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The Optimistic American - Audio Edition

Nov 30, 2022

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson is joined by his co-author of the upcoming book Addictive Ideologies: Dr. Emily Bashah.

They talk about the key principles and differences between the Alt-Right and Politically Correct Authoritarians, as well as studies that have covered human psychology in such areas. 

  • Paul Johnson sets the stage for the episode by discussing the fact that the alternative right and the politically correct authoritarians represent a minority of people but have a loud voice because of social media and the news focusing on them.
  • Paul and Dr. Emily Bashah discuss the fact that what happens on college campuses is affecting the agency, and go over the potential repercussions of the term value.
  • Dr. Bashah discusses a study that had been done on a couple hundred students, which identified a link between cognitive distortion and the need for safety. Moreover, she touches upon cognitive distortions, emotional reasoning, and the mental trap they represent.
  • People in the so-called “dark triad” fall into one of these categories: Machiavellian, narcissist, and psychopath. Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson break down each one and go over similarities and differences. 
  • Paul brings Dr. Ballinger’s study on Obsessive Ideologies into the conversation. He and Dr. Bashah share the four key aspects of the study.
  • Paul has a very clear opinion in regards to Stuart Rhodes, Donald Trump, and the January 6th Capitol Hill attacks: to Rhodes, Trump was just a tool.
  • Dr. Bashah and Paul share their thoughts on political correctness, cancel culture, and why some people may decide to remain quiet even when they witness something they don’t like.
  • In their book Addictive Ideologies, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah talk about seven ideals people should focus on. During their conversation in today’s episode, Paul talks about those that fall into three categories: rationality, finding meaning in life, and the sense of belonging.