Politico's April 16, 2022 The One Way History Shows Trump’s Personality Cult Will End is an interview with historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat. Wikipedia says:
She is a scholar on fascism and authoritarian leaders.
In the interview Ben-Ghiat expresses views that authoritarianism has to a large extent supplanted democratic principles in certain political leaders of the US Republican party. For example:
Kruse: Is it fair to see DeSantis as a very capable, committed student, whereas Trump is more of an instinctual autocrat?
Ben-Ghiat: There are limits to the comparison because Trump truly is an autocratic individual. He was as a businessman and he has surrounded himself with people from [Paul] Manafort and [Roger] Stone to [Steve] Bannon who have decades of experience helping and working for dictators. They’re on a crusade to ruin democracy. And DeSantis had a very different career path. And so what’s notable about him is he has sensed, like all smart politicians, what you need to get ahead in today’s America, in today’s GOP, what kind of leader you need to seem to be, what policies, what talking points, [such as] election fraud. What you need to do is turn citizens against each other, which he does with the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. His election security office has a hotline where you can call and tip off your fellow Floridians doing bad things. These are in themselves all things that match up with autocratic policies. Yes, he’s a very capable student of what is going to have success in today’s GOP and with today’s electorate.
Also, the midterms are so close. I do believe if [Republicans] capture Congress after the midterms, you always have to assume the worst with people who have been very open about wanting to wreck democracy. And so that’s why they float these scary things, like making Trump speaker of the House. You have to realize that these people have left democracy, and nothing is off the table. And that’s why to go back to DeSantis, it’s very ominous that he established this office of election security. It’s very bad because it has its own prosecutors, and it makes things that used to be a misdemeanor a felony. If you look at the details of it, it’s not only an intimidation machine. It has some prosecutorial powers, and it has informing mechanisms, the tip line, and the whole idea of election integrity as this buzzword, which really means how are we going to start making elections come out the way we need to, is a very anti-democratic thing.
Question: Prosecutorial powers of Florida's office of election security; Can it try individuals, or subpoena/coerce testimony? Can it elicit punishments?