Il Duce quotes Il Duce!

The dark comedy that is Donald Trump's run for the presidency just keeps getting darker and less funny.

Not only does Donald Trump refuse to disavow the Ku Klux Klan.... but knowingly quotes Benito Mussolini, and doesn't see a problem with that!

I've gotten into the habit (you may have noticed!) of referring to Trump as Il Duce. The reasons are simple. I'm not the first to notice the uncanny resemblance between Trump and Mussolini not only in their personalities and style but in their programs- or lack thereof.

To put it simply, imagine, if you will, a hypothetical political figure: a strutting, pompous jackass, a narcissist who believes that the world revolves around him, is an instinctive bully, and is something of an authoritarian to boot. His "program is quite simple": he endlessly proclaims his intention to return a once great and glorious nation to its previous heights of greatness and glory. When asked about how he plans to do that, he changes the subject. If you persist, he becomes personally abusive.

To the extent that there are any details to his plan, they consist of grandiose promises which will be difficult if not impossible to implement. When pressed for specifics as to how he's going to accomplish what he promises, again, he changes the subject. If you persist, again,he becomes personally abusive. If elected, he'll simply pull the old bait-and-switch and start talking about something else, and heaven help anybody who asks whatever happened to those unfulfilled promises. If the truth be told,  really doesn't know very much about the problems facing the nation, and he really doesn't care that his promises are impossible to keep; in the last analysis, he's simply a very skilled con artist.  But he is still half-convinced that he can overcome any obstacle  simply by virtue of his personal awesomeness. The other half of him is indifferent to whether or not his promises can be kept; he just cares about power. The only thing that matters to him is him. He is utterly indifferent to the effects of what he says or does on anybody else.

He is a crude, vulgar man who attracts other crude, vulgar people. His favorite political tactic, in fact, is the personal attack. He has no manners. He acts like an ill-bred sixth-grader. He attracts a following of angry, uneducated people who also f don't understand the issues facing the country and also don't really care to. They want two things: to vent their anger and have a Leader who will do their thinking for them.

Our hypothetical demagogue has a certain amount of personal charisma, but his real attraction is simply that he provides an outlet for the anger of poorly-informed people who feel personally helpless, but who suddenly become powerful and consequential- or, at least, see themselves that way- through association with the invincible Leader.

He draws authoritarians to his cause the way a magnet draws iron filings. His followers are indignant not only at any criticism of their Leader but even at any disagreement with him.

Now. Have I just described Benito Mussolini or Donald Trump?

Of course, I've just described both. The description fits either like a glove. Hence, I and many others have taken to calling Trump- whose predilection for Mussolini-style authoritarianism is all too clear- "Il Duce" (or in some quarters- please excuse the vulgarity- "Il Douche"). He is not a Fuhrer, even though Hitler's Fuhrerprinzip is the cornerstone not only of his program (such as it is) but of his appeal. Like Mussolini, he has no particular hunger for concentration camps or exterminating his scapegoats. He is content to exclude and expel Muslims and Mexicans. He is even willing to admit that there might be a few "good ones" among them who might safely be let beck in.

As totalitarians go, he's something of a liberal.

Yes, the parallels are almost uncanny. Of course, Trump is content with humiliating and abusing and destroying his enemies by non-lethal means. And Mussolini was bald, while Trump- despite the rumors- isn't.

Really. Believe it or not. Maybe he was at one time, but he isn't anymore.

But dude- you're not supposed to come right out and apologetically quote your Doppelganger on Twitter, and then say that you knew who the quote was from, and don't care. I mean, you're a hypocrite about so many things. A little decent hypocrisy about old Benito might, at least, be good form.

Oh. I forgot. Like Mussolini, you really don't care about decency, do you?

Graphic by DonkeyHotey


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