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Chronic Disease Essay

731 words - 3 pages

“The Rise of American Authoritarianism”
The greatest threat to democracy as a way of life, not just a political arrangement, but as an attitude of mind - is authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is stoked by fear, both rational and irrational, and it looks to a strong punitive leader who promises to use force to end threats by outsiders and persons "not like us." It seeks order and stability at all costs. It subscribes to a command-and-obey or "top down" or hierarchical mentality. This is directly opposed to a democratic or "horizontal" mentality, characterized by openmindness, cooperation, and respect for others as equals.
In the article, “The Rise of American Authoritarianism,” Amanda ...view middle of the document...

Last September, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Ph.D. student Matthew MacWilliams began to wonder why the Republican electorate seemed to be supporting "a far-right, orange-toned populist with no real political experience, who espouses extreme and often bizarre views."
He imagined that his dissertation held clues to explaining Trump's strong polling numbers, and to the durability of the support. Where did these supporters come from in such numbers, seemingly out of nowhere? Understanding authoritarianism seems to be the key. Taub explains, MacWilliams' research is "not actual dictators, but rather a psychological profile of individual voters that is characterized by a desire for order and a fear of outsiders. People who score high in authoritarianism, when they feel threatened, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear." Surely, that description fits Trump. Soon, MacWilliams connected with Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler, political scientists who in 2009 book essentially predicted the rise of a Trump: "The GOP, by positioning itself as the party of traditional values and law and order, had unknowingly attracted what would turn out to be a vast and previously bipartisan population of Americans with authoritarian tendencies." Namely, America already has...

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