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John Dean, of Watergate fame, knows what it's like to work for a strong-willed, vindictive president. But even Richard Nixon, says Dean, didn't have the raw lust for power that Donald Trump has. Nor the lack of skill. Nor the deep, willful ignorance of our democracy. So how did such a person achieve power?
Suspecting the answer lay in understanding Trump's base constituency, Dean has partnered with Bob Altemeyer, a professor of psychology whose expertise is the study of authoritarianism, to see why Trump's base is so faithful to him, no matter what he does. Why do evangelical Christians support him, for example, despite his well-documented sexual predations? Why do so many working class Americans support him, despite the way he works against their interests? Why do facts and logic not change their minds?
By drawing on some psychological diagnostic tools (such as the "Power Mad Scale" and the "Con Man Scale") and looking at other historic authoritarians and their movements, Dean and Altemeyer offer not only an eye-opening revelation of how Trump and his followers have gotten where they have . . . but a road map to where they may go next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOHN W. DEAN served as White House counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1970 to 1973. During the Watergate scandal, his Congressional testimony helped lead to Nixon's resignation. Dean has written about Watergate in his New York Times bestsellers Blind Ambition and The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It. Among his other books are the national bestsellers Worse Than Watergate and Conservatives Without Conscience. He is a regular political and legal commentator on CNN.
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