In sum, the ongoing rise and entrenchment of strongman leaders promising a restoration of order and authority isn’t exactly populism as usual. It exhibits a paternal dimension in country after otherwise unrelated country.
To observe these connections is not to imply that populist politicians are consciously plucking the notes of paternity in a post-revolutionary world of vanished fathers and absent brothers. But it is to say that the tacit demand of citizens for masculine protectors seems to be ensuring a steady supply of leaders who find ways to be that figure—whether or not they consciously understand the elemental need out there.
Daddy issues might begin at home. But these days, they’re they’re out in the streets—including in a growing number of Western capitals.