All that support, for both Putin in Russia and Trump in the U.S., implies that citizens are seeking what I call “strong leaders,” or state leaders who will take bold action without concern for checks and balances. Trump supporters expect a President Trump to overwhelm Congress to enact policies that legal scholars debate as questionably constitutional, like banning foreign-born Muslims from entering the U.S. In Russia, Putin has been consolidating discretionary power since he first became president in 1999.
Why do citizens support the “strong leadership” proposed by Trump or provided by Putin? My research shows citizens across the world — not just the U.S. and Russia — prefer this kind of leader when they are afraid of a serious threat to national security or economic livelihood.
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