Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ My author website is here: www.terikanefield.com/ Oct. 18, 2018 2 min read

(Thread) How (and why) the GOP exerts power beyond their numbers, and how the majority can retake control.

To begin with: It's important to remember that the GOP is no longer a conservative party; it is authoritarian.
What do I mean? See👇

1/ The GOP is a minority party; the portion of the population that is inclined toward authoritarianism is less than 40%.

Yet the GOP controls three branches of government & 33 states have Republican governors.

2/ Some of it is obviously built-in electoral and population-distribution advantages.
Each state has 2 senators, which give sparsely populated states disproportionate power.

But that isn’t all of it.

The far right wing of the GOP is better organized.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/opinion/to-stop-trump-democrats-can-learn-from-the-tea-party.html 

3/This article explains how the Tea Party took control:
 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/opinion/to-stop-trump-democrats-can-learn-from-the-tea-party.html 
Their tactics were simple. They took control because they understood how to wield political power.

They organized locally, focusing on their own representatives.
They played defense, sticking. . .

4/ . . .together to aggressively resist anything Obama supported.
They "rattled everyone" and targeted both Dems and Republicans.
They waged a relentless public relations battle.

They organized for the 2010 primaries, targeting Republicans who didn’t hold their views.

5/ IOW, the Tea Party succeeded not because they adopted undemocratic positions (which they did) but because they organized locally and stayed on message.

The solution (as per the article) is to use the Tea Party playbook—without (of course) Tea Party viciousness.

6/ In other words gather you friends. Start your local groups. Don't get distracted. Stay on message.

The far right wing has always exerted power beyond its numbers.

An extreme example is before the Civil War, when a handful of white Southerners had disproportionate power.

7/Hitler came to power with 33% of the vote.

When it comes to organizing locally and staying on message, those on the far right (RWA’s—right wing authoritarians) have built-in advantages.

Info from Saunders & Ngo “RWA Scale," Jonathan Haidt & this study:  https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(11)00289-2 

8/ Psychologists studied the brain types of liberals & conservatives and found differences:

Those on the right are more fearful & value loyalty, so they're more likely to fall in line behind a leader.

Those on the far right are uncomfortable with complexity. . .

9/ They prefer simple messages.
Considered the well-oiled right wing media loop. They fall behind whatever they’re told, even when they know it’s a lie. See👇


In a nutshell: Authoritarians line up behind authority, even when the authority lies.

10/ Liberals, OTOH, are comfortable with nuance and complexity. They like to debate, split hairs & analyze.

They value individuality, so they tend to splinter. They tend not to fall in line behind a leader.
They recoil from simple messages. Lying will annoy and distract them.

11/ I’m old enough to remember when the joke about democratic primaries was that they were a circular firing squads.

And when Bill Clinton caused some controversy when he said Republicans fall in line; Democrats fall in love.

BUT the liberals have one enormous advantage. . .

12/ They form a clear majority.

When all the votes are counted, there are always more votes in favor of liberal democracy.

"When all the votes are counted" is a tricky part.

Non-authoritarians have to vote in large enough numbers to offset the inevitable cheating.


You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.



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