I am pretty sure I touched on this before, but this article is a dangerous reminder of what’s at stake in 2016. Last November, the Atlantic had this sobering article based on this PNAS paper. This is not the first paper of this kind that I’ve seen: JEP had this article back in 2005, where the empire in question was not the United States, but the Soviet Union. It was this background that first propelled the clownish wannabe dictator Vladimir Zhirinovsky to prominence, then the ruthless but (apparently) efficient Vladimir Putin to power. It was not Putin’s personal characteristics or alleged authoritarian inclinations of his supporters, but the fact that there was a real and very deadly problem in Russia and he was the only one who publicly recognized it and did something about it. Let us not forget about this as we speak of Trump and his supporters.