Political Issues

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Polling History

  • 1987: Republican officials sought to enlist Trump to run as a Republican for mayor of New York City and governor of New York: “Trump's wealth and flamboyance have made him a sought-after political property. New York Republican leaders tried unsuccessfully to draft him to run against Mayor Edward I. Koch (D) in 1989 or Gov. Mario M. Cuomo (D) in 1990. And a veteran Republican organizer in New Hampshire is circulating nominating petitions for Trump in the state's 1988 GOP presidential primary, although Trump said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that he would run.” (Washington Post, September 2, 1987)

Authoritarianism

Predictions Of Authoritarian Streak

  • June, 2016: Michael Singer, a political science professor who wrote a book on demagoguery in modern democracies, warned that Trump’s campaign conduct classified him as a demagogue and a threat to democracy. “Donald Trump - love or loathe him - has demonstrated the ability to appeal to a reportedly discontented electorate. […] It's not a coincidence that Trump opted to make a connection between ‘illegals and violence’ or other behavior which many Americans will consider deplorable, said Michael Singer, the part-time mayor of Charlottesville, Va., University of Virginia lecturer and the author of ‘Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracies From Their Worst Enemies.’ Trump has tapped into a long-standing political tradition - one not seen often in the United States but one that has certainly been effective when used by figures such as Mussolini and Hitler. And like them Trump is a demagogue, Singer said.” (Washington Post, June 7, 2016)
    • Singer originally did not assess Trump to be a demagogue, but the course of Trump's campaign led Singer to predict Trump had "a willingness to use a system of democracy to gain power and then keep and expand it via tyrannical maneuvers." "While Singer initially did not regard Trump as a demagogue the likes of Sen. Huey Long, Sen. Joe McCarthy and Gov. George Wallace, he has changed his mind. Like those men, Singer believes Trump has demonstrated a willingness to use a system of democracy to gain power and then keep and expand it via tyrannical maneuvers. ‘That's the cycle of all demagogues, before an overthrow of some kind and the eventual restoration of democracy,’ Singer said. And Singer is not trying to be dramatic." (Washington Post, June 7, 2016)
    • Singer developed a checklist for recognizing dictators that Trump easily satisfied: “Singer's book features a helpful checklist for identifying a demagogue. A demagogue views himself or herself as a person of the masses and regularly attacks and criticizes ‘elites,’ has honed the ability to trigger strong waves of emotion and uses that emotion for political gain. Finally, a demagogue threatens to break established rules, long-held principles and systems of governance. In practical terms in the United States, that's work that involves pitting some Americans against others, using stereotypes to respond to and provoke emotion in voters, and breaking established social, legal or political norms. It also can, and often does, involve working to replace reason with group suspicion, stereotypes and rage. For Trump, some or all of the above have been prominent parts of his campaign.” (Washington Post, June 7, 2016)