Public Notice
The Aaron Rupar Show
Ruth Ben-Ghiat on how Trump turned the GOP into a personality cult
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Ruth Ben-Ghiat on how Trump turned the GOP into a personality cult
"They're all standing on 5th Ave. and could shoot someone."
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A scene from a Trump rally in Florence, Arizona, in January 2022. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty)

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Quick note: If you missed Trump’s Fulton County mugshot last night, you can see it here. I’ll have an in-depth piece on Trump’s Georgia’s indictment next week.


This week’s episode of the Aaron Rupar Show features Ruth Ben-Ghiat, one of America’s foremost authoritarianism scholars and author of Strongmen and the Lucid Substack. We discuss the factors that contributed to Trump’s rise, MAGA’s parallels to other authoritarian movements, the bizarre GOP primary as a reflection of Trump’s personality cult, the current state of the global struggle between authoritarianism and democracy, and much more.

Ruth brings deep historical knowledge and rigorous scholarship to her commentary, so I think you’ll find our discussion to be informative. Listen to the audio at the top of the post, or watch our conversation below via my YouTube Page.

Next week’s episode will feature Melissa Hortman, speaker of the Minnesota House, on Democratic successes in her state and what lessons can be learned from them nationally.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with a special Saturday edition of the newsletter for paid subscribers. Until then, I hope you enjoy the pod.


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Public Notice

The Aaron Rupar Show

Aaron talks to newsmakers and interesting thinkers about politics, current events, and their work. New episodes drop each week.