Point of Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

Religion & Spirituality, Science & Medicine, Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Philosophy

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Science & Medicine 79

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics. Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins. Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.


Jonathan Weiler - Authoritarians Versus Reality

November 21st, 2011

Episode 308 of 570 episodes

Host: Chris Mooney Our guest this week is Jonathan Weiler, a political scientist and director of global studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Weiler is co-author, with Marc Hetherington of Vanderbilt, of the book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics. In it, they describes this strange and troubling creature called an authoritarian—usually conservative, usually a religious fundamentalist, and very closed minded. Authoritarians are identified in surveys by asking people some very simple questions about the qualities that children should have: Whether they should be "independent," for instance, rather than showing respect for their elders. (Seehere.) Based on this measure, Weiler and Hetherington show not only that the U.S. is full of authoritarians—but also how people with this psychological profile are driving our political polarization, as well as the divide over factual reality in the U.S Weiler also writes regularly for the Huffington Post.

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