Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Andrew Sinclair


The purpose of this paper is to explore the reasons that Americans came to view President Trump as a representation of Nazi idealism and the rise of Hitler during his 2016-2020 presidency. During one of the highest points of political polarization in the history of America, everyday citizens heard rhetoric from both the extreme far right and the extreme far left. Both sides sought to bring “law and order” to a country that is suffering from severe and deep-rooted cultural crises such as race, sexuality, and the economy that span all facets of American life. These crises were only exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic both in terms of the realized ramifications of the debate as well as the impact to the normal news cycle. The structural similarities and differences of the two leaders’ rise to power is important to consider in terms of fighting authoritarianism from within the American two party system as well as providing early signals that could indicate an undemocratic takeover.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.