I just read a piece in the New York Times from columnist Zeynep Tufekci entitled, “The Appeal of an American Strongman.”
Tufekci interviewed more than a hundred Trump supporters. Turns out that they like the very qualities we find so disturbing. Tufecki found that “authoritarian leaders project qualities that many voters admire.” Not one of the voters she talked to uttered the word “authoritarian” — but they are drawn to Trump’s “strength” and his “ends-justifies-the-means” leadership style. In other words, authoritarianism.
What is particularly alarming is that authoritarian leaders like Orbán in Hungary and Erdoğan in Turkey keep getting re-elected as those countries grow more antidemocratic, fascistic, and corrupt with each election. One tool is the nearly total control of media.
You can read the piece yourself, and, if you do, you’ll see we’re up against something real. That Trump’s appeal isn’t all that mysterious and that acknowledging that can help us grapple with its power.
What Trump has to sell is a very dark picture of our country. With a self-serving “Deep State” calling the shots. He will replace “the swamp” with his own deeper, darker, corrupt state filled with lackeys — there will be no Mattis, or Kelly, or McMaster, or Milley. But you can bet there will be places for the Stephen Millers of Trump World.
We have to win this election. Or it may be the last democratic one for a long time. That’s why Midwest Values PAC will be doubling down on ground game in battleground states. And why we need your help.
P.S. You know by now that these P.S.’s are just an excuse to make another ask. Trump lost the popular vote by over 7 million, but came within 44,000 votes in Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin from a tie in the electoral college. Please help us help Biden where it counts!