In a world where imitation is the greatest form of flattery we looked at a few dictators Donald Trump may have 'flattered' along the way.
There has been great debate in recent news as to whether Donald Trump be labelled a fascist, or whether his beliefs are more in line with a contemporary selfish politics. It is true that he still believes in democracy and is a big fan of the free market economy, so many argue that it is unfitting for him to be considered a fascist in the traditional political sense. However many of his views are rooted in xenophobia and regressive attitudes towards a liberal society, with a strong nationalist sentiment running throughout.
Whatever the case, there is no doubt he’s been less-than-original with a few choices made on the campaign to become leader of the Republican Party. We found some dictators that made Trump’s hopes for the USA feel a bit like deja vu.
1. Blaming every minority in sight.
This is the oldest trick in the book on the road to becoming a first-rate dictator. If you want to succeed in this game you need a scapegoat - Lenin killed off the bourgeoisie, Gaddafi had the world thinking Libya was a strictly Arab-state and Saddam Hussein held the Kurds, Shabaks, Assyrians (and more) responsible for the nation’s woes. Trump really wants to build a wall between the USA and Mexico - in fact he’s even convinced himself that Mexico are going to pay for it. His reasoning? “They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Meanwhile he wants to put many mosques under strict surveillance, if not close them all together, and considers Syrian refugees to be a ‘Trojan horse’ for terrorist attacks.
2. Tracking Muslims on a national database.
It doesn’t take much of a mental leap to get from here to the punch cards implemented by Hitler that identified Jews, Gypsies and further minorities considered undesirable by the regime. Interestingly enough, USA-based computer giants IBM played a huge role in Nazi Germany’s implementation of this database, so maybe Trump could give the American company a second chance.
3. Taking lessons in confidence from Robert Mugabe.
‘Daily Show’ host, Trevor Noah (himself South African), delivered a 7 minute sketch pointing out the similarities between Trump and some of Africa’s most brutal oppressors. He goes bar for bar with Idi Amin when it comes to bragging about wealth - “I’m really, really rich.” / “I am the one who has got all the money.” - and would give Mugabe a run for his money on the self-confidence front:
4. Straight up putting Nazi soldiers on his campaign pictures.
Admittedly they weren’t actual Nazi soldiers, but WWII re-enacters, though the sheer stupidity of putting the SS insignia on an official campaign image is not lost. Better yet, the accompanying tweet read #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, which definitely strikes a darker chord sitting above an emblem of the Third Reich. This one got blamed on “a young intern” - someone definitely got fired.
5. Using children to sing and dance his own personal theme song.
What could be more symbolic of brainwashing the nation than rounding up a bunch of pre-politicised children and getting them to sing nationalist propaganda at a rally? Trump really pulled the self-commentary out the bag on this one. Many people have likened this creepy display to the South Korean political tradition of having young children sing an ode to Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Add to that the fact the lyrics include the line “Our colours don’t run,” and you’ve got a twisted brew of xenophobia and national pride.