Strongman-dominated systems

Stephen Collinson and Caitlin Hu CNN

Strongman-dominated political systems usually share common traits. 

Rooted in a cult of personality, they reinvent reality, define patriotism to serve political ends, and drum up fear about outsiders. They erode democracy, often by elevating one strain of religion, manipulating history, empowering security forces to operate beyond traditional law enforcement frameworks, and corrupting checks on power.

America’s robust legal, political and civilian military structure have constrained many of President Donald Trump’s actions. But his team is increasingly adopting the narratives of autocracy: The President is railing against left-wing “fascists” and warning in racially charged tones of mob violence in US suburbs — the areas where the 2020 election will be won and lost, and which he claims a Joe Biden presidency would “abolish.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week claimed the US way of life was under attack, and that property rights and religious freedom were the country’s foremost founding principles. And in a warning about China’s rise, Attorney General Bill Barr defined patriotism by delivering an ambiguous warning that US universities and companies should not consider themselves “global citizens,” but American first.

White House events are increasingly used to shower praise on Trump, as he pretends that the coronavirus is already vanquished — a false impression pumped by allies in conservative media. And he refuses to uphold basic Constitutional norms: On Sunday, Trump told Fox News that he wouldn’t commit to accepting the results of November’s presidential election.

Warnings that Trump is a dictator-in-waiting have often been hyperbolic. But his administration’s autocratic stylings are not only rhetorical — after Trump warned he would take action to quell unrest in cities across the country, masked federal officers with no identifying badges were videoed operating in Portland, Oregon, in an apparent challenge to the state’s chain of command. 

Come the November elections, Trump’s dark view of America may alienate voters. But if they grant him a second term, his increasingly strongman approach to governance could expand even further.

The above article can apply to Hungary, Poland, Brazil, Russia, Belarus and a Johnson led U.K.

Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

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