Maybe America never had a real aristocracy, but it seems many of us badly want to grovel in front of one.
I still think that is fundamentally correct. I think there is a large percentage of people in any population who are what Professor Bob Altemeyer refers to as “Right-Wing Authoritarians,” which means they demonstrate the following traits: (i) a high degree of submission to the established authorities in their society; (ii) high levels of aggression in the name of those authorities; and (iii) a high level of conventionalism.
(Note: “right-wing” - in this case - merely means supportive of the established authority; a right-wing authoritarian in the old USSR would have been a Communist. As used by Altemeyer, “right-wing” has nothing to do with the political spectrum, and everything to do with supporting the existing power structure. Professor Altemeyer’s book The Authoritarians is available to read on-line, and for free, here. I really cannot recommend it enough.)