Lessons from Turkey

Turkey just had a not-very-free election to keep it’s authoritarian leader in power.  Yasha Mounk with lessons for the US:

This is a great tragedy for Turkey, which once looked like the Muslim-majority country most likely to build a stable democracy. But it is also a serious warning for other countries.

There are, of course, many differences between Turkey and most of the other countries in which liberal democracy is now under threat. The fact that Erdogan was able to destroy the political system in a country that had never been fully democratic and had never quite resolved the tension between its deeply religious population and its militantly secular institutions does not mean that populists will be able to pull off the same feat in Italy or the United States. And yet, the similarities are substantial enough that it would be folly to dismiss them out of hand.

The Turkish case shows that authoritarian populists can, in the long run, prove surprisingly effective in delegitimizing anybody who disagrees with them by denigrating the opposition and telling lies about critical journalists. It shows that, even if about half of the country deeply hates them, populists can stay in power by mobilizing a fervent base. And it also shows that political and intellectual elites, both inside the country and around the world, persistently underestimate the threat that these kinds of leaders pose to the survival of democratic institutions.

It is a set of lessons we would do well to take to heart in the United States. [emphasis mine]

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Lessons from Turkey

  1. ohwilleke says:

    “Your next” counts as about the most dismal of possible futures, but one that can’t be ruled out.

    There is a pollyanna alternative too but not a very sound one. http://washparkprophet.blogspot.com/2018/06/statistically-speaking-because-im-in.html

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