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Good Luck, Wisconsin, You’ve Got A Classic Authoritarian Governor: Part Two in a Two-Part Series on Scott Walker

This is the second in a two-part series of columns by Mr. Dean. The first column in this series appeared here on Justia’s Verdict on March 23. –Ed.

In my last column, I asked if Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker might be a conservative without conscience. Stated a bit differently, my question is whether the Governor is what social science describes as a “double high authoritarian,” an outlook that has proven itself not to be particularly well-suited for governing in a democratic fashion. I raised this question because Walker is facing a recall vote, in which voters will decide whether to remove him from office, on June 5.

Below, I have set forth in summary form what I discovered about Scott Walker after using Lexis-Nexis, ProQuest, Google and similar search tools and putting my findings in the context of the relevant social-science studies.  Moreover, many people responded to my Twitter solicitation of information about Walker.  Surprisingly, to date, no one has written a truly in-depth biographical profile of Walker, so I suspect that Wisconsin voters really do not know much about their governor.

Typologies have their problems.  But based on what I found, there is little doubt in my mind that Scott Walker is a classic authoritarian.

Walker’s Social-Dominance Disposition     

In my prior column, drawing on the work of Bob Altemeyer and others, I listed traits that are consistently revealed by social dominators, or authoritarian leaders.  To earn this label, a person must show four key traits:  (1) they seek to dominate others, (2) they oppose equality, (3) they are desirous of personal power, and (4) they are amoral.  News accounts of Scott Walker reveal that he possesses all four of these defining traits, not to mention others in the longer list I set forth in my prior column.  Here, however, I will merely note the evidence for Walker’s having a defining social-dominating disposition.

(1) Domination. Authoritarian leaders seek to control others; in short, they are social dominators. This is the story of Scott Walker’s life.  By age 7, Walker had formed a “Jesus USA” club, which was a mix of his father’s Baptist ministry and his attraction to patriotism.  By age 8, he had undertaken a door-to-door fundraising campaign to take charge of purchasing a flag for the village hall of his small Iowa town. As a teen, Walker sought leadership posts, which provide some control, in Boys State and Boys Nation, and became an Eagle Scout.  He attended Marquette University (but has no college degree from there or any other school).  At Marquette, he was elected to the student senate, and twice sought but failed to get elected president of the student body.  He ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly the same year that he lost his bid to be student president at Marquette, losing the Assembly race as well.

Since then, Walker has never stopped running.  In 1993, he was elected to the State Assembly, where he remained until 2002. In 2002, he sought the post of Milwaukee County Executive, and he held that post until he was elected Governor in 2010.  This is the behavior, writ large, of a dominator.

(2) Opposition To Equality.  The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology (which is searchable) further defines social dominators as “hard, tough, ruthless, and unfeeling toward others, as opposed to compassionate, generous, caring, and altruistic.”

There are many examples of Walker’s harsh and uncaring treatment of those whom he does not believe to be entitled to equality.  None is more glaring than his intolerance of gays and lesbians.  For example, as Governor, he has worked to end Wisconsin’s recognition of the rights of same-sex couples. He fired the law firm defending the state’s domestic-partnership law.  And he appointed a woman to the state’s Labor and Industry Review Commission who believes that gays can be harassed in the workplace.

One attorney familiar with Walker’s thinking states, “Governor Walker is ideologically opposed to equal rights for gay and lesbian and transgendered people as is everyone in his administration as far as I can tell and they will probably want to take steps to ensure that gay and lesbian and transgendered people do not have equal rights. Everything that Governor Walker is doing is ideological; I don’t see that his administration has any particular respect for the law per se.”        

(3) Desirous Of Personal Power. Scott Walker has been seeking personal power his entire life, and has never stopped reaching for it.  Note how Walker has worked not merely to reach higher offices, but also to enhance his power in these offices when he occupied them.  For example, as governor, Walker sought to remove civil service jobs, in order to make them political appointments, and thus subject to his control.  Most strikingly, he has sought to undercut the public-employee unions so that he would not have to deal with them, thus increasing his power.

Often overlooked in Walker’s infamous union-busting “budget-repair bill“ is the power grab to fill three dozen civil-service jobs with political appointees.  For instance, the bill politicized and placed under Walker’s control functions like open-records requests, the selection of general counsels for key agencies, and the selection of communications spokespeople in key departments.  He has increased his personal power over some fifteen state agencies, and I suspect that he is (or was, depending on the recall vote) just getting started.

Walker’s move to break public employee unions is his most notorious personal power play.  To try to prevent the union-busting law’s passage, Democratic state senators left Wisconsin, so that the GOP-controlled legislature could not do Walker’s bidding and ram it through. But nevertheless, using dubious parliamentary ploys, the bill was passed by the Senate, making it a done deal. Walker’s push to get this legislation, known as Act 10, passed into law was done in about as authoritarian a fashion as you will ever see, outside of a dictatorship. Part of Act 10 has already been struck down by a federal judge, and, as I noted earlier, the wisdom of Walker’s power play will be tested in the June 5th recall election.

(4) Amorality. To be amoral, of course, is to be insensitive to moral matters.  A politician like Scott Walker will wrap himself in a cloak of morality, while, in fact, acting anything but morally.

Needless to say, Walker’s policies that attack poor women by cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood; his slashing of education budgets while giving tax breaks to wealthy corporations; and his pursuit of similar radical Republican actions all raise serious moral issues.  But different people have different moral standards and views of such activity, so I have excluded these matters from this discussion.

Similarly, I have set aside the fact that a growing number of Walker’s closest aides are being criminally investigated and several have been charged with, or pled guilty to, crimes stemming from actions that occurred during Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. Walker has hired several high-powered criminal defense lawyers and is building a legal defense fund, but this, too, is not relevant at this time, for little is known of this secret “John Doe” grand jury proceeding. Walker has not been charged. The grand jury proceeding simply remains a dark cloud following him, and no conclusions can or should be drawn from it.

Nonetheless, Walker’s amorality is conspicuous.  It is found in his history of ethics violations and the record of his lying. A lengthy article could (and should) be written about both, but suffice it here to note that his ethics problems go back to his Marquette University days, when the college newspaper called him “unfit” for student office.

Later, in the Assembly (in 2005), Walker would earn the distinction of receiving the second-highest fine for an ethics violation in Wisconsin history.  His lying is notorious. Politifacts Wisconsin (which I am told is more reliable than most of these sites) finds Walker to be an accomplished falsifier. With respect to 44 statements that Politifacts examined, Walker was found to have been truthful only on six occasions.  The fact that 38 statements were pants-on-fire false, false, mostly false, or half-truths is stark evidence of amorality.

I watched a video of a Walker speech at the Goldwater Institute.  He’s slick: Fast-talking, confident, and dishonest—I watched him distort facts with which I was familiar.  He spoke in mostly half-truths, and certainly not with the kind of candor that the late Senator Goldwater expected from political figures.

Clearly, Walker has all the traits of a social dominator and authoritarian leader. More strikingly, it is also clear that he is, in fact, what social scientists term a “double high authoritarian.”

Scott Walker Also Has Traits of Authoritarian Followers   

As I mentioned in Part One in this series of columns, to fit the definition of a double high authoritarian, a person must score highly as both a dominator/leader, and ironically, also as an authoritarian follower (because such people see themselves running the world, and believe that others should always follow leaders, like themselves).

Again, I listed all the traits of those who follow authoritarian leaders in that prior column.  The key and defining characteristics of such people are (1) their willingness to submit to established authority, (2) their aggressiveness on behalf of that authority, and (3) their conventionality.  Scott Walker has long shown that he possesses these traits, conspicuously so, and thus he would likely score high on such a test.

(1) Submissive To Authority. Authority figures are parents (throughout childhood); religious officials; government officials such as police officers, judges, and government leaders; and employers—to list a few of the more common such positions.  Authoritarian followers easily submit to such figures –which is not to say that they will submit to any authority, but rather only those they consider to be good and compatible with their own worldviews.  News accounts reveal that Scott Walker was a “good boy” growing up.  Clearly, he worked to please his parents, and his Boy Scout and Eagle Scout superiors, and he accepted the authority of his church elders.  Since becoming involved in politics, he has accepted the leaders of the Republican Party, particularly those with the most right-wing of views, as he has worked his way up through the ranks.  While Scott Walker plays by the rules of the authorities he accepts, because he is a dominator, it is not surprising that his resume shows that he has constantly sought to become an authority himself.

(2) Aggressiveness On Behalf Of Authority.  The aggression in authoritarian followers is largely fueled by fear, but it is also emboldened by the abundance of self-righteousness that such people possess.

Authoritarian aggressiveness is often revealed by efforts to control others, with a recurring example the decision to be an overly strict parent. While little has been written about Walker’s relationship with his two sons, from watching videos of the Walker family, it appears to me that these are very obedient boys who dare not tangle with their authoritarian father.

Another classic example of authoritarian aggressiveness is the public official who is always calling for greater punishment for perceived and real criminals. And indeed, the most striking and telling example of Walker’s aggressiveness on behalf of radical right wing Republican philosophy are his views on crime and punishment.

As a member of the Wisconsin Assembly, in 1996 Walker was the moving force behind the building of a 500-bed “Supermax” prison, which he claimed worked better than normal facilities; others had doubts.  Also, when state officials sought a 200-bed unit, Walker insisted on more than doubling the request.

Another instance of Walker’s punitive aggressiveness can be found in an example from 1997, when Walker pushed legislation that eliminated all parole, while increasing maximum criminal sentences by fifty percent.  Walker also pushed for draconian legislation that would send juvenile offenders to adult prisons at age 15, although his colleagues in the Assembly rejected this excessively harsh approach. These, too, are examples of classic authoritarian behavior at work.

Conventionality.  Authoritarian followers act in the tradition of society’s norms and customs. They never stand out; indeed, they are the polar opposite of rebels like the iconic long-haired hippie.  The authoritarian follower is most comfortable with a fundamentalist religion, and as a member of an organization, he or she is most comfortable where the organization draws clear lines dividing right from wrong.  Authoritarian followers believe in “family values” and follow the “straight and narrow” in dress and behavior.  Scott Walker is Mr. Conventional.  He has long been an active member of a fundamentalist church. He wears conservative, off-the-rack clothing. His hair is always closely trimmed, and his manner polite and pleasant. And he keeps company with like-acting and like-thinking people.  (I cannot find a single radical right-wing position that Walker rejects.)

Wisconsin’s Double High Authoritarian Governor

I have merely summarized, in the broadest of terms, the work of social science in exploring the authoritarian disposition at work in government and politics.  Similarly, I have only sketched in digest terms the reporting I found on Scott Walker’s political career.  To me, it is clear that Wisconsin has a double high authoritarian governor, a conservative without conscience.  If I lived in Wisconsin, I would be uncomfortable with this man, whom I find more Nixonian than even Richard Nixon himself (the authoritarian leader with whom I was, and am, so very familiar).

Please understand that these authoritarian leaders and their followers are not necessarily bad people.  To the contrary, I have many friends who fall into this group, who are wonderful people.  But none of my double high authoritarian friends are suited to serve as President of the United States, or as governor of any state—posts which have never worked well when an authoritarian has taken charge.  Democracy and democratic institutions do not function well with dogmatic, unbending authoritarian leaders.  Authoritarians are great as dictators, and even at times benevolent.  They are often outstanding at running businesses, and when serving as high-ranking officers in the military, not to mention law enforcement.  But they are failures as presidents and governors, and as Bob Altemeyer’s work has shown, they can be dangerous to democracy.

Hopefully, one or more social scientists or political psychologists in Wisconsin, where there are many, will step forward and tell the people of Wisconsin more about what they have on their hands, with Scott Walker as their governor.  In fact, the June 5, 2012 election is a true opportunity to discourage another leader who is a conservative without conscience, for these leaders always have a healthy following.  Altemeyer estimates that about twenty-five percent of the population has, in varying degrees, the disposition to follow a double high authoritarian, many blindly or simply because it assuages their fears.  And, of course, these are aggressive followers who can attract others who are unaware of the nature of the person they are electing, thus enabling an authoritarian leader like Walker to gain ever-growing control.

Good luck, Wisconsin.

John DeanJohn W. Dean, a Justia columnist, is a former counsel to the president.
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  • Joe_S

    Holy cow — Walker has no college degree whatsoever?

    • Kathy

      He dropped out of Marquette before obtaining a degree. The rumor is that he was asked to leave after some hanky panky in a student election.

    • Kathy

      He dropped out of Marquette before obtaining a degree. The rumor is that he was asked to leave after some hanky panky in a student election.

  • Bink Binkerson

    OK, Mr Dean, this guy is a totally nasty piece of work.   As is the majority of the state legislature which supports his nasty reign.   He’s been in the public eye for 10 years,  and his record & behavior has been clearly on display.

    And he and his supporting crew have been solidly supported by a majority of Wisconsin voters.    They get what they deserve in Flyover Country.     I hope this goon is recalled, but honestly, why should one expect it, he is the choice of the people.   The pickup-driving, Walmart-shopping slugminded, easily led people.

    Government of, by, and for.

    • Grassroots Wisconsinite

       Wisconsin is a very progressive state, and Walker ran as a somewhat moderate Republican. He had very slick commercials that made him look friendly and thrifty (important here where they are worried about over-spending, where thriftiness is a value). Please stop with the stereotypes about Flyover Country, and maybe you should see more of the country.

    • Grassroots Wisconsinite

       Wisconsin is a very progressive state, and Walker ran as a somewhat moderate Republican. He had very slick commercials that made him look friendly and thrifty (important here where they are worried about over-spending, where thriftiness is a value). Please stop with the stereotypes about Flyover Country, and maybe you should see more of the country.

    • Randy1949

      Scott Walker was elected in an off year by a slim margin 52/48, and he was less than candid about his plans once in office.  Perhaps you missed the demonstrations at our state capitol one year ago when the Governor and the state legislature tried to ram through the so-called Budget Repair Bill?  We’re not all of us ‘slugminded’.

  • Carol White

    This is absolutely the best written and most informative article that I have read about Scott Walker. Thank you for doing the research and communicating the psychology and damaging actions of this man. I believe he will learn a lot about himself by reading  your articles. What an expensive psychiatric evaluation this has ended up being! Wisconsin and Wisconsinites have had to pay for this “after the election” eval with their reduced checks, higher taxes, reduced services, huge donations of time to fight his ALEC, Koch Brothers’ backed agenda, and contribution after contribution that we are obliged to make to many concerned political groups to get rid of his unwanted “rule!” Unfortunately, WI citizens, companies,  protesters and taxpayers will pay for all of his amoral, power-grabbing, “social dominator,” and authoritarian approach to leadership.  Off to support the recall candidates now and mobilize forces for the fight against this official and others supporting him.

  • Waiting for justice

    I really enjoyed your article, especially the part about Walker being amoral. When I listen to him, nearly every sentence he says is a lie or a partial lie. And right in the middle of the lies, he assures us that he is a Christian and an Eagle Scout. He reeks with hypocrisy and deserves his nickname of Governor Pinocchio. But I wonder about people think who watch him on TV from around the country. Do they believe him? They must, because they continue to give him money.

    I really hope the John Doe investigation will reveal that he has committed criminal activities. Will all the people who gave him money feel foolish?

    • Cadjocky

      It is so ironic that Scot Walker could be serving time in one of the mass penitentiaries he pushed to be built? And along with the tougher penalties he pushed for.
      Have always known he was an egotistical power grabbing liar, being a taxpayer from Milwaukee County.

    • Cadjocky

      It is so ironic that Scot Walker could be serving time in one of the mass penitentiaries he pushed to be built? And along with the tougher penalties he pushed for.
      Have always known he was an egotistical power grabbing liar, being a taxpayer from Milwaukee County.

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  • http://twitter.com/truthglow Truthglow

    Excellent post.

  • jerseygirlexit8a

    As if John Dean is anyone to pontificate, I lost respect for that weasel years ago.  Sniveling opportunist, he’s the last person anyone should pay any attention to regarding the moral inventory of another human being…

    • J Flenner

      And yet, here you are on his page. One might say, “Who better to offer a ‘moral inventory’ than one who has had to examine him- or herself?” 

      I have appreciated all Dean’s commentaries that I have read, first in Findlaw and now in Verdict. This one I think is outstanding. 

      Keep on keepin’ on, John Dean (even tho’ you were “on the other side” when that saying was in vogue!).

    • J Flenner

      And yet, here you are on his page. One might say, “Who better to offer a ‘moral inventory’ than one who has had to examine him- or herself?” 

      I have appreciated all Dean’s commentaries that I have read, first in Findlaw and now in Verdict. This one I think is outstanding. 

      Keep on keepin’ on, John Dean (even tho’ you were “on the other side” when that saying was in vogue!).

  • waiting for Recall Day

    Is a double-high Authoritarian also a Narcissist  ?  And incurable ?

  • waiting for Recall Day

    Is a double-high Authoritarian also a Narcissist  ?  And incurable ?

  • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

    While I admire Altemeyer and I think it’s true that Walker is a piece of work, I think it’s important to point out that Altemeyer has never been really been peer reviewed and that his theories do not hold a lot of weight among those who work with authoritarianism in social psychology, these days.

    On another note: I’ve always wondered about whether high-functioning psychopathy and the “double high authoritarians” aren’t connected. Particularly given that Altemeyer uses Tom Delay as an example, and he is nothing if not a high functioning psychopath. 

  • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

    While I admire Altemeyer and I think it’s true that Walker is a piece of work, I think it’s important to point out that Altemeyer has never been really been peer reviewed and that his theories do not hold a lot of weight among those who work with authoritarianism in social psychology, these days.

    On another note: I’ve always wondered about whether high-functioning psychopathy and the “double high authoritarians” aren’t connected. Particularly given that Altemeyer uses Tom Delay as an example, and he is nothing if not a high functioning psychopath. 

  • Anonymous

    Scott always left a bitter taste in my mouth. Thanks to your mini-expose I now know why. I had a gut feeling that he leaned towards the fascist right.  Your article helped to elaborate and clarify that feeling.

    I only hope that his recall is  the first step  in his eventual rehabilitation. An indictment and period of incarceration (what I call his period of “penance and reflection”) would be fitting and appropriate.

    If he or his followers are reading this, it’s never too late to right a wrong. Or in your case, hundreds. You might want to watch a few episodes of My Name is Earl, for some ideas.

  • BRUCE TYLER WICK

    I wish John Dean had chosen to linger over Governor Walker’s efforts to have the absent Wisconsin legislators ARRESTED–which was NOT within his province, but that of the Wisconsin Senate’s, IF it had so wished.  More alarming still was Governor Walker’s attempt to coerce the return of state senators, on their own but under duress, by threatening senators’ FAMILIES with criminal charges for, in effect, harboring fugitives or concealing their whereabouts.  The man is simply DANGEROUS.  He cannot be trusted with power in ANY amount.

  • BRUCE TYLER WICK

    I wish John Dean had chosen to linger over Governor Walker’s efforts to have the absent Wisconsin legislators ARRESTED–which was NOT within his province, but that of the Wisconsin Senate’s, IF it had so wished.  More alarming still was Governor Walker’s attempt to coerce the return of state senators, on their own but under duress, by threatening senators’ FAMILIES with criminal charges for, in effect, harboring fugitives or concealing their whereabouts.  The man is simply DANGEROUS.  He cannot be trusted with power in ANY amount.

    • Man MKE

      Actually, the move to arrest Senate Democrats came from a Walker surrogate, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who exhibits many of Walker’s own traits and then some.

  • waiting for Recall Day

    This makes Scot Walker a narcissist…and a Grandiose Personality, which, it is said, 
     is incurable; no surprise there.

  • waiting for Recall Day

    This makes Scot Walker a narcissist…and a Grandiose Personality, which, it is said, 
     is incurable; no surprise there.

  • On Wisconsin

    Oh, the public unions are bankrupting us all, not the Iraq & Afghanistan wars and the greedy Wall St. bankers, all of which were engineered and supported by Republicans? Check your numbers.

  • On Wisconsin

    Oh, the public unions are bankrupting us all, not the Iraq & Afghanistan wars and the greedy Wall St. bankers, all of which were engineered and supported by Republicans? Check your numbers.

    • RonF

       Check the numbers in Illinois.  Our income tax was just raised from 3% of AGI to 5.5%.  And EVERY PENNY is committed to funding public worker pensions.  Nothing for health care.  Nothing for public aid or unemployment or child care.  Nothing for infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.).  Nothing to hire new cops or firemen.

      I hope Walker loses.  And then moves to Illinois and gets elected Governor.  We could really use him here.

  • Malleous Malifacrum

    Wholly fockin shytte– Dean presents himself as a moral person. At least Walked, evil as being as scout may be, has not been corrupted by college horsespsoo

    • http://twitter.com/jesspborn Jess B

      Because higher education is bad.  

      Nevermind that Walker actually attended and moved to lead a college body.  You can’t have it both ways, friend.  Walker sought authority at a “horsespsoo” college.  Might want to seek a little education yourself.

    • http://twitter.com/jesspborn Jess B

      Because higher education is bad.  

      Nevermind that Walker actually attended and moved to lead a college body.  You can’t have it both ways, friend.  Walker sought authority at a “horsespsoo” college.  Might want to seek a little education yourself.

  • Malleous Malifacrum

    Wholly fockin shytte– Dean presents himself as a moral person. At least Walked, evil as being as scout may be, has not been corrupted by college horsespsoo

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ACXQP3FF6KUMAPSCL5JAJOCKEU Buster

    interesting article

    what I’d like to see is some kind of article about the parents of Scott Walker and what they were and are like.  And how the Baptist religion may have influenced Scott Walker.

    I feel sorry for Scott Walker’s two boys having Scott as a father.  They look so embarrassed in any video or commercial that they are in.

    I often wonder how having people with the “double high authoritarian” personality have shaped human evolution and human personality evolution.

    because democracy and having republican forms of government are a relatively new invention in human evolution.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ACXQP3FF6KUMAPSCL5JAJOCKEU Buster

    interesting article

    what I’d like to see is some kind of article about the parents of Scott Walker and what they were and are like.  And how the Baptist religion may have influenced Scott Walker.

    I feel sorry for Scott Walker’s two boys having Scott as a father.  They look so embarrassed in any video or commercial that they are in.

    I often wonder how having people with the “double high authoritarian” personality have shaped human evolution and human personality evolution.

    because democracy and having republican forms of government are a relatively new invention in human evolution.

  • PJC

    John Dean is a hypocrite making a living writing high-minded sermons like this.
    What is the real agenda?
    Get some facts, not psychological assessments by one unqualified to make them.
    Authoritarian indeed.

    • Sparke

      Spoken like a true authoritarian.

    • Clschill

      You must be one of the followers he was talking about.

    • Clschill

      You must be one of the followers he was talking about.

  • PJC

    John Dean is a hypocrite making a living writing high-minded sermons like this.
    What is the real agenda?
    Get some facts, not psychological assessments by one unqualified to make them.
    Authoritarian indeed.

  • http://twitter.com/jesspborn Jess B

    Talk about flyover rubes; you just buy all that malarky, hook line and sinker, huh?  If the unions are bankrupting the state, and Walker broke their agreement, how come his (significantly larger) budget is still not balanced?  Before you argue that it is, (because it’s not) why would he be taking federal money earmarked for mortgage relief for the general fund of a balanced budget?  

    Open your eyes; you’re being misled because of your own propensity to hate the other.  The left wants Wisconsin to move forward; the right apparently wants half of Wisconsin to suffer instead. (See: “public unions…bankrupting us all.”)  

  • http://twitter.com/jesspborn Jess B

    Talk about flyover rubes; you just buy all that malarky, hook line and sinker, huh?  If the unions are bankrupting the state, and Walker broke their agreement, how come his (significantly larger) budget is still not balanced?  Before you argue that it is, (because it’s not) why would he be taking federal money earmarked for mortgage relief for the general fund of a balanced budget?  

    Open your eyes; you’re being misled because of your own propensity to hate the other.  The left wants Wisconsin to move forward; the right apparently wants half of Wisconsin to suffer instead. (See: “public unions…bankrupting us all.”)  

  • Paultrotter2

    Thanks Mr.Dean!

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  • Mkenact

    An
    atrocious article full of innuendo and false conclusions.  I could tear it to pieces for hours, but for
    now, four things I noted, and as a Libertarian, I’m not a Walker fan!

    1.     
     Seeking public leadership positions and running
    for public office several times does not make somebody a “dominator”, nor is
    it the behavior of a “dominator” writ large, small, sideways or in
    Sanskrit.  It is the behavior of any
    person who wants to be involved in their community and nation.  Obama sought out leadership positions at
    Harvard; Hilary Clinton at Wellesley. 
    What of it?

     

    2.     
     Being an Eagle Scout is also not an indicator
    of a “dominator”.  Unless you’re saying that
    Gerald Ford was also a “dominator”.

     

    3.     
    “Authoritarian
    followers easily submit to such figures –which is not to say that they will
    submit to any authority, but rather only those they consider to be good and
    compatible with their own worldviews.”  So
    do non-authoritarian followers.  In fact,
    that statement describes every human being on the face of this earth with the
    single exception of the most radical of anarchists.  John Dean, our author here, was an “authoritarian
    follower” the entire time he was kissing Richard Nixon’s ass.

     

    4.     
    “While
    little has been written about Walker’s relationship with his two sons, from
    watching videos of the Walker family, it appears to me that these are very
    obedient boys who dare not tangle with their authoritarian father.”  Or, perhaps, they’re just good kids?  Does Dean have any information that they have
    some reason to be “tangling” with their father? 
    If not, then Dean has submitted a particularly vile piece of
    innuendo. 

    Hey, what
    does Dean mean by “dominator”?  It’s the
    job of a Governor, or anybody in public office, to exercise their lawful
    authority.  To do otherwise, or NOTHING,
    is negligence.  By “dominator” does Dean
    mean “leader”?

    And a
    reminder to everybody that Walker was elected Milwaukee County Executive in
    order to deal with the largest Democratic scandal in Milwaukee history.  The Democrats looted the County treasury to
    pad their retirement packages; and Milwaukee County is still forced to cut
    programs because of it. 

  • Mkenact

    An
    atrocious article full of innuendo and false conclusions.  I could tear it to pieces for hours, but for
    now, four things I noted, and as a Libertarian, I’m not a Walker fan!

    1.     
     Seeking public leadership positions and running
    for public office several times does not make somebody a “dominator”, nor is
    it the behavior of a “dominator” writ large, small, sideways or in
    Sanskrit.  It is the behavior of any
    person who wants to be involved in their community and nation.  Obama sought out leadership positions at
    Harvard; Hilary Clinton at Wellesley. 
    What of it?

     

    2.     
     Being an Eagle Scout is also not an indicator
    of a “dominator”.  Unless you’re saying that
    Gerald Ford was also a “dominator”.

     

    3.     
    “Authoritarian
    followers easily submit to such figures –which is not to say that they will
    submit to any authority, but rather only those they consider to be good and
    compatible with their own worldviews.”  So
    do non-authoritarian followers.  In fact,
    that statement describes every human being on the face of this earth with the
    single exception of the most radical of anarchists.  John Dean, our author here, was an “authoritarian
    follower” the entire time he was kissing Richard Nixon’s ass.

     

    4.     
    “While
    little has been written about Walker’s relationship with his two sons, from
    watching videos of the Walker family, it appears to me that these are very
    obedient boys who dare not tangle with their authoritarian father.”  Or, perhaps, they’re just good kids?  Does Dean have any information that they have
    some reason to be “tangling” with their father? 
    If not, then Dean has submitted a particularly vile piece of
    innuendo. 

    Hey, what
    does Dean mean by “dominator”?  It’s the
    job of a Governor, or anybody in public office, to exercise their lawful
    authority.  To do otherwise, or NOTHING,
    is negligence.  By “dominator” does Dean
    mean “leader”?

    And a
    reminder to everybody that Walker was elected Milwaukee County Executive in
    order to deal with the largest Democratic scandal in Milwaukee history.  The Democrats looted the County treasury to
    pad their retirement packages; and Milwaukee County is still forced to cut
    programs because of it. 

  • Mkenact

    An
    atrocious article full of innuendo and false conclusions.  I could tear it to pieces for hours, but for
    now, four things I noted, and as a Libertarian, I’m not a Walker fan!

    1.     
     Seeking public leadership positions and running
    for public office several times does not make somebody a “dominator”, nor is
    it the behavior of a “dominator” writ large, small, sideways or in
    Sanskrit.  It is the behavior of any
    person who wants to be involved in their community and nation.  Obama sought out leadership positions at
    Harvard; Hilary Clinton at Wellesley. 
    What of it?

     

    2.     
     Being an Eagle Scout is also not an indicator
    of a “dominator”.  Unless you’re saying that
    Gerald Ford was also a “dominator”.

     

    3.     
    “Authoritarian
    followers easily submit to such figures –which is not to say that they will
    submit to any authority, but rather only those they consider to be good and
    compatible with their own worldviews.”  So
    do non-authoritarian followers.  In fact,
    that statement describes every human being on the face of this earth with the
    single exception of the most radical of anarchists.  John Dean, our author here, was an “authoritarian
    follower” the entire time he was kissing Richard Nixon’s ass.

     

    4.     
    “While
    little has been written about Walker’s relationship with his two sons, from
    watching videos of the Walker family, it appears to me that these are very
    obedient boys who dare not tangle with their authoritarian father.”  Or, perhaps, they’re just good kids?  Does Dean have any information that they have
    some reason to be “tangling” with their father? 
    If not, then Dean has submitted a particularly vile piece of
    innuendo. 

    Hey, what
    does Dean mean by “dominator”?  It’s the
    job of a Governor, or anybody in public office, to exercise their lawful
    authority.  To do otherwise, or NOTHING,
    is negligence.  By “dominator” does Dean
    mean “leader”?

    And a
    reminder to everybody that Walker was elected Milwaukee County Executive in
    order to deal with the largest Democratic scandal in Milwaukee history.  The Democrats looted the County treasury to
    pad their retirement packages; and Milwaukee County is still forced to cut
    programs because of it. 

  • Oh The Humanity

    Another hatchet job on a Republican, including discussion re: “amoral,” from Nixon’s “master of deceit and cover up” convicted felon, Mr. Dean.

  • Glen Barry

    Scott Walker and his followers stole all the student newspapers after they endorsed the write-in candidate for student body President. He was a liar and a cheat then too.

  • RonF

    “Since then, Walker has never stopped running.  In 1993, he was elected
    to the State Assembly, where he remained until 2002. In 2002, he sought
    the post of Milwaukee County Executive, and he held that post until he
    was elected Governor in 2010.  This is the behavior, writ large, of a
    dominator.”

    You have got to be kidding me.  This is the behavior of just about every politician, Democratic or Republican, that has ever held public office!  This is a ridiculous analysis.

  • redfish

    I don’t know much about Scott Walker, so I can’t say whether dislike of him is warranted, but I can’t take the argument here against him that seriously given that a large part of it is a cliché-ridden attack against social/cultural conservatism in the guise of attacking authoritarianism.

    Dean says: “Authoritarian followers act in the tradition of society’s norms and customs… the authoritarian follower is most comfortable with a fundamentalist religion, and as a member of an organization, he or she is most comfortable where the organization draws clear lines dividing right from wrong.”

    Religious fundamentalism is definitely far from “society’s norms and customs” in this day and age, and social progressives just as much draw clear lines dividing right from wrong, just in a different way.

    Dean says: “Authority figures are parents (throughout childhood); religious officials; government officials such as police officers, judges, and government leaders; and employers—to list a few of the more common such positions”

    Notice how he left out teachers, professors, journalists, scientific experts, legal experts, and so on, which Dean would probably be comfortable with saying Walker is rejecting (and thus, rebelling from).

  • Pingback: A Federal Court Looks at Wisconsin’s Political War | John Dean | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia

  • oreo57

    3 years later.. Nobody paid attention………

    • pwlsax

      The urge to justify high-authoritarian leaders is strong – it is tenacious – and it is deep in our makeup. Even Dean was a bit mealy-mouthed near the end of his essay when saying, “Some of my best friends are double-highs.” Well, I hope they didn’t read his book or this essay.

      ISTR reading some statistic that claimed 25% or less – 15%?! – of Americans exhibit any anti-authoritarian personality traits. Scary. But not surprising. There are vast fields of American commerce, culture, and social life where one dare not deviate or innovate, and punishment is swift and vengeful.

 

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