Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler published the book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Then in 2016, Amanda Taub, a writer at the New York Times, called attention to their 2009 book. In their new book Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), Hetherington and Weiler have used more recent survey results to present an updated portrait of American political preferences. In effect, they have profiled the people who responded to their surveys over the years, in which they had included four forced-choice items, the responses to which enable the authors to construct psychological profiles of the respondents on a psychological spectrum. At one polar extreme on the spectrum are respondents who chose four responses that Hetherington and Weiler characterize as showing their "fixed" worldview (also known as authoritarian). At the other end of the spectrum are respondents who chose four responses that Hetherington and Weiler characterize as showing their "fluid" worldview. And so on across the spectrum of three out of four "fixed" or "fluid" responses and then to two "fixed" and two "fluid" responses. In discussing the authors' psychological profiles of the respondents, I have incorporated certain points from Walter J. Ong's thought -- and certain other points from other authors.
Hetherington and Weiler's 2018 Book on Authoritarianism and Walter J. Ong's Thought.
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