USA close to world average on wanting authoritarian leader: In Fred Reed's current column, he suggests that America is vulnerable to a shift to authoritarian rule: if President Bush decided to stay in office past his time, who would stop him? No one has stopped him on anything so far.
The World Values Survey asked people if they thought that having a strong leader who doesn't bother with parliament or elections is a good idea. Here is the percentage who answered "very good" or "fairly good":
South Africa 34.2
Puerto Rico 33.2
South Korea 28.3
Great Britain 24.9
East Germany 23.0
New Zealand 19.6
N. Ireland 19.2
Czech Republic 16.7
West Germany 14.5
We see that there is a long list of countries less comfortable with the idea of strong man rule than the United States (although some of them are far from actually being democratic). The U.S. survey was conducted in 1999, so it does not reflect post-9/11 feelings.
I also looked at which Americans were most likely to express favorable views. Sex, religion, and religious attendance did not matter, but 43% of the people in the lowest of three educational categories thought a non-democratic leader was a good idea, and 37% of people ages 15-29.
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