Conservatives Without Conscience
social scientists have similarly found that high-scoring social dominators are “potentially ruthless in their pursuit or maintenance of their desires” and they do not believe that their “actions should never cause harm to others.” And dominators believe “that the end does justify the means.” 26 Today it is recognized that such authoritarian dominators are attracted to “status-inequality-enforcing occupations,” likeprosecuting attorney or a job in law enforcement, and that they are “over-represented in positions of political power.” 27
    In his description of social dominators, Altemeyer poses a rhetorical question: “Do you know such people: relatively intimidating, unsympathetic, untrusting and untrustworthy, vengeful, manipulative, and amoral?” While Altemeyer admits that it may seem “unsympathetic to describe those who score highly on the Social Dominance Orientation scale” in this manner, such terms have been used by these individuals to describe themselves. Empirical data bears out such qualities as “relatively power hungry, domineering, mean, Machiavellian and amoral, and hold[ing] ‘conservative’ economical and political outlooks.” 28 These people know exactly where they want to stand. Experiments reveal that right-wing authoritarian followers are particularly likely to trust someone who tells them what they want to hear, for this is how many of them validate their beliefs. Social dominators, on the other hand, typically know exactly what song they want to sing to followers.
    Unfortunately, there are people who, when given tests for social dominance and right-wing authoritarianism, score high on both. Altemeyer calls them “Double Highs.” These dominating authoritarian leaders are the individuals whom Altemeyer refers to with good reason as “particularly scary.”

    The Double High Authoritarians

    Social dominators whom tests show to be Double Highs seem full of contradictions. They score high as both leaders and as followers, an apparent anomaly that Altemeyer accounts for by explaining that Double Highs respond to questions relating to submission not by considering how they submit to others, but about how others submit to them. They inevitably see the world with themselves in charge.
    Altemeyer provided a number of examples of Double High behavior. Ordinary social dominators and ordinary authoritarian followers both tend to be highly prejudiced against ethnic and racial minorities.Double Highs, however, possess “extra-extra unfair” natures, and they can be ranked as the most racially prejudiced of all groups. It seems that two authoritarian streams converge in them to produce a river of hostility, particularly regarding rights for homosexuals and women. Another example of their prejudice has to do with religion. Typical social dominators are not particularly religious, but Double Highs resemble right-wing authoritarians in their strong religious backgrounds. Like right-wing authoritarians, Double Highs tend to be Christian fundamentalists. 29 But Double Highs generally do not attend church out of any sense of religious commitment, because religion provides no moral compass for them. “They may think of themselves as being religious and they go to church more than most people do, but they believe in lying, cheating, and manipulating much more than the rest of the congregation does,” Altemeyer’s research shows. They agree with statements like “The best reason for belonging to a church is to project a good image and have contact with some of the important people in your community.” 30 They also reveal their parochialism by agreeing with statements like “If it were possible, I’d rather have a job where I worked with people with the same religious views I have, rather than with people with different views”; “all people may be entitled to their own religious beliefs, but I don’t want to associate with people whose views are quite different from my own”; and

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