What I found is that approximately 18 percent of Americans are highly disposed to authoritarianism, according to their answers to four simple survey questions used by social scientists to estimate this disposition. Another 23 percent or so are just one step below them on the authoritarian scale. This roughly 40 percent of Americans tend to favor authority, obedience and uniformity over freedom, independence and diversity…

In surveys I found that American authoritarians, compared to non-authoritarians, are more likely to agree that our country should be governed by a strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with Congress or elections. They are more likely to support limiting the freedom of the press and agree that the media is the enemy of the people rather than a valuable independent institution. They are also more likely to think the President should have the power to limit the voice and vote of opposition parties, while believing that those who disagree with them are a threat to our country—a concerning trend as we head to the polls this year.

American authoritarians fear diversity. They are more likely to agree that increasing racial, religious, and ethnic diversity is a clear and present threat to national security. They are more fearful of people of other races, and agree with the statement that “sometimes other groups must be kept in their place.”