Interview Archive: Donald Trump and Authoritarianism

Amanda Erickson, “What Authoritarianism Experts Think of Trump’s Decision to Pardon Joe Arpaio,” Washington Post

“If the leader does not explicitly renounce the violent rhetoric and actions of extremists, they will have done their damage even if he later purges them. The result is a new culture of violence in the country, which the other armed and security forces of society must adapt to.”

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Daniel Dale, “Trump’s attacks on Sessions, Mueller raise concerns about ‘authoritarian’ tactics,” Toronto Star

“It’s very alarming, because he’s escalating all of the things he’s been doing. And what unites all these manoeuvres is his back is increasingly against the wall.”

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Ruth Ben-Ghiat Analyzes Authoritarianism & Trump’s Predatory Masculinity

“He becomes a masculine hero… he becomes the heartland vs. the elite… Ruth Ben-Ghiat During this week’s show, Professor Ben-Ghiat and Chauncey discuss Donald Trump’s …

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Greg Sargent, “Trump is now raging at Jeff Sessions. This hints at a deeply unsettling pattern,” Washington Post

Trump doesn’t respect democratic procedure and finds it to be something that gets in his way….It’s part of the authoritarian temperament to blame others when things aren’t working.”

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“Historian of Fascism: Why Trump Firing FBI Director Comey…is so Worrisome,” Democracy Now!

“This is not, strictly speaking, a constitutional crisis in that it was perfectly legal for Trump to fire the FBI director. What’s at issue is the politicization of the judiciary and intelligence which he’s been doing all along and the method.”

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

“Democracy is threatened in drips. You have drips and drips….then you have these [huge] events.”

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Neta Alexander, “Is Trump a Fascist?” Haaretz

“this creates a political discourse that emphasizes negative elements, that paints a picture of a society in crisis that needs a strong leader to save it. So you have people like Trump asserting that nothing is working, everything is a mess, and only they can set things right and ‘Drain the swamp.’ By the way, it was Mussolini who coined that slogan. Originally, he meant it literally: to invest in infrastructure and reclaim malarial swamps to transform them into beautiful modern towns. And then it became a metaphor for reclaiming, rehabilitating all of society. And the trick was, of course, that some people could not be rehabilitated. In World War II, this ‘draining’ included the Jews, many of whom had supported fascist politics early on.

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“Is Trump A Fascist?” Al-Jazeera

“You find yourself with a state that is transformed out of all recognition, but it’s still ‘democracy.'”

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Is Right-Wing Populism Here to Stay? How Does Trump Fit in? Upfront with Mehdi Hasan, Al-Jazeera

“I think we’re definitely living in a new era,” says Ben-Ghiat, author of Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema. “We’re also being fed a series of crisis narratives by the new right, which would like us to be in a new era where everything is decaying and they are the answer; they are the saviours.”

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Justin Salhani, “Experts in authoritarianism are very concerned about Trump’s first few days as president,” Think Progress

“We put all the blame on Trump but the GOP has seen in him a kind of vehicle to get certain radical things they want done and [to push] a certain cultural shift in the nation.”

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