Vox, the publication known for its unbiased political analyses, published a video last month that explored the relation between authoritarians and Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The video (which you can watch above) attempts to tie authoritarianism to the Trump movement. Vox claims that a study from two political scientists shows that authoritarians have been moving over to the Republican party over the last few decades en masse.
Despite Vox‘s take on the issue, the Washington Post reported back in March, Trump supporters were found to be no more authoritarian than Cruz or even Rubio supporters. Trump’s rhetoric supports the notion that he’s a populist; a philosophy distinct from authoritarianism.
The Washington Post article that I mentioned earlier describes at least one difference between authoritarians and populists well.
“Populists see themselves in opposition to elites of all kinds. Authoritarians see themselves as aligned with those in charge. This difference sets the candidates’ supporters apart.”
Trump’s campaign has been based on the idea that the politicians currently in Washington D.C. don’t have the country’s best interest in mind and are cheating the American people. Mr. Trump is clearly not aligned with the “elites.”
If someone were to poll Trump supporters, they would find that the majority of them don’t like the way the country’s being led. They’re tired of the political system and they want Trump–who they see as an outsider–to try and fix the problem. They are clearly not aligned with those in charge.
How can Trump, or his supporters, be authoritarians if their shared dislike is that of the people in charge?