Yesterday, I wrote a post about the comparison between Trump and Hitler. While I think there is a discussion worth having there, I cannot forget, as an Italian, that there is someone which makes a far better comparison for the Donald.
When I found this floating around the interwebs, I almost chocked.
Of course, it goes well beyond political silliness. The comparison between Trump and Berlusconi is quite uncanny.
What I recall is the talk — a lot of it — and the voice — he’d worked as a crooner on cruise ships — and the self-confidence and the vulgarity (I had the impression that there was nothing inside the leather-bound books on the shelves). Berlusconi whisked me off in his private jet, and as we climbed over Milan he gestured to the urban sprawl beneath him and told me he was by far the “richest man in Italy.” I countered that surely Giovanni Agnelli, then the head of the Fiat group, was richer. Berlusconi scoffed. There was a lot more of his new money than that old money.
Replace “Berlusconi” with “Trump”, “Milan” with “New York” and “Italy” with “USA”. Would you doubt at all that this was the Donald speaking? And it doesn’t stop there
[T]hrust to power on the basis that he would break with Italy’s dysfunctional politics and that, as a self-made billionaire, he knew how to fix problems
Widely ridiculed, endlessly written about, long unscathed by his evident misogyny and diverse legal travails, Berlusconi proved a Teflon politician. Nothing stuck. He had the gift of the gab. He had a tone. He connected. He owned a soccer club, for heaven’s sake. Many Italians thought they saw in him one of their own.
The article is worth the read, though it was hard for me to relive this. It explains how someone so full of himself, so incompetent went on to become Italy’s Prime Minister for so very, very long. The likeness between them is startling, and as someone who has actually lived through it I can tell you, don’t make our mistake America. Berlusconi’s Italy was, to use a favorite Trumpian phrase, a disaster.
In the meantime, I will be haunted forever by this picture, also floating around the facebook.