Podcast: Trump the Aspiring Despot v. Democracy

Brian Klaas of the London School of Economics speaks with Salon’s Chauncey DeVega Show about Donald Trump’s aspiration to despotic rule and the long-term damage to the US system:

Listen from 24:51:

Klaas, who has just published The Despot’s Apprentice and who will soon join The Trump Project, explains:

Democracy is like a sand castle. It takes a long time to build and much longer to perfect. Trump is just washing it away. He is a wave and the castle is not going to be knocked down in one single tide. But the castle, and our democracy, gets eroded steadily over time.

That is where we are now. How does a democracy function when a third of its people are cheering authoritarian tactics, embracing them, pushing for more candidates to mimic them and fundamentally believe a huge number of things that are false? Because if you think about what democracy is, at its core it requires a shared reality to create consent of the governed.

The long-term corrosion of democracy that Trump is inviting is not going to end when he leaves office. It is going to be a persistent problem where he has opened up the possibility for a much more insidious and effective successor.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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