The Role Of Authoritarianism In American Politics

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he United States has long been spared a truly authoritarian element in our politics. Since Southern apartheid was crushed and far-left terrorism died away, we’ve had very little organized political violence, and few homegrown movements that manifest the authoritarian temptation. Yes, our political institutions are creaking, and our presidency is increasingly imperial. But there are still basic norms that both parties and every major politician claim to honor and respect. What Trump is doing, then, is showing us something different, something that less fortunate countries know all too well: how authoritarianism works, how it seduces, and ultimately how it wins.

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