Authoritarianism is not something people used to associate with the United States – a nation founded on democratic ideals. Nevertheless, a small and relatively obscure group of political scientists has been tracking for decades the growing salience of authoritarianism in American politics. Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries propelled their research to national prominence. In fact, polls revealed that an authoritarian predisposition was the single most significant trait characterizing Trump supporters. In this fascinating, well-sourced article, Vox correspondent Amanda Taub details how authoritarianism came to power in US politics.
In this article, you will learn
- How US political scientists have been tracking authoritarian tendencies over time,
- Why an increasing number of Americans favor authoritarian policies and
- What distinguishes authoritarians from the political mainstream.
About the Author