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The "Historovox" and the Bad Synergy Between Historians and Journalism

Ever since the election of Donald Trump, pundits and scholars have been sounding the alarm over the authoritarian or fascist turn of American politics, preparing us for that moment when the president would throw off the shackles of his office and seize power. Now, in a move more brazen than any we’ve seen, Trump has declared a state of emergency, setting off a crisis about whether he or the Constitution is supreme. And the response from the media has been: meh.

In the Daily Beast, Sally Kohn called the declaration of emergency “a desperate act of a desperate man who is becoming increasingly irrelevant in Washington.” Trump’s announcement, claimed The New Yorker’s John Cassidy, shows that “he is a fundamentally weak and isolated President.” That was also the verdict of two scholars in the Washington Post, David Frum in The Atlantic, and the New York Times, which said, “This move will come back to bite [Trump] and his party.” On Facebook, the declaration was the stuff of snarky memes; even senators on Twitter got in on the fun.

How did we get here? Fourteen months ago, Vox’s Matt Yglesias was makingominous comparisons to Hitler, warning that Trump was “organizing an authoritarian regime.” Now he thinks Trump’s “flailing” and can’t “get anything done.” Where did all the tyranny go?

Read entire article at New Yorker