January 28, 2017

Pick a country, any country

After the shortest / longest time, geographic comparisons are already being touted, and they're not flattering.  Depending on the lens, Trump is either using an Arab playbook or a Latin American playbook.  Whichever it is - and it's probably a bit of door A and a little bit of door B - America suddenly looks like anything other than the leading light of democracy or the free world.

It's in "his extreme self-inflation, his call for unthinking acceptance of the supposed power of his personality; his ability to keep America safe from the dangers of terrorism, Mexicans, the Chinese, whatever straw man area he can use to generate hatred and support for thoughtless economic proposals that in reality can only benefit the very rich; his promises that under his guidance, America will 'win so much, you may even get tired of winning.'"

"Populism, authoritarianism, personalism, machismo, racialism, and caudillismo — or strongman rule — have been historically seen as ills almost inherent to Latin American political culture," wrote Texas A&M political scientist Diego von Vacano. "With the election of Donald Trump, we can now see that the U.S. is indeed part of the Americas as a whole and shares in those pathologies."

Trump is the U.S.’s first Latin American president

We are waiting to see how exactly President Trump plans to deal with the intrusions of the meddling and irksome press. So far, he reminds us of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who perhaps more than any other leader has been leading the movement to put the press back in its place. Will he continue to follow Mr. Erdogan’s example of gradually diluting the freedom of the press or will he choose the Arab approach and replace the entire media with one or two state media organs?

 America, You Look Like an Arab Country Right Now

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