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Harvard Law Profs Claim Trump Exhibits all the Criteria of an Authoritarian

Harvard Law Profs Claim Trump Exhibits all the Criteria of an Authoritarian

“shows only a weak commitment to democratic rules”

It took the left a few years to start calling George W. Bush Hitler. With Trump, the effort began on day one.

The College Fix reports:

Professors: Trump exhibits all the criteria of an authoritarian, is ‘worst kind of super villain’

In another example of academics’ politically bigoted hubris regarding our current president, two Harvard law professors claim President Trump exhibits all four of their “dangerous authoritarian” criteria.

As noted in Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times column yesterday, professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt say in their new book “How Democracies Die” that quartet of criteria are

1. The leader shows only a weak commitment to democratic rules. 2. He or she denies the legitimacy of opponents. 3. He or she tolerates violence. 4. He or she shows some willingness to curb civil liberties or the media.

The only other chief executive besides Donald Trump to meet these benchmarks, the profs argue, was (you guessed it) Richard Nixon.

Of course, the profs inevitably invoke Godwin’s Law:

Likewise, the authors say, no more than 2 percent of Germans or Italians joined the Nazi or Fascist Parties before they gained power, and early on there doesn’t seem to have been clear majority support for authoritarianism in either Germany or Italy. But both Hitler and Mussolini were shrewd demagogues who benefited from the blindness of political insiders who accommodated them.


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This is a slightly more serious effort than a bit of academic childishness published a few years ago about why George Bush is a fascist. I actually hunted that one down, thinking that maybe, just maybe, the author might have some insight into the nature of origins of real fascism. And those might be enlightening.

I found it. What a waste of time. Not even faux-intellectual pretension. Mere childishness.

This sounds like more of the same. Perhaps there’s more to it, but I’m not going to invest the time or minimal effort needed to find out.

We’ve entered the age of the pot calling the kettle black. And no … that’s not a racist statement.

Let me guess: because of Trump’s “weak commitment to democratic rules” we must forcibly remove him through a coup d’etat so as to save our democratic values.

It’s curious that they omit the single most important indicator of an authoritarian: Refusal to accept the results of a democratic election coupled with attempts to delegitimize the election and to subvert the new government.