Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz Explained - They Are Social Dominator Oriented Leaders [97*916]

What Is a Social Dominator Orientation

IF THE FOLLOWING HIGH profile Conservatives took the quiz below, I suspect, but don't know for sure, that all of them would score above 90%: Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum (maybe), Paul Ryan (maybe), and Eric Cantor. Ones who I think would score lower would be Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Ron Huntsman, Scott Brown, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney (all, but Ron Huntsman and Scott Brown might be high RWA scorers, however). But today, the champions, in fact the poster children, are Donald Trump followed by Ted Cruz.

So, what is a Social Dominator Orientation (SDO)? Wikipedia says: "Individuals who score high in SDO desire to maintain and, in many cases, increase the differences between social statuses of different groups, as well as individual group members. Typically, they are dominant, driven, tough, and relatively uncaring seekers of power. Often, people who score high in SDO adhere strongly to belief in a "dog-eat-dog" world."; they are often leaders, either directly or of opinion ... think Rush Limbaugh. It is very important to understand SDOs because they lead a large segment of the American population; their army is largely made up of another group of people who have a different psychological profile called Right-wing Authoritarian (RWA) followers. I have written about RWAs in several other hubs.

The idea of Social Dominance Orientation derives from Social Dominance Theory (SDT), which attempts to explain why group-based inequalities and group-based social hierarchies in the world are so darn stable. According to SDT, individual people differ on the extent to which they desire group-based inequality. That is why so many questions in the quiz below are oriented in that direction. Also, as you may guess, this deals with social conservatism rather than fiscal conservatism; you can be quite fiscally conservative while still be rather socially liberal.

Research has shown that these social hierarchies can be classified into three types, age-based, gender-based, and culturally-based. Examples are, adults are held in higher esteem and have more power than children; men have more power and higher social status than women; White Americans have more power and higher social status, than Black Americans. The higher an individual ranks on the SDO scale, the more they believe this is the way things ought to be.

People who rank high on the SDO scale can come from all parts of society, but, are most often seen associated with fundamentalist-oriented religious groups of all flavors and conservative politics. In politics, an SDO often professes a strong religious belief, but a high-scoring SDO is only using this as a means to an end, it is the power they are seeking and the social order they are trying to maintain, not subservience to a Supreme Being. That is not saying they are atheist, it is only saying religion is sometimes not as important in their lives as their claims would lead one to believe.

There is nothing particularly or necessarily mean in their outlook, at least in a purposeful way; this is just what they think "normal" ought to be. In 500 B.C.E., no one thought twice about the abhorrent nature of slavery, including the slaves themselves; it was just the natural order of things. Of course, this isn't the way we think today, but it was then. SDOs are surprised when they are told their behaviour may be anti-social; they simply don't see it that way and by any measure, they are psychologically normal.

Understanding the SDO Personality

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A STUDY TITLED Social Dominance Orientation: A Personality Predicting Social and Political Attitudes. It is a statistical study of a hypothesized set of attitude characteristics that may be common to those who SDO. All I want to do is share the results which they found significant and not go into the statistics behind them.

In the left-hand column of the table below are the attitudes the researches considered.

ATTITUDE or CHARACTERISTIC
CORROLATION
STRENGTH
GENDER
POSITIVE
STRONG
PERSONALITY VARIABLES
 
 
CONCERN FOR OTHERS
NEGATIVE
STRONG
ALTRUISM
NEGATIVE
WEAK
COMMUNALITY
NEGATIVE
MODERATE
TOLERENCE
NEGATIVE
MODERATE
IDEOLOGIES
 
 
ETHNIC PREJUDICE
POSITIVE
STRONG
NATIONALISM
POSITIVE
STRONG
CULTURAL ELITISM
POSITIVE
MODERATE
SEXISM
POSITIVE
STRONG
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
NEGATIVE
STRONG
PATROTISM
POSITIVE
STRONG
POLITICO-ECONOMIC CONSERVATIVISM
POSITIVE
MODERATE
NOBLESSE OBLIGE
NEGATIVE
STRONG
JUST WORLD
POSITIVE
WEAK
PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC
POSITIVE
VERY WEAK
POLICY ATTITUDES
 
 
SOCIAL WELFARE
NEGATIVE
STRONG
MILITARY POLICY
POSITIVE
STRONG
RACIAL POLICY
NEGATIVE
STRONG
WOMEN'S RIGHTS
NEGATIVE
MODERATE
GAY/LESBIAN RIGHTS
NEGATIVE
MODERATE
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
NEGATIVE
MODERATE
CHAUVINISM
POSITIVE
MODERATE
MISCENEGY
NEGATIVE
WEAK
REPUBLICAN PARTY PREFERENCE
POSITIVE
WEAK
LAW AND ORDER
POSITIVE
WEAK

The way to understand the table above is to compose a positive question regarding one of the items. For example, say you pick "Altruism"; then you can formulate a question like, "Altruism is a good thing."; also assume the scoring is 1-strongly disagree and 5-strongly agree. Then you can read the next two columns this way:

  • If the correlation is Positive, then SDO's will score 4, 5, or 6. Further, each score will be weighted heavier if it is a strong correlation than if it is a moderate correlation, and so on.
  • If the correlation is Negative, then SDO's will score 1, 2, or 6. Further, each score will be weighted more if it is a strong correlation than if it is a moderate correlation, and so on.

Books on Right-wing Authoritarian

What Role do SDOs Have in Politics Today?

A BIG ONE! For the most part, they run the Republican party today and the RWA's make up their army of followers. It didn't use to be that way. Prior to 1980, the Republican party was largely in control of those who would probably score between 50% and 80% on my quiz below.

On the other hand, RWAs, Right-wing Authoritarian followers that make up a large part of the hard-core of the Conservative movement, were around in probably the same numbers prior to 1980, as they are after 1980. The difference is the authority figures they follow were prone to follow are the Social Dominators who, prior to 1980, were in the minority and they largely sat on the sidelines. With Ronald Reagan and the Christian Coalition, that all changed.

As the SDO leaders began to take control of the Republican party in the 1980s and 1990s, the army of RWA supporters came off the sidelines and entered politics in a huge way, either as politicians themselves or as voters and activists and most recently, Tea Party members. By 2000, probably earlier, the SDOs finally dominated the Republican party. (BTW, I wouldn't say either of the Bush's were SDO's, but Vice President Cheney probably was.) One of the fallout's of that sea-change in the political landscape is the political gridlock on Capital Hill; a characteristics of how SDOs play politics.

The Double High

I JUST FINISHED MY research on Right-wing Authoritarian (RWA) followers, the army of the Social Dominators. I say "army" because it is this group of people who have this particular psychological make-up that are particularly willing to follow, without question, the Social Dominator. Studies by Professor Robert Altemeyer have shown, via surveys, that the median score on his RWA assessment for American State legislators, he is Canadian, for Democrats to be about 92, while the Republicans had median score of around 117; an average score on the scale is 100. (Not to be outdone, Altemeyer found that the Canadian legislators had medians around 65 and 115, respectively; it would seem the Canadian New Democrats make our Democrats look almost conservative; Rush Limbaugh would be apocalyptic if he lived there.)

BTW, conservatives don't have a lock on this RWA and SD phenomenon. Liberals can show the same score high on both scales as well, just not in anywhere the same numbers; the only ones that seem to be immune are us moderates.

I bring this up, because in the same surveys, Professor Altemeyer also asked questions that would give him some ideas of the legislatures degree of social dominance as the scale had not been formally developed yet. What he found was that many of the high scoring RWA legislators would also be high scoring SDs. This was not surprising to him because one of the principal characteristics of an SD is the drive to power and being elected to political office is clearly on the path to this goal. A person who scores high on both the RWA and SD assessments is called a "Double High" and, if allowed to reach his or her pinnacle of success can wreck societal havoc; history is full of unfortunate examples.

More in future hubs.

I Fear SDO's, Why?

I ADMIT IT, I FEAR WHAT SDOs WILL DO TO AMERICA, even if you set the "Double High" phenomenon aside. Though there is nothing intrinsically evil in having a Social Dominator orientation; it is, in my view, antithetical to what America is all about; it violates the core values of what America is supposed to project to ourselves and the world. To have the attributes that come with a SDO can be of great benefit to those who want to become captains of industry, corporations are run by a lot of SDO individuals. Those same attributes in a politician and their followers, however, can be devastating to the cause of liberty.

Americans have always prided themselves on using reason and logic to come to the proper conclusions in life; SDOs shun this, consider Senator Cruz (TX), and RWAs follow them. To me a clear example of what I am talking about is in my hub "Who has the better Employment and Job Growth Record? Conservatives or Moderate/Liberals (1945 - 2008)". It is obvious to me, the moderate/liberals, when in power, have done a demonstrably better job at handling America's economy and I present pretty stark statistics to back up that hypothesis; it simply isn't even a close call. Yet, out of the 15 people who have voted in my poll, 4 disagreed that the Conservatives do a poorer job in managing the economy. This is a primary characteristic of both SDOs and RWAs, denial of the assertion when the supporting facts are clear and convincing. More simplistic, if they believed 1 + 1 = 3, and not 2, then neither heaven nor hell will convince them otherwise. If difference between SDOs and RWAs, however, is the SDOs know 1 + 1 = 2, while the RWA will only believe it when their particular SDO leader says to believe it.

History is full of examples of SDO personalities who rose to power only to become dictators and tyrants; some ended up being megalomaniacs, an entirely different condition, and wrecked great havoc and misery on those they ruled. The same is true when groups of people who exhibit these traits raise to power; think the Soviet Politburo. Whether SDO or not, it goes without question, the leadership of virtually every totalitarian society, whether good or evil, would probable max out the SDO scale.

I firmly believe, those in the Conservative movement who are SDOs and are in power today, exhibit those same tendencies; whether they know it or not, it is just part of their nature; that is how they simply see life and they think it is correct. If we are continue as a free society, Americans must understand this danger, and no, I don't see us becoming a dictatorship, but I do see a severe restriction on individual liberties if today's Conservatives gain and maintain power in this country. At stake are parts of the 1st, IVth, Vth, VIth VIIIth, and XIVth Amendments to the Constitution; there has already been talk from the current set of Conservatives that these Amendment go too far and need to be limited to "what the founding fathers meant them to be" or that they are in violation of the principals of the "founding fathers"; to me, this is very scary talk; to an SDO, it makes all of the sense in the world.

Social Dominance Orientation Scale

I DECIDED TO START A NEW RESULTS POLL in order to obtain a finer gradient of answers. At the same time, each bucket is now the same size which allows for much easier analysis than in the previous format (we learn as we grow). Once enough results are given in this new format, I can use them to figure out how to redistribute the previous poll into this format so that I can incorporate all of those results as well.

Thank you for participating.

Please, Let Us Know How You Scored

Did you score from ...

  • 91 to 100%
  • 81 to 90%
  • 71 to 80%
  • 61 to 70%
  • 51 to 60%
  • 41 to 50%
  • 31 to 40%
  • 21 to 30%
  • 11 to 20%
  • 1 to 10%
See results without voting

Results in Numbers

New N = 261

N = 908 when combined with the previous poll (647). The bolded numbers are the total of two polls for each 10% bucket.

RESULTS

91 - 100%: 13 + 33 ( 5%) = 46 (5%)

81 - 90%: 8 + 21 (3%) = 29 (3%)

71 - 80%: 10 + 23 (4%) = 33 (4%)

61 - 70%: 18 + 23 (4%) = 41 (5%)

51 - 60%: 10 + 27 (4%) = 37 (4%)

41 - 50%: 16 + 27 (4%) = 43 (5%)

31 - 40%: 31 + 65 (10%) = 96 (11%)

21 - 30%: 21 + 65 (10%) = 86 (9%)

11 - 20%: 42. + 120 (19%) = 162 (18%}

1 - 10%: 91 + 243 (38%) = 334 (37%)

As one would expect, the scores are weighted to the low end (80% <= 50) as opposed the higher end (20% > 50)

I HAVE CLOSED THE SURVEY BELOW IN FAVOR of the one above with the new format. Once enough data has been accumulated in the new survey, I can incorporate what has been obtained in the one below with it.

Let Us Know How You Scored

Did you score between:

  • 4% 95% - 100% (yep, hardly a doubt)
  • 3% 85% - 94% (very likely you are a SDO)
  • 9% 60% - 84% (maybe showing SDO tendencies)
  • 8% 41% - 59% (unlikely your a SDO)
  • 25% 16% - 40% (probably not a SDO)
  • 27% 6% - 15% (extremely unlikely your a SDO)
  • 24% 0% - 5% (nope, not a chance)
647 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

BREAKING DOWN THE PERCENTAGES

N - 647

RANGE

- 95 - 100%: 26

- 85 - 94%: 13

- 60 - 84%: 58

- 41 - 59%: 52

- 16 - 40%: 162

- 6 - 15%: 175

- 0 - 5%: 155

What are your political leanings?

Do you consider yourself a -

  • Liberal
  • Moderate
  • Conservative
See results without voting

DEMOGRAPHIC POLL

Are you

  • FEMALE?
  • MALE?
See results without voting

A Little Analysis of the Above Survey

BECAUSE I CANNOT link the SDO survey results with the participants political persuasion, I can only deal hypothetically as to whether there is a relation, in other words, I can show you roughly what it would be like IF there were some sort of relationship between political orientation and Social Dominator orientation. Other studies I have read and presented show this to be the case, but the Hub polling and survey instruments are too limited to make this convenient to accomplish.

Below are two Chi-Square tables; Chi-Square is a statistical technique to determine the hypothesis of whether there is a statistically significant relationship between two events or not. I can't do that in this case because I don't know from our sample which person who scored a certain way on the SDO survey

Table 1 represents the hypothetical distribution of results IF there was ZERO bias because of political orientation or any other factor; this table is actually part of a real statistical analysis. The fourth column represents how many people should score in each percent grouping based on the 31 votes cast so far. The fifth column represents how those 50 votes are actually distributed in my sample.

Because there are now more then 30 responses, I can begin saying, with some degree of statistical certainty that there IS bias somewhere; the question is, of course, where. I don't believe I need to bore you with numbers at this point, because it should be extremely obvious just by comparing the two columns.

Table 2 presents a hypothetical distribution we might see from our survey if there was the kind of bias toward Conservative orientation that I know exists. What happens in a real analysis is a difference is taken, squared, and further manipulated. The results are compared to some statistical tables which will determine, within a predetermined degree of certainty, if a relationship exists.

The problem I have is that the mechanics of hubpage polling doesn't let me, easily at least, ask a given respondent what group there SDO survey results fell into and, at the same time, what their political orientation is. If I could, then I could do some neat statistical analysis to test whether political orientation actually does correlate with SD ratings. Instead, I must now infer a relationship based on what the numbers are telling me and what makes common sense.

First, let me note that even considering the reticence one might have of reporting, albeit anonymously, a very high score like 95% or higher, I am not surprised it is zero; extreme SDO's are rare indeed. I do appreciate those two readers, so far, who did report their relatively high scores, and want to thank them for the information.

If you have read the survey questions, it should be obvious Liberals would generally not answer them in such a way as to score high on this survey because most of the ideas contained in those questions run counter to a liberal philosophy. Consequently, it would be very reasonable to assume that most of the 22 self-identified Liberals scored somewhere between 0 and 40%. You cannot say the opposite about those who identified themselves as Moderate or Conservative with anywhere near the same amount of certainty; you may suspect it, but you can't say it, at this point in time, like you can about the Liberals, e.g., you can't say it would be very reasonable to expect Conservatives to score between 60 and 100%, it simply wouldn't be true.

What can you say? At the moment, with only 18 Moderate and Conservative responses, you can't say much; just hint at it. So, what I will hint at is that the data is beginning to show there might be a relationship between political orientation and SD orientation. I say this because IF Liberals account for most of the survey results between 0 and 40%, then it stands to reason that the Moderates and Conservatives are spread among the higher scores. There are, at the moment, 10 scores 41% or greater and, as I suggested, it is highly unlikely that Liberals were the ones who ended up with those results. Therefore, I can infer that the Moderates and Conservatives did.

6/22/2012: There are now 60 survey results which is a milestone of sorts. There are at least enough votes distributed between the three political groupings where there should be at least one result (rounded) in reach range, 0% - 5%, 6% - 15%. etc.. When the numbers rounded to zero anywhere in my statistical matrix, it caused problems, not that you care much, but I do. Anyway, what I wanted to point out that in the second chart, it should be obvious that the results are highly skewed, depending on which political leaning you have. This is not because I made them that way as some of you who might be skeptical might think. What you are seeing is about the only distribution of numbers that will work to make the totals of each column and each row of the 3 x 7 matrix I have to build to solve this statistical problem to come out right.

If you have questions, please leave a comment, you know I will answer, lol.

9/8/2013: With 317 responses to the survey (AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH, I REALLY DO APPRECIATE IT) I can show you with a degree of confidence that Liberals, Moderates, and those who call themselves Conservatives (most of them aren't really) see the world through different colored glasses; once I can get an equal number of results from the RWA survey, this can be shown from a different direction as well.

If you look at the Tables and Charts below (which have been explained above a bit). you will see what I mean. I am going to focus on the Charts, they are easier to understand and quite visually obvious.. First flip through the series of Charts labeled, THEORETICAL vs ACTUAL DISTRIBUTION OF SDO SCORES BY POLITICAL GROUP; it presents the results of Table 1.

These charts, with the last one representing the latest data, compare the actual data with a "theoretical unbiased" distribution of results. This means that if the only factor influencing the outcome is random chance, then the Actual and Theoretical bars on the graphs would be identical. A quick glance shows you they are not, in fact they are not even close to being the same. They are so different, I don't even have to present any numbers to prove anything. What these charts clearly tell you is there is some non-random mechanism going on that introduces an obvious bias toward non-SDO behavior in the general population; that is what it means to have the bars skewed to the left as they are.

BUT, these aren't the most interesting charts, it is the next set of Charts that hold the key to this Hub. These charts, labeled DISTRIBUTION OF POLITICALLY-BASED BIASED SDO SCORES, compare the different self-reported political preferences and scores and are a graphical representation of Table 2. In normal surveys, there is a one-to-one correspondence to a political preference and Social Dominator Orientation; unfortunately, in Hubpages, this cannot be easily accomplished. I can, however, come close using one of the other surveys on Political Persuasion, which is what I did here.

It is an gross understatement to say the differences between SDO scores of Liberals, Moderates, and Conservatives is dramatic! By the time you get to the chart where the sample size is 317 responses. it becomes patently obvious that each political view has charted out its own unique pattern and position on the graph. Liberals are grouped with a strong bias toward low SDO scores, while Conservatives have a strong bias toward higher SDO scores. Moderates, as would be expected, fall in-between, but with a low score bias.

Keep in mind, everybody is answering the same set of questions so it is clear perceptions are very different as you move across the political spectrum. This isn't to say one is bad and the other is good, it is simply how people are genetically wired and how those genetics have interacted with the environment over the person's lifetime to form their worldview. Having said that, these worldviews lead to extremely different types of governments, leadership styles, and how legislatures accomplish their work.

STATISTICALLY UNBIASED DISTRIBUTION OF MY SURVEY RESULTS

 
LIBERAL
MODERATE
CONSERVATIVE
Theoretical Distribution
Actual Aggregate Distribution
95% - 100%
17
9
35
31
12
85% - 94%
29
14
8
51
8
60% - 84%
73
36
19
128
24
41% - 59%
55
27
15
97
22
16% - 40%
70
34
18
122
73
6% - 15%
29
14
8
51
92
0% - 5%
17
9
5
31
86
Total
291
143
79
511
317

THEORETICAL vs ACTUAL DISTRIBUTION OF SDO SCORES BY POLITICAL GROUP

Click thumbnail to view full-size
N = 70N = 80N = 90N = 100N = 150N = 227N = 317N = 437N = 511
N = 70
N = 70 | Source
N = 80
N = 80 | Source
N = 90
N = 90 | Source
N = 100
N = 100 | Source
N = 150
N = 150 | Source
N = 227
N = 227 | Source
N = 317
N = 317 | Source
N = 437
N = 437 | Source
N = 511
N = 511 | Source

HYPOTHETICAL BIASED DISTRIBUTION OF MY SURVEY RESULTS

 
LIBERAL
MODERATE
CONSERVATIVE
Actual Total
95% - 100%
0
0
19
19
85% - 94%
0
1
14
15
60% - 84%
8
10
24
42
41% - 59%
19
15
12
46
16% - 40%
72
41
6
119
6% - 15%
93
54
2
149
0% - 5%
91
23
0
121
Total
291
143
77
511

DISTRIBUTION OF POLITICALLY-BASED BIASED SDO SCORES

Click thumbnail to view full-size
N = 70N = 80N = 90N = 100N = 150N = 227N = 317N = 437N = 511
N = 70
N = 70 | Source
N = 80
N = 80 | Source
N = 90
N = 90 | Source
N = 100
N = 100 | Source
N = 150
N = 150 | Source
N = 227
N = 227 | Source
N = 317
N = 317 | Source
N = 437
N = 437 | Source
N = 511
N = 511 | Source
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE STOCKMAN
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE STOCKMAN | Source

A PROFILE IN HIGH SCORING SDOness - Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX)

12/21/13: I JUST FINISHED READING A PIECE FROM POLITICO titled Steve Stockman Can't Lose: The political genius of the wackiest firebrand in Texas.. Who the heck is Steve Stockman and why is Politico crucifying him? As it turns out Mr. Stockman is the Representative from Texas' newly created 36th Congressional District; he assumed office January 13, 2013, the second time he has been a Congressman. The first time was as the Representative from Texas' 9th Congressional District.from 1995 - 1997. Filing his papers on the day of the deadline, where just a few weeks before he told friends he was not going run, Congressman Stockman is now challenging Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) . Also, along with being a newly minted Senatorial candidate, Stockman is a poster child for possessing high-scoring SDO personality.

I draw that conclusion from reading the particulars about Stockman's life and political career, it is classic SDO. While you may not have actually heard of Representative Stockman directly, you probably do recognize some of his SDO such as tweeting “Obamacare is less popular than Chlamydia” and producing a bumper sticker which reads "If babies had guns they wouldn't be aborted!” You frequently here this kind of outlandish hyperbole from both serious SDO and RWA personalities. But this find of rhetoric does not make an SDO, it just puts up a red flag.

Just for background and not that it matters that much in today's narrative, but Stockman was born to Evangelical parents in Michigan in 1956. He floundered, dropped out of college got arrested several times and finally got popped for drug possession. At around 23, in 1989 he took a bus to Ft. Worth, TX where he lived in a public park for awhile. At that point, he re-found his religion and got himself cleaned-up and reoriented himself becoming, as he likes to describe, the "self-made man". Also, in 1989, while working as a computer salesman (of IBM computers) in Friendswood, TX, he launched his first Congressional campaign backed by the Suarez Corporation, a direct mail firm who happened to be very angry about Democratic Rep, Jack Brooks proposed legislation on direct mail catalogs..

Pol-Serve, the political arm of Suarez, bankrolled Stockman, provided expert campaign advice, literature and other supplies. This was in the guise of a loan which was then written off, illegally, I might add. That is the first glimpse into Steve Stockman's character. The next glimpse is during his 1990 campaign.

His Republican primary opponent was Beaumont Mayor, Maury Meyers; extremely influential and the heavy favorite to win. Stockman began a direct mail campaign (go figure) by misrepresenting many facts regarding Murray. For starters, he accused Murray of being pro-abortion and anti-gun rights; in fact, Murray was just the opposite. Then he followed with the accusation that Murray was "opposed to family values"; again a lie. This is typical very high scoring SDO behavior.

Stockman lost to Murray in 1990. but did come back to win the seat from Rep. Jack Brooks, he continued his deceiving ways; something he probably didn't need to do because this is the year Conservatives truly came to power. Nevertheless, Steve Stockman started employing tactics that caught the attention of the Federal Election Commission. One of the most egregious was creating a fake newspaper called the Southeast Texas Times. Doing this is against election laws and Stockman was slapped down for it and fined $40,000. Even so in the next several years he created the Southeast Texas Statesman and The Texas Republican News, tagline "Fair and Balanced—the most trusted political news in Texas”. In each case he presented campaign attacks as "news" such as the headline "Servicemen Don’t Want Sodomites in the Military” and another titled “HUD Appointee is a ‘Mean Lesbian.’” There is a reason John W. Dean, President Nixon's legal counsel, title his book on RWA and SDO behavior "Conservatives Without Conscience"; which I highly recommend reading.

Not only did Steve Stockman misrepresent the truth about others, he also lied about himself. For example, he claimed prior to getting an "honorary" degree from the University of Houston, that he, in fact, had a degree from that institution. He also maintained he consulted for the same school, a claim which the University of Houston continually denied. Further he bragged about having worked at IBM when the truth is he sold IBM computers as a temp salesperson.

Once he was elected in 1994, he continued to be a source of strangeness. Stockman became known as the leader of the "informal pro-militia caucus", accusing President Bill Clinton of launching the bungled raid on Waco’s Branch Davidian compound—which resulted in the deaths of 90 people—in order to justify an assault weapons ban. Stockman only lasted one term.

After that, he tried to become Texas railroad commissioner in 1998; he lost. In 2006, he tried to run as an independent in the regular election for Republican Rep. Tom DeLay’s former seat but failed to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot; he then ran in the special election to run out DeLay’s term and only won 10 percent of the vote. But, in 2012, he tried again, running for the newly created 36th Congressional District.

Through a combination of the same tactics he has used previous, such as painting his Republican rival as "pro-choice" even though he received a dismal 17% from the National Abortion Rights Action League on his voting record. He also had a lot of luck and ended up winning the election. Now, it seems, he has set his sights on fellow Republican, Senator John Conyer,

I think you will recognize the high-scoring SDO traits from this hub in Rep. Stockman. When I read this Politico piece, I knew it would provide a wonder example of what I was trying to relate to you. As the article concluded, Steve Stockman's modus operandi is, that he "just doesn't just burn bridges—he’ll burn your house down.";

© 2011 My Esoteric

More by this Author


Comments 42 comments

HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Great quiz, My Esoteric. I scored 0%. I am bummed that I am not a good Conservative. Yeah right.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Lol, how would I ever mistake you for a Conservative, lol; thanks for taking the quiz and sharing. I put I own twist to the scoring by adding in the 'not sure' part and modifiying the scoring to account for it. The actual scoring may be proprietary, I am not sure and haven't gone looking to find out, but, this is close enough for government work.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

I scored at 11, definitely not a fascist. It is interesting that when I read "What the Matter with Kansas" The conservatives seem to think that inequity was providence from above. They acknowledge a rigid social structure and linked it their faith and religion.They have what they have because THEY are the right people who God rightfully grants his favor, as opposed to everybody else, Most interesting article and challenge.. Cred2


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for your comments Credence, I am glad you find it interesting. I hope a lot of Independents do as well.


KoraleeP profile image

KoraleeP 4 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

HI your hub is very thought provoking. I voted up and interesting. I scored "nope not a chance." I agree that SDO's can be dangerous, especially when in political power and it goes to their head.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you for voting Koralee; after reading your profile, I suspect you scored zero.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I find these quizes so difficult because terms are vague. Of course I scored on the low side, though above many. I simply could not agree or disagree with ambiguity, which does seem to pervade our political system! Still, it is always fun to take a quiz. Great job- I enjoyed my first read of your work.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for reading my hub, Storytellersrus, and taking the quiz. The question are ambiguous on purpose of course, because they ask basically the same questions two or three times. Even though each time you answer the questions, you think you are not sure, you still may answer a certain way each time. In that case, they know you are pretty certain about your feeling for that topic even though you may not think so. But, if you answer differently each time, then they know you are not really certain even though you may think you are; if that makes any sense, lol.

I hoope you enjoy my other hubs.


anartiststyle profile image

anartiststyle 4 years ago from FL

Yeah I scored a 0 also, but even though I know the basis of test and knew the first 8 were all negative and the second 8 positive, each set of 8 asking the same 2 questions all different ways was a little aggravating lol. Great Hub! I still want to take the other test that interested me so much more! :)


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for participating Artist, and yes, for someone on our side of the aisle, the answers do seem obvious, although I didn't score 0, it was something like 8 or so, but those who domineering personalities, especially, but not necessarily on the right, simply don't see it that way. The first set of questions make perfect sense to them while it leaves us agast.


anartiststyle profile image

anartiststyle 4 years ago from FL

haha ahhh interesting Interesting question though, what should be and what is reality seem like two different things..


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I am on-board the Carnaval Ecstasy at the moment and spied a Anatole Krasnyansky earlier today, (actually, we picked one of his American promotional pieces up, after buying two serigraphs of his Russian work. His work with masks speaks exactly to what you just said.


rl 4 years ago

u know what i find interesting? how many liberals or liberalish people voted on this. considering it's a choice to take the test, i suspect that people who r less sod r more interested/curious/concerned about being sdo or not, while sdo's r not concerned whether they step on toes


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for visiting, commenting, and taking the test, @rl. I would not be surprised if you were right.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

You said this brilliant thing about why SDOs are fundamental religious "...it is the power they are seeking and the social order they are trying to maintain, not subservience to a Supreme Being." You hit the nail on the head here because even though most SDOs claim to be fundamental Christian, they act in a domineering manner that makes you wonder who they're going to steamroll once they get into office. I am not saying it is wrong to be an SDO as a Christian, but it often seems that their need to control and be right supersedes their supposed belief in the principles taught by a mostly peaceful Jesus.

I laughed out loud when I read this: "...the SDOs know 1 + 1 = 2, while the RWA will only believe it when their particular SDO leader says to believe it." All I can say is, "Sean Hannity," (and a few other gas bags). We are in a lemming culture and that can be seen on both sides of the political aisle.

I have to admit, I am somewhat of a lemming myself, maybe an SDO but more of an RWA in some aspects of my conservative beliefs. But I do refer to myself as a, "hippy conservative," and wear it proudly, just like I am proud of my SDO characteristics because I have seen the necessity of it in this world. You don't get anywhere being a mouse!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for taking the time to read and absorb it Alexander, I do appreciate. I don't know where you scored on the SDO survey, I doubt you got that high, but if you took the RWA survery I don't imagine you would score very high at all, you think for yourself too much.

When I wrote that 1 + 1 thing, I did have Sean in mind, among a few others, lol.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I think I scored 59% I remember feeling like a weakling lol.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I wouldn't feel too bad, Alexander, because the closer you get to 100%, the more amoral you become and the further away from God you are.


Ginger Ruffles 4 years ago

Another fascinating and informative hub ME, thank you.

Also I appreciate you for linking this article in one of your latest because I heard you mention this RWA business before and say you had a hub on it but I couldn't find it when I looked real quick.


Nathan Orf profile image

Nathan Orf 4 years ago from Virginia

Interesting and informative. I scored not a chance. Voted up!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I appreciate you taking the time to read the hub and taking the survey, Nathan.


GuitarGear profile image

GuitarGear 3 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

I scored O which doesn't surprise me considering the questions. Lately I've been feeling like a stranger in a strange land or of a different species. What is the answer? We can continue to rage against the machine but the machine is massive and without conscience. It's depressing.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

That was my favorite book, Stranger in a Strange Land; need to read it again.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

At stake are parts of the 1st, IVth, Vth, VIth VIIIth, and XIVth Amendments to the Constitution; there has already been talk from the current set of Conservatives that these Amendment go too far and need to be limited to "what the founding fathers meant them to be" or that they are in violation of the principals of the "founding fathers"; to me, this is very scary talk; to an SDO, it makes all of the sense in the world.

ME, while I have been away for a while,what is your take as to how the conservatives wish to modify these constitutional amendments to adjust them as they have gone "too far"?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Welcome back, Credence. No doubt Conservatives, as opposed to Minimal State Liberals think the Supreme Court has gone too far in a broad interpretation of the Amendments you mention, they make no bones about it. What can they do about it? Quite a lot when they gain complete political power like they did in the 2000s. If they could regain the Presidency and the Senate, they already have the necessary 5 members of the Supreme Court in their pocket, then they could pass legislation to restrict freedom or to allow those who would restrict, be able to do so, and have it upheld by the Court.

That is what happened from 1870 to 1930, the Supreme Court, a very conservative one, make mute the provisions of the 13 - 15th Amendments; the only think that survived their meat ax was black men's "right" to vote while insuring the South could restrict their ability to do so.


DonDWest profile image

DonDWest 2 years ago from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

I scored 20%. In my younger days I should have scored close to zero.

It's just that as I've gotten older, and taken on more leadership roles in various positions, I have come to the realization that the only way to deal with high scoring SDO's is through force, intimidation, and at times violence. Trust me, if you ever find yourself in a leadership position, high scoring SDO's must be eliminated quickly before their toxicity destroys you and everything around you. You simply have to find a way to "take them out." They won't listen to reason, only use empathy as a means of manipulation, and they're constantly looking for methods to exploit your weaknesses. A pacifist or reasonable response will be ineffective in dealing with these individuals.

You simply have to fight them, and unfortunately that means people like me must dedicate at least 1/5th of their life studying, gaming, battling, etc. these people. It's either that or let them rule over me.

I'm afraid justice can only be brought to these people by the tip of a sword. What will make you successful in this endeavour, is you must truly study the signs of a high profile SDO so you can hit the right targets. Harming an innocent, even accidentally, by misidentifying a high SDO will turn you into the monster you're fighting.

Also, keep in mind, most high SDO's can be "saved/reformed" if you're a skilled negotiator. I've done it many times before. It's just those that are in the extreme 95%+ range that are beyond hope and must be stopped through any means necessary. Someone who scores say in the 80% range, you may never convince them that equality or fairness is a virtue, but through hard work, you can convince them the concept of "equal opportunity." Once they believe in equal opportunity, their scores should lower to the 50% range were they're more tolerable.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you for commenting @DonDWest. Justice can also be brought by the ballot box as it did in the 1960s when these types were roundly voted out office. I have to disagree that you can change a high scoring SDO, even those somewhat below the 95% ranking. It is not in their make-up to change plus they understand what they are doing. High scoring Right-wing Authoritarian (RWA) follower are also unpersuadable if they have attached themselves to a particular SDO. But, unlike the SDOs, somewhat lower scoring RWAs do have the ability to start thinking for themselves.


GuitarGear profile image

GuitarGear 2 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

Well I scored zero. It's an ideological score because it's a sad fact that in the real world DonDWest is right. The hard core SDOs and RWAs can't be reasoned with as we see in the Tea Party congress. What has been even more disturbing to me is the war on African-Americans that is taking place as a result of the Obama presidency. Latinos are running a close second. I have witnessed more blatant racial prejudice since 2008 than any other time in my life and I am nearly 60-years old! I am a government worker and see multiple instances of deeply rooted racial prejudice nonchalantly exhibited openly on a daily basis. What the hell is going on?! You can talk about RWAs and SDOs but what it boils down to is racial prejudice of the old ass-whup Jim Crow variety. It's a hard thing to fight at the ballot box with consentual gerrymandering and a compromised supreme court intent on restricting voting rights.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for taking the survey and commenting @GuitarGear. Although it reads like it, I don't think you meant to imply that it is Obama's policies which brought out what you describe, but rather it was the fact he was a black President and is independent of any policy he put forward ... did you?


GuitarGear profile image

GuitarGear 2 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

No it was the sole fact that he is an African-American not his policies. I cannot believe the pervasive racial prejudice against African-Americans in my state that must have been incubating there all along. It wasn't until Obama was elected that I became acutely aware of it.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I live in rural Florida with most of my life living in CA and VA. The common refrain goes something like "I hate Obama ... but not because he black; if fact I have black friends myself ..." Political correctness and hypocrisy all rolled into on.

I didn't really understand the pervasiveness of racial intolerance in the American Twenty-First century until I moved down here!


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 2 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Interesting ME, how in spite of the sea change of an African American president, the fundamentals of race relations remain the same, regardless. It is good that you get to see first hand and see that complaints from minority groups regarding the racial climate is more than just a mere figment of their imaginations. I bet that there is a positive correlation found among those having high SDO's and racial resentment and animosity?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for commenting @Credence. If you read between the lines in the survey questions, you might find what you are suspecting in your last sentence. More so for RWAs.


Nathaniel 2 years ago

I score very high if I answer quickly, on instinct, but low if I spend a few seconds to think about it. I was raised very conservatively and even used to debate for that side of things. I then fell in love with another man in my late twenties and was forced to re-examine absolutely everything.

It never really leaves you. Even now, if you were to show me a clip of police officers fighting with a dog or some guy on YouTube my initial reaction would be a rush of anger at the focus of the policeman's attack without regard for the situation. Being gay has taught me a lot and forced me to grapple with my own privileges (eg male privilege, white privilege, etc). I am better but not as good as I could be.

Ironically, I still have a nasty tendency to see the other side as evil and "bad guys" if I am not careful, in much the same way that my former brothers and sisters would now see me as a gay man. It just comes naturally to me. The rush of fear as I consider the dangers posed to the man I love and myself by these people, the extreme empathy deadening anger as I consume the stories of LGBT brethren in places like Uganda and Russia, the unwillingness to see things from the social conservative side despite once calling them my family. The sides changed but my authoritarianism is still there, just beneath the surface, burned into my neural substrates.

Shamefully, it will likely always be that way. Simply knowing it isn't enough to move beyond it. It simply is. I envy that sort of empathy that guys like the one I love possess. Such beauty in being able to take the abuses he has suffered as a more effeminate guy and not hate the world or fear others due to it. I envy that.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you very much for sharing that, Nathaniel! That, I think, is a great example of the nature-nurture duality. You might read some of my or other hubber's hubs on Meyers-Briggs, it can provide great insight to your self.

Most of what you feel social-politically is set-up by your nature, just not determined by it. What determines those viewpoints is the nurture interface on an already predisposed mindset. If you take the Meyers-Briggs survey, my guess is you would come out as an E or ISTJ.

On the other hand, science has about closed the door on any other outcome other than a genetic basis for homosexuality. Your DNA has already determined where you fall on the spectrum of Straight-to-Gayness; and it is a very wide spectrum indeed.

Now, another thing to consider in terms of why many straights find serious problems with gays, including your family; this is only my theory based on observations about by myself and having been around for 66 years. The whole purpose of human beings, just like it is with any other animal, is to procreate in order to carry on the species. At the most fundamental level almost every instinct built into any creature is to survive so that the species survives.

I don't know about women, but when I see two men kissing, holding hands, or .... I get a strong, physical and very negative reaction. It is a violent or angry reaction, but more of one of revulsion. The reaction is unbidden and unwanted but nevertheless immediate. As soon as I am aware of it, I quash it.

The point I want to make, is at least for me, my DNA has made me homophobic. Fortunately, my DNA has given me the intellect to reason my way past that. My theory, obviously, is my automatic reaction is instinctual and related to the survival of the species.

Like with many instincts, however, human beings were given the ability to overcome instinctual behavior that is detrimental to society; and anti-gay behavior is clearly a human attribute that is best left in the Stone Ages. (I will bet you the guy who inserted the anti-gay words into the Bible never got passed the Pearly Gates.)

I sort of disagree with your last point though. I think knowing (and acting) is enough. You can't change who you are inside, but you can change how you interact with the outside world. I don't like my homophobia, but I am peace with it because I think I understand why I have the feelings I do. I am at peace with myself because when others see me, all they perceive is a person actively defending gay rights.

I think the same is with you, your gut takes you Right, but you mind ends up taking you Left, or at least to the Middle.

BTW, which brother were you, 1st, 2nd, 3rd?


Nathaniel 2 years ago

Ah I didn't think you would respond. I noticed reading back through this again. I also went and took the Myers Briggs test and got INFJ The Protector so you guessed rather close. I am internally focused. I guess that must come through quite loudly, even in my comment ahaha~

As for your inbuilt homophobia, I have read that is common in heterosexual males. I don't do PDA for that reason, actually. It seems similar to me in that you have a gut reaction but have learned to go against it. That gives me some hope in that regard. I often worry. I don't want to fall back into that negativity again. I can't even see how I ever put up with it; all the fear, the anger, that hatred and paranoia were toxic.

It feels like I have come to this game late in life but I am reading more of yours and other hubbers here to get a feeling for all I have been missing out on. I would like to find a connection between where I am now and where I was so I can help my family and other people with those insights, if possible. Thanks for the response.


Depwavid 2 years ago from Panama City Beach

I scored in the low sixties... odd for a libertarian, but I answered honestly!

SDO is useful, although politicized in its current form. A little tweaking, and it could probably be an excellent tool to identify non-self-aware sociopaths. (Self-aware sociopaths would simply give what they thought was the expected response and disappear into the low-SDO group.)

The quiz has its drawbacks. From his famous 'bitter clingers' comment, one may credibly assume that the current POTUS thinks that gun owners and the religious are inferior groups who must be kept in their place, by force if necessary. However, he would never, if taking the quiz, score as high SDO, because he would give all the 'right' answers. Give Jeremiah Wright and Frances Cress Welsing the quiz and they would probably come out low-SDO, although both think that a particular group--Caucasians--are inferior and must be controlled by force if necessary.

The devil is in the definitions, particularly in that any bunch of people with common physical, political, and behavioral features can be a 'group.' Violent felons are a group, but most people anywhere on the political spectrum would probably agree that violent felons as a group should be 'kept in their place' by force if necessary. So are we all SDO because we have a low opinion of violent felons? To stretch the analogy beyond breaking, certain Muslims believe anyone who is not a Muslim is 'inferior,' and should be kept in their place (dhimmitude), by force if necessary (jihad). (This is all in the Q'uran, although an increasing number of Muslims ignore it and get along just fine with neighbors of other faiths.) Does that make Al Quaeda and the Wahabis high-SDO? I would say yes, but that conclusion would be rejected by the PC crowd.

I scored as I did because I think that certain groups (controlling people and sociopaths) are (morally) inferior, should be kept in their place by force if necessary, and so forth.

My conclusion: SDO is promising as a concept, but the quiz needs a preamble at the very least and some tweaks to the questions. Otherwise, the political correctness will destroy any utility it could have as a wider model of bad human behavior and attitudes.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Unlike my Liberal, Conservative, Socialist survey, the questions for this survey are adapted, almost verbatim, from questionnaires used by sociologists who study this stuff; again, unlike mine, they have done a lot of tweaking and a lot survey giving. Now, what is mine, is the breakdown of results because I couldn't find anything online that would help me define such a spectrum on my subset of their questions.

The fuzziness of the questions and broadness of interpretation of the terms is on purpose because those who score low on the SDO scale interpret them one way while those who tend to score high read them a different way. As the results show, few people score very high on this survey because the guileless manipulation needed for such a personality just isn't present in most; but when it is, it tends to be present in those who lean to the Right rather than the Left, although the Left is certainly not immune. Religious leaders of all ilks tend to score high as well. If I were to guess, I would think more people with a conservative bent would score higher than those with a liberal, which of course includes libertarians by definition, leaning.


Psalm David Vicente 2 years ago

Greetings! I would like to inform you that I and my partner (Lloyd Arceo) made a thesis that concerns about Conformity and its relation to Social Dominance. As a respect, we would like you to know that we used your SDO Scale as a test for our experiment. We hope that you will grant us your approval and we would gratefully inform you about the results of our experiment. Thank you so much!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I certainly don't mind, but please be aware mine is a close adaptation of the work done by Professor Altemeyer. My "scale" as it were, is trying to adapt his scale to the limitation presented by Hubpages polling with my impressions of what percentage result translate to what degree of "SDOism".

I think the real use of what I did hear is to demonstrate there is a significant between the distributions of how different political persuasions answered the questions.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 18 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I applaud this hub. I have a SDO essence in me because of certain things that I assume should be because they always have been. I have spoken with SDO's who have also scared me!

One person told me that she misses the Southern Bell days. I cringe to hear that now, but I understood her at first. If she had those days back as she wanted I would be a slave! Slaves are what made Southern Bells possible!

I hope I understood what you wrote here enough to seek for examples of it in my life. Politically I want nothing to do with people who think that way.

As a Republican support, have seen few people that I supported I would even think are such. I love President Bush. He was bad with the economy, but he reflected my faith and ideas at the time. I agree with you that he is not SDO.

You have given me something to think about. Voted up


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 18 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I appreciate you're reading this, Rodric, as well as your comments.

As to Bush 43, I must say I was appalled by either his gullibility or his recklessness vis-a-vis the Iraq War and his handling of it. I am not surprised by his economic moves, because that is part and parcel of conservative belief, whether somewhat to the Right or really far-Right. The problem is, they have never worked, not in the history of America. So, when I saw, in 2000, the path they chose at the end of the Clinton administration, and Clinton's part in this is a low point in his Presidency, I knew 2008 was only a matter of time. Why, because it repeated old patterns that were established in the 1800s.

I must say, I gained a lot of respect back in Bush's handling of the economic meltdown. His extremely unpopular decisions (just like his dad) were one reason this country didn't sink in a depression worse than 1929. I gained more respect after I heard him talk after 2009 about his reasoning on some of the things he did.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working