The host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” said authoritarians from Brazil to Russia tend to share three traits: They like to project strength, demonize their enemies and dismantle institutions, particularly the ones that could act as a check on their power.
“As we’ve gone through each of these traits, you may have found yourself thinking, ‘Uh-oh! Some of these are ringing a bell,’” Oliver said.
But the most frightening parallel wasn’t in Trump, but rather those who support him and even cheer him on as he checks all the despot boxes.
“The real worry here isn’t just that Trump sounds like an authoritarian,” Oliver said. “It’s that many people in this country like the way that sounds.”
Oliver said America’s institutions so far have been “just strong enough to hold up against [Trump’s] most authoritarian instincts.” But, he added, it’s up to voters to keep those institutions strong.
“The world is dabbling with something very dangerous right now and America needs to be careful. I know democracy can be, often by design, frustrating. Checks and balances can be irritating and slow and might not deliver the outcome that you wanted. But removing them opens the door to something much worse.”
Watch his full report above.
“Last Week Tonight” returns in 2019. No date has been announced, but if it follows the same schedule as previous years, the program will be back on the air in February.