In Power and Absolute Power – What Concerns Me Most, I stated, “Neither political extreme is good for Texas or the country, but the extreme we are headed for this time is a place our founding fathers knew well. They lived in an extreme environment of theocracies and took extreme action to separate the new world from that world. So, what has changed to bring us back so close to where ‘we’ started?” Andrew Sullivan provided part of the answer with this quote from Senator Barry Goldwater:
Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
This quote is from the preface to John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience. When Senator Goldwater made this statement to John Dean in 1994, John was in the process of figuring out what had happened to their conservative ideology and the Republican party over the previous 30 years. John eventually documented his findings in Conservatives Without Conscience.
What John Dean found was more than conservatives “acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise.” He found that there was a very dangerous personality type behind these Conservatives Without Conscience: authoritarians.