Authoritarianism Expert Explains Why Trump Fans Love ‘Daddy’ So Much

Authoritarianism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat has talked about Donald Trump’s ability to emotionally manipulate his supporters and why they think “he’s daddy.”

On the latest episode of Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway’s “Pivot” podcast, Ben-Ghiat began by explaining how resentment of social progress propelled Trump to the White House and warned how it could see the presumptive GOP nominee return to power once again.

Trump responded to the backlash to that progress by taking a page out of the authoritarian leader playbook and modeling himself on what people wanted, said the history professor at New York University and author of the 2021 book “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present.”

The four-times-indicted ex-POTUS was “the male brute” and “perfect person as the anti-Obama” who “addressed the people who felt that women had too much power, same-sex marriages were taking over, all of the racial stuff,” she added.

Trump told his supporters that “he loved them, that they were the forgotten and so there’s a sense that he’s not just going to represent them, he’s going to protect them and take care of them,” said Ben-Ghiat.

Swisher suggested Trump was “a daddy, a big daddy” to his fans.

“He’s daddy,” agreed Ben-Ghiat. “And once they bond to him, they feel protected. But they’re also protective of him because he’s also the victim. It’s highly effective, this manipulation of emotion.”



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