Experts in authoritarianism say Trump’s agenda has settled. And it’s scary.Breaking News
tags: authoritarianism, Trump
The Trump administration's agenda has started to solidify a month and a half after his inauguration. ThinkProgress checked in with scholars on authoritarianism to see how that agenda it’s taking shape. For people who have devoted their lives to studying anti-democratic movements, recent White House actions are more disturbing than ever.
On Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped his phones before the election:
Sheri Berman, a political scientist at Barnard College: Each time the claims get more and more outrageous, and this one is particularly interesting because he’s also pitted different branches of government against each other. It’s not possible for Obama to have done this, and the FBI came out and said this is something we need to discuss, this is problematic and didn't happen.
So parts of right wing media and — even non-fringe parts —[reporting as if it were true] is a sign that this kind of rhetoric and behavior is fragmenting our ability to get information, and to come to some kind of consensus about what’s going on. Presumably, what he’s trying to do is distract us from Russia stuff by creating an alternative universe and enabling supporters and backers to ensconce themselves further.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University: This Administration is in panic mode, on the defensive, due to the unfolding Russia story… As I’ve written before, when authoritarians feel their backs against the wall is when they become aggressive: it’s the danger zone. We can watch out for executive actions bent on self-protection, as well as aggressions towards the bureaucracy, judiciary and press.
Trump’s language has spread not just to the media, but to supporters in politics. Take a recent tweet from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) where he claimed leakers needed to be ‘purged.’ ...
comments powered by Disqus
- New findings from Penn Slavery Project show how U. benefitted financially from enslaved labor
- Is it anti-Semitic for President Trump to call Chuck Todd ‘sleepy eyes’?
- Human Evolution: Walking Upright Evolved at Least 3.6 Million Years Ago—Long Before Modern Humans Appeared
- Why a primary challenge to Trump is likely to fail
- Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo
- Feds charge controversial Kent State University professor Julio Pino with lying to FBI
- New Yorker publishes profile of H.R. McMaster just weeks after Trump fires him
- Dartmouth historian Matthew J. Garcia says conservative partisans in Arizona have taken over a civics school he once ran
- Berkeley’s Carolyn Merchant explains what ecofeminism is
- University of Southern California's David Kang says Korea is the only place on earth where the Cold War continues