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A number of scholars have argued that Donald Trump is a populist. What, if anything, does this label tell us about what we might expect from a Trump presidency? Would we see the erosion of judicial independence and congressional checks and balances? Would freedom of the press be curtailed? What would happen to democratic rights and freedoms more broadly?
For the first time, based on two separate research projects, we have systematic comparative evidence about what happens to democracy when populists come to power. This doesn’t allow us to predict precisely how any individual candidate — for instance, Trump — would behave in office. And the institutions of U.S. democracy — including the strength of opposition — are more robust than in other countries that have fallen under the sway of populists.
But if populist rule in the United States were to look like it does elsewhere, this would be of serious concern.
Read Populist leaders undermine democracy in these 4 ways. Would a President Trump? by Paul Kenny, Kirk Hawkins and Saskia Ruth published in the Washington Post.