The coup attempt of January 6 was the logical outcome of all that President Donald Trump—and the GOP under his leadership—stand for. The normalization of extremism, the legitimation of violence, and an ethos that to stay in power is justified by any means present threats to our democracy going forward. Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian, educator, and commentator on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda—and the threats these present to democracies around the world. Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, and an author whose work has been featured on CNN and in The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Her newest book is Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present (Norton, 2020), an examination of the authoritarian playbook illiberal leaders have used for a century.
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