1 THE LONG AUTHORITARIAN HISTORY OF THE CAPITOL RIOT
After 25 years studying the american right, I think I’ve drilled down to the irreducible core of the thing. Because in these United States everything eventually comes down to questions of commerce, I found it, appropriately enough, in a 1981 yearbook of Advertising Age, in a case study examining the work of a marketing expert the magazine had enshrined as its Adman of the Year: Richard Wirthlin, chief strategist for Ronald Reagan’s recent successful presidential campaign. ¶ Wirthlin began his work in 1979 with an exhaustive “Survey of Voter Values and Attitudes,” in which he discovered that Reagan supporters “obtain high scores on … authoritarianism—and a low score on egalitarianism.” It continued, “Eastern European ethnic groups living in large cities … follow the same pattern, and hence were a prime target for conversion.” Thus Reagan launched his nomination campaign with “highly visible visits to such neighborhoods.”
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