In reference to today’s article in the LA times on California republicans being grateful to Jerry Brown (previously contemptuously dismissed as “Governor Moonbeam” by them for decades) for his fiscal conservatism.
Conformist/fundamentalists (like fundamentalist Christians and conservative republicans) can make good followers, but are horrible leaders. If you kick a conformist’s ass, and then give them some influence, they are grateful, like California Republicans being grateful to Jerry Brown for taking their fiscal ideas into account. If you put them in charge, they will begin executing those who don’t share their rigid beliefs (symbolically in the West by disenfranchising, punishing, and attacking others, but actual deaths in some cultures–like Hitler’s Germany or the Cambodian killing fields). The executions begin around the periphery, but then keep circling inward until there are only a few true believers left–think Bush/Cheney towards the end.
If you kick their asses first, but then don’t do what they expect and have predicted passionately (like house and senate Republicans in Washington predicting socialism and totalitarianism under Obama–actually projections of their own fascist psychology), they actually can become productive followers. This dynamic is on display today in Jerry Brown’s relationship with California Republicans.