieutenant” by his Elite, but the other Elites quickly found out he was the one who made the decisions for his region.)

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

Another Double High who had not jumped to his feet stayed home throughout the game, but eventually led a revolution among his region-mates. They told their official Elite he would have to bring all his negotiated deals to them for approval. The Double High thus became the de facto Elite. (The seventh Double High, off in Latin America, was as quiet as a mouse all during the simulation. But six out of seven ain’t bad.)
In unmistakable contrast to the game the night before, this run featured intense interaction among the Elites. A constant “buzz” of negotiations could be heard as the world leaders visited one another, sometimes in groups of two or three, working out the best deals they could get with their resources and combined bargaining leverage. Trading partnerships developed and dissolved. “It was like the stock exchange” a facilitator commented afterwards.
Because of the wheeling and dealing, some regions made headway against their problems as their Elites traded things they did not need for things they did--again unlike the night before when everyone stayed home. But no charity appeared. Nobody got something for nothing. And no commitment to the planet as a whole ever materialized. When the ozone layer crisis broke out, a global conference was held, but nobody put a farthing into the pot to solve the problem.
Moreover the regions began increasing their military strengths, and the stronger ones started making threats against the weaker ones during economic negotiations. A lot of bullying suddenly appeared. Then the Oceana Elite 13 bought nuclear weapons and declared war on vastly out-gunned India, which tried to get protection from North America. Getting none, India surrendered immediately and paid a tribute. Soon the Oceana Elite was making the same threats against Africa and Latin America. This time North America offered protection, for a price, and the world quickly rushed to one camp or the other and began buying nukes. The facilitators thought an all-out nuclear war was going to break out just as the forty year time limit for the game expired.
Even though no one had died from warfare, lots of resources had been devoted to increasing military power, and many regions lacked the necessities of life. And for the third high RWA game in a row, the “folks back home” had stumbled badly over population control, so the dwindling “social bucks” had to take care of more and more people. Consequently one billion, six hundred million people had died from starvation and disease by the end of the game. This was three hundred million less than the night before, and the improvement was attributable to the Elites’ trading skills. But the Elites also caused the militarization and nuclear confrontation, and if the game had lasted five minutes longer, everybody might well have died.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

When he began the arms race, the Oceana Elite was operating entirely on his own hook. No one else in Oceana wanted to buy nuclear weapons or threaten anybody. But although they outnumbered him in their group, they let him do what he wanted. He was their leader. And he knew how to handle them. He simply declared war on India, and told them afterwards. After his bloodless victory, he skillfully won over a couple of his Oceana colleagues to the slogan, “War is good,” and that provided a base for his further military adventures. But still some of the folks back home remained unhappy with the way their region was driving the world to war, and on post-game surveys they described their Elite as “bad” and “evil.” But they did not have the gumption to stop him. They sat still and sighed and let it happen.

Remembering again that university students are not world leaders, that the Global Change Game is not the real thing, that people do not become world-class Elites simply by rising to their feet, and so on, I still found the experiment instructive --even though it was only a “two-night stand.”

First, the spectacular ethnocentrism of ordinary RWAs takes one’s breath away. Here they were again, as in Doom Night in 1994, in a room filled with people like themselves, and they simply made smaller in-groups. Assigning authoritarian followers to a sub-unit appears to automatically put blinders on them as to what was happening everywhere else. “We’re the (whatever) Team,” they seemed to say, and taking the concept of “team” much more seriously than most people do, they sealed themselves off from the rest of the world. They plopped down on their islands during the first night’s simulation and at best responded with charity now and then to the overwhelming problems they and the other islands were allowing to grow. They were not in the least warlike. But leaderless and rather unimaginative, they accomplished very little during the simulation. Although they started off with a lot of enthusiasm and drive, the disasters that resulted stole all the wind from their sails.

When one injected a few Double Highs into a high-RWA world, almost all of them grabbed power by hook or by crook. Although only a tiny part of the earth’s population, they made a huge difference in how the world developed because authoritarian followers basically just follow. And the world was agruably better than the one created the night before--assuming it would have survived a forty-first year. But everything depends on who leads high RWAs, and when the Double Highs took over and formed that lethal union, their strong need to dominate led to bullying, military build-ups, and warfare. They showed no signs of being guided by moral principles and they certainly had no interest in charity or in serving the common good of the planet. They thus proved as insular as ordinary RWAs, and their world failed almost as badly. A sample of ordinary high school students usually forges a better future than was shaped on either of these nights by authoritarian university students.

But there was one little wrinkle in this story. (There almost always is, in research.) Remember those private fortunes and “The World’s Richest Man”? I thought for sure that the Double Highs would squirrel away tons of dough in their own personal bank accounts. But almost no one did. In hindsight--always a winning perspective; try to find a race track that will let you place your bets after the races are run--the competition was so intense among the Elites that anyone who diverted funds into his own pocket might soon find his region wiped out economically or militarily. So the bucks stayed in the public purse. As I said, the game is not the real world, and if you knew this was going to happen you are smarter than I am and maybe you should stop reading this book and start writing your own.14, 15 (It’s real easy: you just get yourself a website, ...)

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

Perspective and Application
Let’s play a game. I’ll describe a well-known American politician, the description being unceremoniously lifted from John Dean’s book, Conservatives Without Conscience. See if you can figure out who it is, and whether you can make a diagnosis of his personality, doctor.

“X” became a born-again Christian when he was first elected to Congress. He brought a strong drive for power with him to Washington, and he steadily worked his way to the top of the Republican caucus. Colleagues have described him as amoral. “If it wasn’t illegal to do it, even if it was clearly wrong and unethical, (he did it). And in some cases if it was illegal, I think he still did it” said another Republican Congressman. “X”is opposed to equality, and Newsweek commented that he has never been subtle about his uses of the power of Love and Fear. He kept marble tablets of the Ten Commandments and a half-dozen bull-whips in his office when the was the party whip. He earned the nicknames, “the Hammer,” “the Exterminator,” and the “Meanest Man in Congress.”
When “X” became House majority leader (talk about a big hint!) he imposed a virtual dictatorship on the House of Representatives. He instituted a number of unprecedented changes in House procedures to keep Democrats, and even other Republicans, from having any say in the laws being passed. He drastically revised bills passed by committees and often sent them to the floor from his office for almost immediate votes. He forbade amendments to most of the bills that came to the floor. He excluded Democrats from the House-Senate conference committees formed to iron out differences in bills passed by the two chambers. He allowed special interests to write laws that were passed by the compliant Republican majority. And he allowed unbelievable billions of dollars in pork-barrel GOP projects to be attached to appropriation bills.16

Who is “X”? If you said former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay from Texas, you are right. Can you see why he looked like a Double High to John Dean?

But DeLay is the former House Leader because early in 2006 he was indicted for money-laundering, which forced him eventually to resign. DeLay illegally used corporate donations, allegedly, to get a Republican majority elected to the Texas legislature in 2002. With “his” Republicans in control, the Texas legislature blatantly redrew the U.S. congressional voting districts in 2003 along outlandishly gerrymandered lines to maximize the number of Republicans sent to Congress. African-American and Hispanic-American neighborhoods were packed into districts so all their votes could only elect one Democrat. Meanwhile Republican after Republican, running in hand-crafted districts drawn to their advantage, could win with much narrower margins. Thus the GOP could claim substantially more congressional seats than the Democrats. Republican majorities in the Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio legislatures similarly used “packing,” “cracking,” and “pairing” tactics when redrawing district lines in a blatant attempt, it seemed to many, to institute permanent one-party rule in the United States.

The rise and fall of Tom DeLay simply illustrates once again that understanding social dominators--both the “white bread” kind who are not religious and the “holy bread” Double Highs who are, means grasping their passion for power. They want to control things and--compared with most people--they are prepared to be openly unfair, confrontational, intimidating, ruthless, and cold-blooded if they think that will work best. They are also willing to be manipulative, deceitful, treacherous and underhanded if they judge that the easier path. They can stare you in the face and threaten you with naked force, pure and simple, mano-a-mano. Or they can stab you in the back. But the goal remains, in all cases, more power. And power, once obtained, is meant to be used.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

Altemeyer on George W. Bush (remember, the book was published in 2005)

Want another example of an apparent Double High in a position of power, who is also being destroyed because he went too far? When George W. Bush was declared the winner of the 2000 presidential election by the five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court, I remember some commentators saying that he had less of a mandate to carry out his policies than any president in American history. But I also thought, because I knew what was turning up in the research on social dominance, “Mandate-schmandate!” I could easily imagine the Bush team saying. “We’ve got the power now. Let’s do what we want! Who’s going to stop us?”

With eagerly subservient Republican majorities controlling both houses of Congress, Bush and his vice-president could do anything they wanted. And so they did. Greed ruled, the rich got big, big tax cuts, the environment took one body blow after another, religious opinions decided scientific issues, the country went to war, and so on. Bush and his allies had the political and military power to impose their will at home and abroad, it seemed, and they most decidedly used it.
A stunning, and widely overlooked example of the arrogance that followed streaked across the sky in 2002 when the administration refused to sign onto the International Criminal Court. This court was established by over a hundred nations, including virtually all of the United States’ allies, to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and so on when the country for whom they acted would not or could not do the prosecuting itself. It is a “court of last resort” in the human race’s defense against brutality.

Why on earth would the United States, as one of the conveners of the Nuremberg Trials and conceivers of the charge, “crimes against humanity,” want nothing to do with this agreement? The motivation did not become clear until later. But not only did America refuse to ratify the treaty, in 2002 Congress passed an act that allowed the United States to punish nations that did join in the international effort to prosecute the worst crimes anyone could commit! Talk about throwing your weight around, and in a way that insulted almost every friend you had on the planet.

But the social dominators classically overreached. Using military power in Iraq to “get Saddam” produced, not a shining democracy, but a lot of dead Americans, at least fifty times as many dead Iraqis, and the predicted civil war. The “war on terrorism” backfired considerably, as enraged Muslims around the world, with little or no connection to al Queda, formed their own “home-grown” terrorist cells bent on suicide attacks--especially after news of American atrocities in Iraq raced around the globe. Occupying Iraq tied down most of America’s mobile ground forces, preventing their use against the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan which had supported the 9/11 attacks, and making American troops easy targets in the kind of guerilla warfare that produces revenge-driven massacres within even elite units.

But the president, showing the usual dogmatism of Double Highs, seemingly refused to learn the lesson of his four-year adventure in Iraq, and that of the 2006 election, and moved unilaterally to increase troop strength in Bagdad.
The national debt, which was being paid down, will now burden Americans for generations as traditional conservative economic policy has been obliterated. Savaging human rights in the torture chambers Bush set up overseas has cost America its moral leadership in the world, when just a few years ago, after September 11th 2001, nation after nation, people after people, were its compassionate friends. Laws passed by Congress have been ignored through executive reinterpretation. The Constitution itself has been cast aside. The list goes on and on.
With corruption in Congress adding to their revulsion, independent and moderate voters gullied the Republican Party in the 2006 midterm election. How did the GOP fall so far so fast?

Power, the Holy Grail of social dominators, remains an almost uncontrollable two-headed monster. It can be used to destroy the holder’s most hated enemies, such as Saddam. But it often destroys the dominator in the process. Lord Acton put it succinctly with his famous statement that “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

When your life is a long power trip, it’s hard to get enough because it’s hard to get it all. And when a dominator does get power, we can’t be surprised if it is badly used. Social dominators do not use a moral compass to plot their plots--which is particularly ironic because in the case of Double Highs such as George W. Bush they seem to be so religious. But as we have seen, hypocrisy is practically their middle name. And the more power they have, the more disastrously they can hurt their country, their party, and themselves. It’s remarkable how often they do precisely that.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

That's the end of the text. I'll add my thoughts on two social dominators I consider extremely important to our current situation tomorrow: obviously our current Dear Leader and Mitch McConnell.

If you're still interested in all this: READ THE BOOK! And/or, read any book on authoritarianism authored by accredited scholars. There are several available.

dmm1240 | July 21, 2019

A minor item from today's news. A woman was on a cruise with her husband and six-year-old child. A drunken 58-year-old woman came up behind her, drunk, and grabbed her ass twice before adding, "I would really do you."

The woman assaulted's husband came up and confronted the drunk which prompted the drunk to say: "Why don't you go back to the country you came from."

The drunk was arrested and charged after the cruise ship docked.

But is there any doubt that high RWAs take their cues from those in authority? There's no doubt.

dmm1240 | July 22, 2019

Shameless bump.

SCCRENDO | July 22, 2019

@dmm. Apologies for not having read it in depth yet. Will try today at lunchtime.

dmm1240 | July 22, 2019

He enthusiastically attended the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1964 as an intern on Capitol Hill. He opposed the Vietnam War. He considered the liberal senator from his home state who stood up to Joe McCarthy a role model. He was adamantly pro choice and worked with women’s groups to stifle anti abortion legislation at the local level when he was a county executive. He stayed away from guns right groups. He manned the barricades for the liberal/moderate wing when they were in a fight for supremacy with the ultra conservative Goldwater wing of the Republican Party.

Who was that? Mitch McConnell is who. But, but, but… Yes. What the hell happened to him? How did McConnell go from a pro choice activist to Senator Nyet?

“My theory of that is: He barely won his first Senate race in ’84 by less than 5,000 votes. Reagan won Kentucky by 280,000 votes. McConnell saw just how much more easily he won Kentucky, didn’t want to have such a close election ever again, and it happened so quickly it suggests those early/moderate roots were shallow.”
- Mitch McConnell biographer Alec MacGillis

MacGillis also describes a few things one would expect that are missing from the Mitch McConnell-Elaine Chao Archives ash the University of Louisville. There is virtually no mention of any bills McConnell has authored in his 32 years in the Senate. There’s virtually nothing about the people he’s helped, nothing to highlight courageous speeches made on the Senate floor.

And there lies the key — Mitch McConnell is a social dominator. His positions are shallow because all he has ever cared about is attaining and maintaining power. In interviewing 100 friends and colleagues, MacGillis tracked McConnell from his early strivings to get into student government to his quick rejection of his once-moderate political persona to his refusal to talk about the most critical policy fights in his Senate caucus.

If you examine McConnell through the lens of Atlemeyer’s RWA/Social Dominator lens, McConnell’s actions make sense. Otherwise, they don’t.

Social dominators want power. It’s all they’re about. They easily don the robe of religious fervor if they think it will win followers who are actually believers. It explains how McConnell has gained a reputation for conducting incredibly vicious personal smear campaigns whenever he’s opposed for reelection. He went after promising Allison Lundren Grimes in 2014 with the usual smears and won. The day after Amy McGrath announced her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic nomination for senate for KY, McConnell aired the first of what will be many attack ads against her. McConnell goes after opponents with venom, half truths and outright lies.

He has no record to run on, the Senate hasn’t passed a single bill of substance in months. Weeks go by without the Senate taking a single vote. McConnell does his weekly press conference, but other than that he avoids the press. The single accomplishment he points to is how he has been able to pack the federal judiciary with ultra conservative judges a la Kavanaugh since Trump became POTUS. He laughs about how he pulled a fast one by violating the Constitution when he refused to bring up Garland’s SCOTUS appointment in 2016. If something were to happen to one of the justices in 2020, do you think McConnell will do the same? Or will he rush the appointment through prior to the election? If you believe the former, I own this bridge in Brooklyn…

McConnell only makes sense if you look at him as a social dominator. When he looked out at the large number of RWAs in Kentucky, he decided to flip completely. Civil Rights Voting law? Never heard of it. Solving the immigration problem? Nope, it’s too juicy as a campaign issue.

The problem with McConnell is the same as with most social dominators, once you get past the lust for power there is nothing there. No guiding principles, no true leadership. If we could magically switch the populations of Massachusetts and Kentucky heading into 2020, McConnell would have no trouble flipping; the ardent self styled conservative we see right now would suddenly become the moderate Mitch McConnell of the 1970s, he wouldn’t give it a second thought. And this is why there is only one way to fight social dominators like Mitch McConnell and that is to be rid of them by voting them out of office. Will the people of KY vote him out of office? They say they’re tired of him, it’s time to give someone else a chance, but I wouldn’t make bank on it because high RWAs are extremely loyal.

dmm1240 | July 22, 2019

@SCCRENDO. No worries, it's a lot to wade through. I'm just happy you're willing to do it.

NKYTA | July 22, 2019

You wouldn’t know a fact vs a theory vs a hypothesis if it hit you in the face,

Too late for you to go back to elementary school?

sabbia | July 23, 2019

dmm writes, "But it [power] often destroys the dominator in the process."

Compare this with Nixon who said, "Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

Amazing piece of awareness by Nixon.

I think there's a nuance here worth noting. It's not just power that corrupts and corrupts absolutely, it's power put to hateful use that is toxic. This is Nixon's amazing insight and admission. I imagine that a Social Dominator often (always?) puts power to use in the battle against enemies...but there may be times the quest for unbridled power leads to collateral benefits (see the recent passage of criminal reform legislation).

Tesla-David | July 23, 2019

Very interesting summary, especially your review of Mitch McConnell’s history, which I was unaware of. It fits the social dominator description and explains a lot to me about what is going on.

dmm1240 | July 23, 2019

@Sabbia

I didn't write that, it's a quote from Altemeyer's book.

NKYTA | July 23, 2019

@Tesla-David, yeah that was enlightening.

sabbia | July 23, 2019

@dmm. Okay.

I hope the comparison to Nixon successfully pointed out the nuance.

SamO | July 23, 2019

Lift up America

MitchP85D | July 23, 2019

I wish that was true 60cc SamO.

andy.connor.e | July 24, 2019

forums do seem to be full of dems

SamO | July 24, 2019

Not a dem. Did not vote for Hillary.

Try harder.

Anyone who is able to think logically is not a Democrat.

Just like not every evil asshole is a Republican. It just seems that way.

SCCRENDO | July 27, 2019

Trying a new cocktail tonite.
THE MOSCOW MITCH - The official cocktail of the GOP

1) 3.5 M. Russian oligarch dollars (washed)
2) 1 part Russian election tampering
3) 12 parts GOP election tampering (available generically as “voter suppression”)

Dust rim with ground Kentucky Pharmacy OxyContin.

And serve through a funnel accompanied by racist chanting

Tesla-David | July 27, 2019

@SCC nice cocktail. Mitch McConnel is a total scumbag and traitor to our constitution. Failure to protect our elections is beyond disgusting and reprehensible.

https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/mcconnell-is-refusing-to-protect-ameri...

jimglas | July 30, 2019

#MoscowMitch is trending

dmm1240 | July 30, 2019

@Telsa-David wrote: "Failure to protect our elections is beyond disgusting and reprehensible."

Exactly. There is no excuse for it. McConnell dismissed the bills as "partisan" in his rant on the Senate floor earlier this week. What's partisan in requiring ALL political candidates to report contacts with foreigners in regard to an election? What's "partisan" by ensuring there is adequate backup to ballots cast? What's "partisan" about hardening cyber defenses to prevent hacking of voter rolls, etc?

The only way to look at it as "partisan" with any degree of honesty is: "They're helping us win elections instead of you and you want to stop it. You want an unfair advantage (by making us play it straight)."

blue adept | August 1, 2019

What the hell is it with people's fixation with world dominance?!

Just what are they trying to...compensate...for?

SCCRENDO | August 1, 2019

Dominance of other’s is an innate human characteristic. And indeed is a means to compensate for some inherent weakness. Why do we become fans of sports teams. And look how personally we take it when when our team loses. We came to the game in the team uniform ready to step in and help if needed. If our football team wins the Super Bowl we have achieved success. All that training online and watching ESPN has helped us achieve success. Isn’t it great that our women’s soccer team won the World Cup. Noe we should be able tho control every other country in the world. Dictators have serious personal issues. Look at our own President

blue adept | August 1, 2019

The short answer is that we're bred for social interaction to ensure propagation of our species so, as part of our genetic hierarchy, socio-cultural conditioning resulted in nurturing the desire for inclusivity (long answer).

Yes, it is AWESOME that our women's soccer team won the World Cup Title and, in the process of beating Thailand's team 13-0 Tuesday, the players scored more goals than the men's national soccer team has scored in every World Cup series since 2006 combined!

Yay team! Go America!! Women are bad asses!!!

Yes, Trump's narcissism (among a great many other failings) is exactly what I was alluding to.

SCCRENDO | August 1, 2019

I don't think it is just being a part of something. It is being a part of a winning/domineering something. In fact Trump brought people along with illusion that we were losing and he would make us win. I ask you. Are you tired of winning yet???

blue adept | August 1, 2019

On a rudimentary level, yeah, the "team" dynamic comes into play because (as the saying goes) 'all ships rise with the tide' and everyone, typically, likes to be on the winning side to reap the benefits.

I'd argue that it also breeds complacency and undermines an individual's, or even a team's, ability to grow inasmuch as it eliminates the sort of proactive diversity that encourages growth by exposure to stimuli outside of what would become the norm, as is often the case in a "hive" mentality, but that's another topic.

I was tired of Trump's brand of "winning" before he even got into office.

SCCRENDO | August 2, 2019

@blue adept. I think we all want to win including myself. But it is the “quality” of the win that matters. Winning by pummeling your opponent down because you have an unfair advantage does not bring me any joy. Winning by moral rules gives me great pleasure. Winning by cheating and bullying not so much. Trump’s idea of winning is the latter.

jimglas | August 2, 2019

the obama economy continues despite the orange shitgibbons tariff taxes

SamO | August 2, 2019

democratic socialism helps people.

republican socialism helps oligarchs.

People are going to have to decide which socialism they are going to vote for.

blue adept | August 3, 2019

@SCCRENDO & @jimglas & @SamO

I agree.