Far more dangerous.
The next authoritarian leader is out there, watching President Trump self destruct. Learning from Trump’s mistakes. Calculating a path to power.
Trump’s unforced errors, poor judgement, and incredible ego should cost him the election this November.
Who will be the next reactionary authoritarian leader?
That person will inherit Trump’s small group of submissive followers. Not much, but an unwavering base upon which he will attempt build a governing coalition.
The next authoritarian will not call himself and his followers authoritarians, but ‘populists’. The appeal will be to those who feel that their culture is being destroyed by established elites of both political parties.
Reactionary impulses will be called ‘conservative’, causing true conservatives to shudder.
The next authoritarian leader will lead the battle against ‘globalists’ who advocate a new world order.
Authoritarians can use the term ‘globalism’ as a euphemism for white nationalism, white supremacy, xenophobia, anti Semitism, and Islamophobia, all of which are fueled by unease over individual economic stagnation, job losses, a continuing diversity in population, and fear of terrorism.
The next reactionary authoritarian leader will promise to protect the interests and culture of uneasy Americans against those of subversive foreigners, immigrants, and treasonous left-wingers.
The next authoritarian leader will claim that America is in decline- intentional decline orchestrated by enemies both foreign and domestic. The next authoritarian will serve up class war for the middle class and racism for the foreigners.
Richard Nixon’s ‘Southern strategy’ allowed the Republican Party gain popularity in the South and Western rural areas, using racial division.
By giving political cover to racism, the Southern strategy ultimately made it easier to also rationalize homophobia and misogyny along with racism. It helped spawn the Alt-Right, Tea Party movement, and birtherism.
Right-wing authoritarian followers are highly submissive to authority.
Authoritarian followers get their beliefs and opinions from dominant opinion-makers, not by making up their own minds.
Authoritarian followers can validate their political impulses by cherry-picking what news outlets and social media they rely on.
Followers want to feel that they are part of a large movement.
Authoritarian followers are too submissive to become authoritarian leaders.
The current crop of Republican governors, senators, and representatives are far, far too submissive to wear the authoritarian leader mantle.
The followers need an alpha-male who professes to understand the dangers his followers feel and who will fight to protect them.
Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has said, “Let them call you racists. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.”
Bannon, speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, said “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia … If we deliver … we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years … Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement. It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan … It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.”
The next reactionary authoritarian leader has identified his path to power.
Thanks and a tip of the hat to Gage Skidmore at https://flickr.com/photos/22007612@N05/33135191085 for the image.