by David Safier
Todd offered this comment to the post, Is it a proto-fascist movement?
A Canadian Psychologist, Bob Altemeyer, has been looking for years at what makes people more or less likely to adhere to a right-wing authoritarianism. His research has been going on for 40 years and has a wealth of data and has largely withstood any serious criticism. Essentially people such as this have 3 traits – 1) high degree of submissiveness to those who they believe are authorities with a great credulousness to anything that support their beliefs no matter how irrational, 2) Highly aggressive to outgroups and 3) a high degree of Conventionalism in regards to adhering to social norms and traditions.
A kind of popular and free summary of his research can be found here :
I think it sheds a great deal of light on what is happening.