From Glen Hubbard:
At first there were Lions and Tigers and Bears. And some of our earliest ancestors were eaten by lions and tigers and bears.
Strong men could protect from being eaten by the lions and tigers and bears. It was good to follow in their shadow and give them prestige.
At some time people were no longer threatened by the Lions and tigers and bears. However, the LTB (Lions and tigers and bears) concept was not forgotten. Timothy Snyder labeled it "terror management". LTB just needed a new object of fear, THEM. THEM is any set of people that can be pointed out as NOT US; different color, different religion, Democrats, not neighbors.
So, someone who decides to use LTB begins a campaign of picturing an opposition as THEM. THEM will steal your wealth. THEM will rape you. THEM will kill you in an act of terrorism. THEM will put you out of a job. Only "I" can keep you safe from THEM.
And “prestige” morphed into power. Control over people’s lives without limit being the ultimate prestige in modern societies. Gathering the reins of control and economic gain into one hand. This is called Tyranny. (Again see “On Tyranny” - Timothy Snyder)
There are of course real threats to be managed. Recognizing real vs LTB concept threats requires vigilance and investigation (See Snyder chapter 11).
The foundations of how the LTB concept has been used to destroy democracies in modern times are clearly written out for us to by Timothy Snyder. Ways in which citizens of our democracy can work to avoid the destruction of our democracy are part of the narrative. Each chapter is a history lesson and an instruction to follow.
This is of course a recommendation to read “On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder if you have not already done so.