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altemeyer election2008.pdf


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1

Postscript On The 2008 Election

Rick Roane of Cherryhill Media in San Diego has offered to produce an audio-book
version of The Authoritarians and make it available at minimal cost. I wrote a brief analysis
of the 2008 presidential election in two stages for this audio-book, and a third segment the
day after the November 4 vote, which are all given below.
Part I–Written Right After the Republican Convention
As I just said (in Chapter 7), I expected the Religious Right to decide who would be
the Republican presidential candidate, which proved quite wrong. Even though I mentioned
in the Introduction to the book that the authoritarian leaders might not be able to find an
acceptable presidential candidate for 2008, I thought surely they would. I did not foresee that
the king-makers would be unable to agree upon a candidate among themselves, and thus
leave the door open for other forces to shape the nomination.
The Religious Right and John McCain
Let’s go back to March, 2007. The midterm election has occurred, the Republicans
got pasted at the polls, and the Democrats gained control of Congress. The Conservative
Political Action Conference held its annual meeting in Washington, and every Republican
running for president attended except John McCain–who chose to campaign in Utah instead.
(By some reports, whenever McCain’s name was mentioned by a speaker, loud booing
erupted from the audience.)