Donald Trump reminds me of Vladimir Putin — and that is terrifying

Garry Kasparov writes: Donald Trump’s dark and frightening speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday had pundits and historians making comparisons ranging from George Wallace in the 1960s to Benito Mussolini in the 1930s. As suitable as those comparisons may be, the chill that ran down my spine was not because of Trump’s echoes of old newsreel footage. Instead, I saw an Americanized version of the brutally effective propaganda of fear and hatred that Vladimir Putin blankets Russia with today.

This isn’t to say Trump plagiarized Putin verbatim. The language and tone were comparable the way that the Russian and American flags make different designs with the same red, white and blue. Nor was it merely the character of the text; Trump’s mannerisms and body language — toned down from his usual histrionics — were startlingly similar to the sneering and boastful delivery Russians know all too well after Putin’s 16 years in power.

In both cases, the intent of the speaker is to elicit the visceral emotions of fear and disgust before relieving them with a cleansing anger that overwhelms everything else. Only the leader can make the fear and disgust go away. The leader will channel your hatred and frustration and make everything better. How, exactly? Well, that’s not important right now. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Donald Trump reminds me of Vladimir Putin — and that is terrifying

  1. Óscar Palacios

    Trump reminds me not so much of Putin, but of Vladimir Zhirinovsky: both are brash, loud, xenophobic racists. Zhirinovsky’s not a billionaire, and that’s the main difference. At least that’s what I remember of what I read about Zhirinovsky during the 90s in Newsweek and/or Time magazines.

    As I read on a piece that you linked a few weeks ago: I don’t fear Trump so much -even though he has very good possibilities of reaching the White House- as I fear the possibility of a *real* American version of Putin: much more cunning, much more intellectually sophisticated and suave, but with all those nasty plans.

    From wikipedia’s page on Zhirinovsky:
    “He has advocated forcibly retaking Alaska from the United States (which would then become “a great place to put the Ukrainians”), turning Kazakhstan into “Russia’s back yard” […]”; “Zhirinovsky, an ardent supporter of the first war in Chechnya in the mid-1990s, advocated hitting some Chechen villages with tactical nuclear weapons.”

    And it goes on and on. Just like Trump.

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