Placing Trump in Comparative Perspective
I would highly recommend the following from Pippa Norris: It’s not just Trump. Authoritarian populism is rising across the West. Here’s why. (Norris is an expert on comparative politics and elections).
It is a long piece (for a newspaper column/blog post), but is worth a read. Not to encourage skipping the essay, I will post the conclusion:
By giving voice to and amplifying fears of cultural change, the Republicans have opened the way for a populist leader. Trump’s support appears to be fueled by a backlash among traditionalists (often men and the less educated) faced with rising American support for issues such as gay marriage, sexual equality, and tolerance of social diversity, all lumped under the phrase “political correctness.” Looking back, we can see precursors to the Trump movement, like the tea party.
Whether or not Trump is elected, he and his followers have articulated a new brutalism and intolerance, altering what’s speakable in American politics.
While the Trump phenomenon mirrors what’s happened elsewhere, most Western parliamentary democracies have many safeguards in place, so that even when populist authoritarian parties surge, they remain limited in seats and thus real power.