Democracy Dismantled: Why the Populist Threat Is Real and Serious

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather during a rally, Denver, Colorado, March 4, 2017 (AP photo by Brennan Linsley).
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather during a rally, Denver, Colorado, March 4, 2017 (AP photo by Brennan Linsley).
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U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned as an outsider candidate, though under the banner of the Republican Party. His message was decidedly populist and continues to be: He alone can save the country from the challenges it faces; the elite and traditional establishment are dangerous and corrupt; the mainstream media cannot be trusted; and other tropes commonly used by populists. America’s election of a president promoting this type of message has led many experts on authoritarian politics to draw parallels between what’s happening in the United States, a country with well-established and robust democratic institutions, and developments seen in authoritarian settings. […]

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