Donald Trump / Transit

The Reichstag Warning

The Reichstag fire shows how quickly a modern republic can be transformed into an authoritarian regime. There is nothing new, to be sure, in the politics of exception. The American Founding Fathers knew that the democracy they were creating was vulnerable to an aspiring tyrant who might seize upon some dramatic event as grounds for the suspension of our rights. As James Madison nicely put it, tyranny arises “on some favorable emergency.” What changed with the Reichstag fire was the use of terrorism as a catalyst for regime change. To this day, we do not know who set the Reichstag fire: the lone anarchist executed by the Nazis or, as new scholarship by Benjamin Hett suggests, the Nazis themselves. What we do know is that it created the occasion for a leader to eliminate all opposition.
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What Lessons Can European Leaders Learn from Trump’s Victory?

As the news about the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections have shocked many in Europe, it is high time for European leaders to learn lessons from the outcome of these elections and – to quote Winston Churchill – not let a good crisis go to waste.
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20 Lessons from the 20th Century

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.
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Donald Trump and the Bieber Doctrine

Following the initial shock of Donald J. Trump’s victory, both friends and foes will downgrade the significance of what has transpired. The same people who portrayed a Trump victory as apocalyptic will come to see it as business as usual. The risk is that, this time, we’re not returning to business as usual.
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Trump, Contemporary Fascisms and the Acquiescence of the Left

To whatever extent we may be tempted to call the current threat fascism, it must be acknowledged that we no longer live in the world of 1930s Europe. This, instead, would be a fascism born of a bourgeois fantasy of enduring domination, given shape, for example, as the American dream – white, Christian, heteronormative, masculine.
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Autocracy: Rules for Survival

Despite losing the popular vote, Trump has secured as much power as any American leader in recent history. The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress. There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The country is at war abroad and has been in a state of mobilization for fifteen years. This means not only that Trump will be able to move fast but also that he will become accustomed to an unusually high level of political support. He will want to maintain and increase it—his ideal is the totalitarian-level popularity numbers of Vladimir Putin—and the way to achieve that is through mobilization. There will be more wars, abroad and at home.
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American Politics Caught in a “Russian Trap”

I don’t know whether the Kremlin even has a favorite in the U.S. elections, but I do know what Russia’s ruling politicians love to watch. They love seeing others get caught in what one might call a “Russian trap”: when others are caught doing the very thing they accuse Moscow of doing. They enjoy watching those who accuse Moscow of calling its opponents “foreign agents” do the same to their own political opponents.
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The Trump-Putin Fallacy

Imagine that your teenage child has built a bomb and has just set it off in your house. The house is falling down all around you—and you are blaming the neighbor’s kid, who threw a pebble at your window. That’s what the recent Putin fixation is like—a way to evade the fact that Trump is a thoroughly American creation that poses an existential threat to American democracy.
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America Hasn’t Gone Crazy. It’s Just More Like Europe

In comparing themselves with Europe, Americans prided themselves on the fact that “It can’t happen here” — namely, European socialism and European fascism. It viewed itself as immune to the pathologies of democracy: Crowds can go crazy in any other place in the world, but not in America, the land of common sense. But after the last years of extreme polarization and dysfunctional governance, are Americans still convinced that their democracy cannot be upended?
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Why Putin Loves Trump

Mr. Putin’s predilection for Mr. Trump has nothing to do with the Kremlin’s traditional preference for Republicans. It also can’t be explained by the fact that had Mr. Putin — a physically sound, aging, gun-loving and anti-gay conservative — been an American citizen, he would have fit the profile of a Trump supporter. Rather, Mr. Putin’s puzzling enthusiasm for Mr. Trump is rooted in the fact that they both live in a soap-opera world run by emotions rather than interests.
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