Mr. Aadahl’s letter of Nov. 4 (“Authoritarian Threat”) was something I never thought I would see again. 

The idea of anyone taking John Dean seriously had long passed the bounds of my imagination. 

Albert Alioto

San Francisco

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(5) comments

Ray Fowler

Good morning, Albert

I tossed in my .02 cents re: last week's LTE. I posted in part, "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 feel there is a danger in trusting academicians to give us humble voters a thumbs up or thumbs down on a particular candidate. The Ivory Tower's bias is quite apparent to even the casual observer. Yet, I'm wondering... while it seems some on the left are satisfied with using studies produced by left-leaning researchers to label their opponents, would those same leftists be satisfied with mental experts' conclusions concerning an office holder's performance? If so, when would they like to start making those evaluations?

Terence Y

Well said, Mr. Alioto. I’d extend that to the bounds of millions of imaginations.


Mr. Alioto! Thank you for your amusing, inadvertent support of my LTE!

You may have misgivings about John Dean, like many others, especially because he eventually hung Nixon out to dry, like we’re now seeing happening to the even worse WH inhabitant, Donald Trump. Aside of that, I recommend his book! It is very well written and documented, and quite an eye opener. You just might get something out of it and even learn some truth about Trump’s gullible followers!

Since you were so captivated by what I wrote, you may also be interested in knowing more about Dean’s co-author, Robert Altemeyer, a retired Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba, who produced the test and scale for "RWA" or right-wing authoritarianism. He did research on authoritarianism, identifying the psychological makeup of authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders. His studies concentrated on who the followers are, how they got that way, how they think, and why they are so submissive, yet aggressive. He documented his research in his book: The Authoritarians. He also collected data on authoritarianism among North American politicians. Altemeyer's work is referenced in John W. Dean's 2006 book, Conservatives Without Conscience. At Dean's suggestion, he wrote an "everyperson" account of his findings, The Authoritarians, which is freely available online. Bob Altemeyer was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research in 1986. I hope that helps your understanding, Mr. Alioto!

Mike O.

Well said Jorg. That's the way you back up what you wrote on your LTE, with nothing but the facts and history. It's up to the readers and commenters of the Daily Journal to form their opinions, whether on fact and history, or, their own interpretation of the those facts and history. Remember, you can lead a horse to water, but, you can't make him drink, meaning, you can back up your LTE and comments with facts and history, but, you can't teach some of these guys how to comprehend it. Keep trying Jorg!

Mike O.

Terence Y

Yes, as Mike O says, “Keep trying Jorg!” You haven't succeeded, but perhaps one day you’ll get more gullible lefties, like Mike O, to believe in your version of the facts. Unfortunately, from what I read, that day is not today, or even in the past. With your history, not much in the future either, but, if you start writing the right stuff… there's always hope.

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