Trump's Inducement of America's Banality of Evil

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Abstract
When political philosopher Hannah Arendt introduced the concept of ‘banality of evil’ she did so in reference to the actions of Germans who appropriated the doctrines of National Socialism “thoughtlessly” and without obvious intentions to do evil. But, Arendt’s description of this phenomenon entails that such banality can be found even in a democracy such as the USA. The relation of law and morality must therefore be unambiguous to defend the rule of law against the rule of men. However, a legal philosophy other than positivism is essential to safeguard the Republic against the overreach of executive power. And, where the psychopathology of Donald Trump is at the core of America’s electoral discontent in 2020, as mental health professionals have argued, there is all the more reason to take Arendt’s counsel especially seriously today. It is in this context that it is argued here that the American public must beware Trump’s inducement of America’s banality of evil.
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Archival date: 2021-05-27
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2021-05-27

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