Volcanoes are erupting in The Philippines, but on-fire Australia received some welcome rain. The Iran war cries have been called off and The Donald’s military powers are about to be hamstrung by the Senate. Meanwhile, his impeachment trial is starting, and we’re all on Twitter for a front-row seat.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian who writes about authoritarianism, democracy protection, and propaganda. She is a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships, and an advisor to Protect Democracy. She is an MSNBC opinion columnist, a regular contributor to CNN and The Washington Post, and provides live commentary on CNN, MSNBC, and other networks. She publishes Lucid, a newsletter on threats to democracy. Her latest book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present (2020, paperback with new epilogue on Jan. 6, 2021), looks at how illiberal leaders use propaganda, corruption, violence, and machismo—and how they can be defeated.