Authoritarians side with authority. They can't help themselves. When--not if--their authority disappoints them, they will choose a new authority and repeat the process. Over and over.
People are authoritarian because they were raised to be authoritarian. There are some people who choose authoritarianism, but generally it is instilled in them from birth. Obey your parents. God is watching over you. Respect your leaders--they are there to help you and have your best interests in mind. Highly educated, wealthy people earned their high position and are better than you. Political leaders want what is best for the country. You know the drill.
They are wrong. They are wrong when they blindly support conservatives and they are wrong when they blindly support liberals. Both situations come from the same place: there is a hierarchy and we are both better off and happier when everyone obeys his leader.
We have discussed the Milgrim experiment before; in that experiment people (thought they) shocked a stranger when a man in a lab coat told them he was conducting an experiment and that they must do as he said. The test subjects continued shocking the (fake) victim even when they didn't want to do so, even when it greatly upset them and they wanted to quit. They did not quit, because someone in authority told them it must be done. All the test subjects had to do was refuse, get up and walk away, but most did not. The habit of obedience to authority was too strong. Their minds had been trained to overcome their instincts, their morals, their fears, and obey.
To overcome this training we have to admit to ourselves that obedience is dangerous, that our parents did not always have our best interests at heart for whatever reason, that they forced us to obey without consideration for who we are or what we need. They probably thought they were doing the right thing, training us to be successful in society, repressing bad character traits, developing self-discipline, following God's commandments so we can get into Heaven. They might have also thought that they were forced to obey so their children must also. Or the parents are damaged and do not know any better; they raise their children the way they were raised. In the end it doesn't matter, although it is much easier to realize that abusive parents are wrong than it is to realize that good, loving parents can be wrong and inflict harm on their children.
Obama is hurting us. We either admit it or we remain children, waiting for someone to rescue us, parents us, love and respect us. Someone who will never come.
We are not children. It is time to take control of our own lives. Otherwise we will continue to watch our world slide slowly into poverty and misery, while the rich steal from us and the venal tell us that we are bad and we deserve to suffer.
The parent demands absolute obedience from the child. The child learns that obedience is the price for love. We all need love and to love others; we cannot thrive without it. When parents give their children love they give them the belief that they are worthy of love, that they are good people who deserve to be valued by others and treated with respect. People who are given self-respect (or who against all odds manage to find that within themselves on their own) and who like and therefore trust themselves do not need an authority to obey. They trust themselves enough to do what is right.
Authoritarians must obey authority. It was how they gained "love" as a child and is the source of self-esteem and self-image. They cannot live without it. The authority demands the follower give up free will, give up the right to make his own choices and decisions. His leader tells him what is right and it is neither his responsibility nor his right to make decisions for himself. The authoritarian follower earns merit by following, and the better he is at proving his obedience to his authority, the more he is rewarded emotionally. It is not necessary that he actually do in private what he professes to do in public; conformity is a public act and as long as the follower continues to publicly conform to authority, he has adhered to the rules.
Around 60-70% of the country is authoritarian. We cannot reason with them, educate them, or change them. They would have to choose to leave their political party, their religion, their tribe. They would lose their sense of belonging, self-worth and self-esteem. It is far too much to expect of them; they would have to decide to reject everything that authoritarianism gives them, which is almost everything.
So here we are, with most of our fellow countrymen firmly convinced that they are exceptional by virtue of birthright, that if anyone else has something they are being cheated, and that obedience to their tribe is more important than truth, justice or competence. And if we were able to convince them that their authority is wrong and harming them, they will just pick another authority to take his place.