According to John Dean’s “Authoritarian Nightmare — Trump and his followers,” there are authoritarian leaders, who may very well know what they are doing, while authoritarian followers usually have no idea what they are supporting. Neither do they care, as long as they have someone telling them what to believe, what to do, how to behave, just like religious movements. They are immune to facts and logic, no matter what. Coherent arguments or scientific studies, have no impact, and will rather reinforce their stand. Even if their leader is headed for a cliff, they’ll follow blindly, like sheep. And upon their leader’s instruction, they are ready to swallow the most ridiculous lie, like Trump’s Big One.

As John Dean summarizes numerous psychological studies, authoritarian followers are highly compartmentalized in their thinking, using double standards, they believe many contradictory and conflicting things, have trouble deciding what is sound evidence and what is not, their thinking is highly ethnocentric, dogmatic and prejudiced in what they think about others.

The Republican party has a long history of attracting the religious, especially after Ronald Reagan, but nothing like what Trump did, despite being the antithesis of what Christian ministers preach about the qualities of a good person and living a righteous life. Some Evangelicals even believe he was sent by God, a miracle of biblical proportion.

We have seen what authoritarianism did to Germany in the 1930s, and eventually to the rest of the world. But have we learned from it? No?

Jorg Aadahl

San Mateo

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(23) comments


Authoritarian governments most often evolve from socialistic governments. That’s because socialistic governments open the door to the types of coercion and intimidation authoritarian governments need to exist. Hitler used the "National SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party to build an authoritarian government. Leftist in the US today seek to impose big government control in every facet of our lives. It starts by offering free things too people that end up being not so free. About 70% of the countries in the UN have socialistic and authoritarian governments to one degree or the other. We should be thankful we have a two party system that works - so far.


Ed: What do you mean by “socialism”, and which countries would be typical examples, today, and why?


Ed: Still waiting for your response! Or, did you just toss out your comment without thinking about what it meant?

Terence Y

Jorg, you're hilarious. You demand answers to your questions, yet you're averse to answering numerous (dare I say hundreds of) questions asked of you. Or are you just tossing out your comments without thinking about what they mean? (I think I know the answer, but I'll await your response.) BTW, everyone knows what Mr. Kahl means by “socialism” and which countries are typical examples, today, and why.


Terence: So, if you know, why don't you tell me, and spare Ed for the agony?

Ray Fowler

Jorg... still waiting for YOUR response(s)...

1. Were Virginia Democrats who voted to reject Terry McAuliffe fed up with the progressive agenda or were they just... in your words... gullible? If they were gullible, how do you square the DNC's mantra, "everything GOP is racist" with the election of the first Black woman, Winsome Sears, to statewide office in Virginia? And... wait for it... she is a Republican! Oh, yeah... and how does a blue-collar Republican beat a twenty year state senate Democrat in New Jersey... a state with about a million more Democrats than Republicans?

2. Will you submit an op-ed piece about the previous administration that requires some critical thinking instead of a steady stream of book reports and derisive harangues masquerading as LTEs?

3. Why are you an advocate for teaching non-history CRT in our schools given that CRT promotes identity politics instead of real history and it creates divisiveness among children?

4. Will you allow a response to your latest book report to be posted on your blog without censoring the posting?

Maybe I can save us some time... perhaps you would like to choose from one of your standard responses to questions you either will not or cannot answer:

There will be no response to the questions because... A. you don't have the time or patience to respond, B. the questions are, according to you, nonsense or C. cue the chorus of crickets. Another option would be a personal attack. It's easier to call someone a name or describe them in a derogatory fashion instead of answering their question.


Terence Y

Ray, to your multiple choice options, I'd add D. Jorg is tossing out comments without thinking about what they mean, and E. all of the above. BTW, any thoughts on today’s Jon Mays column? In addition to literacy, I’d add critical thinking, sorely lacking these days, to the list.

Dirk van Ulden

Jorg - in light of our current situation I am not sure how you dare to write this article for the DJ. Authority? Mandated vaccines now causing the layoff of thousands. Open the border and now allowing unvetted unvaccinated strangers to pour into this country in violation of our immigration laws. Pulling the CDC into mandating the continuation of eviction prohibition. Now getting the OSHA into the act and mandating vaccination for all companies with more than 100 employees. You have got to be kidding if any of the lies by our former President even closely measure up to the disaster and misery that Biden and his gang of criminals are causing. You are oblivious.


Lies, exactly. The lies of our former President, which he is still promoting, represent the single greatest threat our country and our democracy has ever faced. Political policies aside, agree or disagree, truth must be the foundation of a democratic America - something Trump and his minions have discarded in their thirst for naked power.

Ray Fowler

Again... strawberry lemonade or cherry?


Dirk: What does that have to do with my topic, the threat of authoritarianism? If anything, just minor concerns compared to Trump’s big lie about voter fraud, which he still rides high on, and which his gullible followers believe, without an iota of evidence. Quite the opposite!

Ray Fowler

Jorg... Jorg... Jorg

There you go again. Another harangue against anyone who disagrees with your politics. According to you, Trump followers are inherently gullible. Well, care to comment on the the Democrats who helped turn out Terry McAuliffe in Viriginia... your comment was predictable... they were, according to you, gullible, too. So, it's clear that anyone who does not support Joe Biden is just plain gullible. You know, a good number of free thinking Democrats in Virginia might just have been fed up with Joe and the DNC's progressive agenda.

Are you OK with increasing inflation, the border crisis, leaving Americans in Afghanistan, sinking presidential ratings, etc.? "Sleepy" Joe falls asleep at an international climate summit this week. Who is really asleep... who is really gullible?

John Dean writes a book about authoritarian leadership, and touts his years of insider experience in DC. He has not been an insider for more than 45 years. He cites studies re: the psychological profile of authoritarian leadership then connects it to Donald Trump. Never mind that none of Dean's experts actually examined or interviewed the Donald. It's all about selling Dean's latest book. You know, like Bob Woodward, John Dean's best days in DC faded in the rear view mirror a long time ago,

I have an idea Jorg... instead of submitting a book report for an LTE, why don't you select an aspect or policy of the previous administration and write a "guest perspective" op-ed piece? Start with a premise, present some sound reasoning plus evidence to support your position and then state a conclusion that we can all use. That conclusion may be a call to action or just something that presents a topic from a different angle that could alter some opinions.

Here's a suggestion for something more than a book report LTE... the Trump administration opposed teaching CRT in our schools. You said yesterday that CRT should be taught in our schools. Tell us why. Of course, such an op-ed could not just overlook the experiences of Carol Swain, Tim Scott and others. I asked for your reaction to Winsome Sears' acceptance speech... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUsxHbFHWR8 after being elected to the office of lieutenant governor in Virginia this week. Crickets. Of course, I'm guessing you're following the path blazed by AOC and the squad... they ignored Winsome's historic accomplishment; it's likely the left's gullible minions will do the same.

Ray Fowler

Jorg... one more thought.

You posted the same information found in today's LTE on your allegedly "progressive" blog. You know... the blog where you invite all points of view "for the world to see." Except... you edit and omit comments you do not like... sometimes you delete entire posts that differ from your point of view. That's censorship... correct? Wait a minute... isn't censorship something authoritarians do? Just sayin'...

Are you willing to let my comments posted earlier today onto to your blog without some of your "creative" editing?


Ray: If you can write something short that relates directly to the issue at hand, without going out on an unrelated tangent, you are more than welcome to add a piece of value to my blog!

Ray Fowler

So, in other words... you, just like the authoritarians you claim to despise, will be sole arbiter of what other people should hear. That's what we call censorship.

Jorg... my initial posting today is less than 400 words. That's far less than the DJ's 750 word limit for guest perspectives. As you're not paying "by the word" for blog postings, surely today's posting is short enough for you, and the posting relates directly to your book report. But even as you desperately want to appear to be an open minded person, at the same time, you're ready to wield a red pencil and slash anything that does not conform to your very narrow and very biased point of view.

I noticed you did not respond to my suggestion that you submit an op-piece on a Trump policy you find lacking. You also did not respond to my comments rejecting your proposal to teach CRT in our schools. Still waiting for something in response... the crickets are deafening.


Ray: I prefer to stick to the issue I originally posted, and don’t have the time, nor any interest in being side-tracked on other issues, of which, of course, there are many. You just try to muddle things up, as usual.

Ray Fowler

Jorg... sorry, your comment had not queued up before I asked (again) for a response to specific questions... see my comments posted at 11:57 am.

Wow, I got a two-fer! You don't have time to respond AND an ad hominem attack.

You said a number of Virginia Democrats were gullible, yet given the outcome of Tuesday's election you cannot explain your comment when asked to do so. You said CRT should be taught in our schools, yet given the divisive nature of such non-history teaching you cannot explain your position when asked to do so. You submitted a book report LTE that did not lack for quoted material from a book yet you will not respond to a suggestion to submit an op-ed piece that requires some real critical thinking when asked to do so. You said you will accept comments to your blog yet will not let a position that differs from your own to be posted without editing after you decide what an appropriate comment should be.

Now... you don;t have time? Jorg, it's Friday. Take all weekend. I'll wait.

Ray Fowler

Jorg... Belay-my-last. We'll just let it go.

Terence Y

Jorg – thanks for describing Dems and their sycophantic followers to a T. I’d offer plenty of examples, but daily news is replete with them and this comment would end up being longer than your letter. Suffice it to say, America Last policies aren’t working out well for treasonous Biden, the Dem party, or their followers.


Jorg - absolutely true! Trumpism is such a parallel to the Master Race fantasy promoted in Germany in the 1930s that anyone who fails to see it may be fated to fight it as we had to do in the 1940’s!

Ray Fowler


One question... strawberry lemonade or cherry?

Terence Y

NM – how are Biden’s America Last policies working out for you? Are you proud of Biden for leaving Americans behind enemy lines? Are you proud of Biden for his drone strike killing mostly civilian kids? How about Biden letting south of the border folks gallivant around America without having been screened for COVID, or anything else? All answers point to the abysmal failure known as Biden. Stolen elections have consequences.



I have a couple of minutes to waste so I will ask again. Have you found your mirror yet? BTW, how are you doing with your bamboo fibers?

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