A Better Comparison for Trump

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 4.28.11 PM

Of course, it goes well beyond political silliness. The comparison between Trump and Berlusconi is quite uncanny.

An article in the New York Times sums it up quite nicely.

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.

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  1. sonofrojblake says

    (The only difference is Berlusconi owned the media because he bought them. Trumps owns the media and didn’t pay a cent…)

  2. brucegee1962 says

    Unfortunately, the Italian that comes to mind when I think of Trump is Mussolini. The long, unfocused, rambling speeches, the emphasis on personal virility and “manliness,” the ranting about “the other.” Trump apparently thinks so too, since he tweeted a Mussolini quote. Berlesconi seems cuddly in comparison, at least from over here.

    • thoughtsofcrys says

      Well on this side of the pond, Berlusconi was not all that cuddly. True, didn’t overdo the racism thing, but it feels different when you live under someone like Berlusconi. Consider that, from over here Bush seemed quite cuddly, the economic ramifications of his presidency not being felt directly by people here, he just seemed funny and silly.

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