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Dictators are almost always oddballs, but it is worth asking: Is quackery a required trait of authoritarian rule?Stalin rejected Mendelian genetics and even Darwin's theory of evolution, in favor of the bogus theories of Trofim Lysenko, the Soviet biologist who believed that human traits were acquired, not inherited.Today, the same paranoia-fueled attraction to phony ideas motivates many authoritarians to endorse conspiracy theories and disregard conventional wisdom.Perhaps no current leader is more susceptible to half-baked theories than the U.S. president and wannabe authoritarian, Donald Trump.Trump also appears convinced that the FBI and the media are conspiring to bring down his presidency. Perhaps this is what draws Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also believes that the world is scheming against him.
U.S. Republicans: Profiles in cowardice
Vladimir Putin hopes to play his Trump card with the United States
Putin seeks an opening to the West, which should not shut him out
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