Authoritarianism Reimagined: The Riddle of Trump’s Base

Source: David Norman Smith, The Sociological Quarterly, Latest Articles, April 22, 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Social scientists are often reluctant to think that cruel words express actual personal cruelty—so when they hear people speak harshly about minorities or women, they tend to blame stress and anxiety, not hate. In that spirit, it is often said that voters who favored Donald Trump in 2016 supported him not because they vibrated with his vindictive rhetoric but rather because they were fearful about their finances. However, many recent studies, including my papers with Eric Hanley, undermine that claim. Financial worries were widespread and did not distinguish Republicans from Democrats in 2016. Rather, what typified Trump partisans was the vehemence of their prejudices—for a domineering leader who would “crush evil” and “get rid of rotten apples” and against feminists, liberals, immigrants, and minorities. My contention here is that grasping this point is essential if we hope to understand the kind of authoritarianism that Trump represents.

Related:
The Politics of Cruelty
Source: Peter Kivisto, The Sociological Quarterly, Latest Articles, April 22, 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The authoritarian tendencies evident in the Trump campaign and administration are framed by the idea of a “politics of cruelty,“ drawing on Judith Shlkar’s idea of the ”liberalism of fear,” current research using authoritarianism theory, and arguments concerning the impact of the political theology of white Christian nationalism.

Reactionary Tribalism Redux: Right-Wing Populism and De-Democratization
Source: Robert J. Antonio, The Sociological Quarterly, Latest Articles, April 22, 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article addresses the question of whether the social impacts, especially increased socioeconomic inequality, and formalization of democracy generated by the neoliberal economization of politics is an important albeit not singular driver of resurgent ethnocracial populism and illiberal democracy.