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Saturday, October 17, 2020

2020.1017.0010...

I realize that I mostly preach to the choir.
I realize, also, that some of the choir might be tired of these kinds of posts.
However, as usual, click on headline to read the article...

The United States is backsliding into autocracy under Trump, scholars warn


Three years into the Trump administration, American democracy has eroded to a point that more often than not leads to full-blown autocracy, according to a project that tracks the health of representative government in nations around the world.

The project, called V-Dem, or Varieties of Democracy, is an effort to precisely quantify global democracy at the country level based on hundreds of indicators assessed annually by thousands of individual experts. It’s one of several ongoing projects by political scientists that have registered a weakening of democratic values in the United States in recent years.
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Coppedge [Michael Coppedge, a Notre Dame political scientist] is particularly concerned about the possibility of election-related violence. “What I most worry about is a scenario with the incumbent president declaring victory before all votes are counted, and his followers believing any additional mail-in ballots are invalid and taking to the streets.”

“I do think there is going to be some election violence,” he added, “and I hope it won’t be widespread or long-lasting."

Lindberg is also deeply troubled by the president’s history of endorsing violence against his perceived political opponents. “This is the precursor of civil war,” he said. “Imagine that Trump loses by a margin that’s not convincing to all his supporters. He refuses to leave the office and encourages his supporters to ‘go out and defend the Constitution.’”

Nyhan says that while these “worst-case scenarios remain unlikely,” we are in “unprecedented times” and should “remain vigilant.”

Coppedge recommends people concerned about these outcomes get involved in the electoral process to help make things better. “Volunteer to become a poll worker, or help some get-out-the-vote effort, or work with a political party to encourage turnout to make sure your side wins by a clear margin,” he said.

“I think that the chances are in the medium term, the long run things are going to work out,” he said. "But I think it’s going to be a bumpy ride between now and January.”

Lindberg is less optimistic.

“If Trump wins this election in November, democracy is gone” in the United States, he says. He gives it about two years. “It’s really time to wake up before it’s too late.”




New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters

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A new book by a psychology professor and a former lawyer in the Nixon White House argues that Trump has tapped into a current of authoritarianism in the American electorate, one that’s bubbled just below the surface for years. In “Authoritarian Nightmare,” Bob Altemeyer and John W. Dean marshal data from a previously unpublished nationwide survey showing a striking desire for strong authoritarian leadership among Republican voters.

They also find shockingly high levels of anti-democratic beliefs and prejudicial attitudes among Trump backers, especially those who support the president strongly. And regardless of what happens in 2020, the authors say, Trump supporters will be a potent pro-authoritarian voting bloc in the years to come.

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Many fervent Trump supporters, Altemeyer and Dean write, “are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life’s threats. They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former.”

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“Trump’s supporters are much more inclined to stomp out the people they dislike than Trump’s opponents are,” Altemeyer said in an email. “This reflects the authoritarian aggression that is a central part of the RWA personality.”

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“Even if Donald Trump disappeared tomorrow,” they write, “the millions of people who made him president would be ready to make someone else similar president instead.”

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those of us who benefit from your efforts can't say thank you often enough for your curatorial work in finding articles like these and making them available. My greatest fear is that in a few months postings like these will no longer be allowed.

uptonking said...

Not worried. If they lose, they lose. If they win, we suck it up for four more years, until the orange one destroys everything. This is our history. Repugs destroy, Dems rebuild.

SickoRicko said...

Anon - Thank you. I hope it doesn't get that bad.

uptonking - I used to have a boyfriend who would often say: "It doesn't matter who's driving the bus, I still have to go to work."

Xersex said...

“Even if Donald Trump disappeared tomorrow,” they write, “the millions of people who made him president would be ready to make someone else similar president instead.”

For this reason it's so important that Biden must win

SickoRicko said...

Xersex - Indeed it is.

whkattk said...

That last one is indeed the way it will go. He's got them so fervent that they'll now do anything for him - or to get someone just like him. If they are successful, they will come to regret it - that is guaranteed. They do not know what they will get because it is not what they're expecting.

SickoRicko said...

whkattk - I hope you're right.