It didn’t start with Trump and it won’t end when he leaves office. There is an historic pattern to strongmen and he fit the playbook perfectly.  In her new book, Strongmen From Mussolini to the Present, historian of authoritarian governments Ruth Ben-Ghiat shares the disturbing realities of 21st century authoritarianism. As with all strongmen, Trump’s playing a victim boosts his macho base while serving the real powers, the oligarchs. As with all strongmen, Trump has no doubt his power defines the good of the nation.  Going forward, antidemocratic lawlessness by the powerful will continue. The Republican party is now hard right, and Ben-Ghiat explains why they stick with their man no matter what.  And they have convinced their base that democracy is tyranny.

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