E.A. Crunden, “Experts in authoritarian regimes say Comey’s firing was a ‘shock event,’” Think Progress

“It constitutes a shock event,” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of History and Italian Studies at NYU, said of Comey’s firing. “When he was inaugurated, there was a slew of legislation, including the travel ban. [Trump] want[s] to uproot the system.”

Still, the move wasn’t necessarily a jolt to those who have been following Trump’s first months in office, and Ben-Ghiat said she wasn’t particularly surprised. Trump has been exhibiting authoritarian tendencies since he took office, she noted, and this latest move fits into a larger pattern. Much like his failed attempt to curtail Muslim travel to the United States, Trump’s decision to fire Comey puts stress on U.S. democratic norms and the rule of law.

“Democracy is threatened in drips,” Ben-Ghiat said. “You have drips and drips….then you have these [huge] events.”

E.A. Crunden, “Experts in authoritarian regimes say Comey’s firing was a ‘shock event,’” Think Progress
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