It’s a common mistake to think of Trump as a madman but Trump’s strongman tactics are more predictable than they seem. Political commentator and New York University professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat explains why.
She writes: “I’M NOT the one trying to undermine American democracy. I’m the one who’s trying to save it,” Donald Trump told the North Carolina Republican convention on June 5th. The former president boasts that he will be reinstated in August. Yet far from being dismissed as delusional, he enjoys solid support from millions of Republican voters, who regard him as the rightful president.”
Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian, educator, and commentator on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda — and the threats these present to democracies around the world. Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, she is author or editor of seven books and writes frequently for CNN and other media outlets. Her newest book is Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present (Norton, 2020), which examines the authoritarian playbook illiberal leaders have used for a century.