Is Berlusconi Trump's role model?

Prof Honeydew

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Donald Trump isn't the first crass, misogynist, bullying demagogue with a questionable understanding of what divides personal and government interests to head a major Western democracy in recent years. Silvio Berlusconi beat him by twenty years and is still a major force in Italian politics.

If not quite to the same degree, Berlusconi provoked much of trepidation that Trump is now generating ahead of him assuming office. Commentators and opponents warned of the conflict of business and political interests, economic mismanagement, cronyism, media manipulation, erratic populist gestures, diminution of Italy's international standing and disregard for the rule of law. However, while Italy didn't perform well under his governments and he was reduced to ridicule during his final period in power, the state didn't break down and none of the apocalyptic forecasts came to pass during his eight years as Prime Minister.

Because of their similarities in style, in political message and in the anti-establishment wave that brought them to power, it's possible that a Trump administration will behave in much the same way as Berlusconi's. Despite the ignorant buffoonery and the occasional outrageous outbursts, the country will continue to tick over as the day-to-day details of government won't command the attention of the leadership and will be left to the bureaucrats to administer as they always have.

However, there are differences. Americans take their President far more seriously than Italians their Prime Minister and they don't share the same fatalism about the fallibility of national politics. More importantly, the US President not only has far more international influence than the head of the Italian government but he is not constrained in his actions by the views of other governments, has almost total economic freedom due the primacy of the dollar and is not dependent to the same extent on coalitions and regional interests to further his programme of government.

Even before assuming office, Trump has shocked even his most pessimistic critics with his disregard for ethics, convention, etiquette and the truth. However, it is not yet clear whether this presages a new low in political behaviour similar to that which followed Hitler and Mussolini or whether the Berlusconi example suggests the world can keep going as it has done since WW2 despite Trump's childish histrionics.
 


Analyzer

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Nonsense.

Much of the attributes you attribute to Berlosconi could be used to describe the Clintons.

Except Berlosconi stated thst the women who had sex consented. Bill Clinton cannot make that claim.

When I think of Haiti, I think of enormous corruption that even Berlosconi would turn away.

Berlosconi owned much of the Italian media. Trump owns none of it. And they don't own him.

You have told us nothing about Trump and a lot about yourself.

You are clueless.
 

PeaceGoalie

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Trump promised to put war criminal crook Clinton into jail. Let's hope he delivers.
 

GDPR

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Donald Trump isn't the first crass, misogynist, bullying demagogue with a questionable understanding of what divides personal and government interests to head a major Western democracy in recent years. Silvio Berlusconi beat him by twenty years and is still a major force in Italian politics.

If not quite to the same degree, Berlusconi provoked much of trepidation that Trump is now generating ahead of him assuming office. Commentators and opponents warned of the conflict of business and political interests, economic mismanagement, cronyism, media manipulation, erratic populist gestures, diminution of Italy's international standing and disregard for the rule of law. However, while Italy didn't perform well under his governments and he was reduced to ridicule during his final period in power, the state didn't break down and none of the apocalyptic forecasts came to pass during his eight years as Prime Minister.

Because of their similarities in style, in political message and in the anti-establishment wave that brought them to power, it's possible that a Trump administration will behave in much the same way as Berlusconi's. Despite the ignorant buffoonery and the occasional outrageous outbursts, the country will continue to tick over as the day-to-day details of government won't command the attention of the leadership and will be left to the bureaucrats to administer as they always have.

However, there are differences. Americans take their President far more seriously than Italians their Prime Minister and they don't share the same fatalism about the fallibility of national politics. More importantly, the US President not only has far more international influence than the head of the Italian government but he is not constrained in his actions by the views of other governments, has almost total economic freedom due the primacy of the dollar and is not dependent to the same extent on coalitions and regional interests to further his programme of government.

Even before assuming office, Trump has shocked even his most pessimistic critics with his disregard for ethics, convention, etiquette and the truth. However, it is not yet clear whether this presages a new low in political behaviour similar to that which followed Hitler and Mussolini or whether the Berlusconi example suggests the world can keep going as it has done since WW2 despite Trump's childish histrionics.

Its been discussed before.

One big difference is as you point out that Trump is up against a far more robust governmental apparatus, as is shown by the current Congressional hearings into his appointees. Also, the US electorate is much more diffuse.

Trump is going to find out in double-quick time than neither the levers of power nor the public at large are responsive to his brand of tired showmanship.

H will always have fanz on Pie of course :)
 

Mick Mac

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They are both rich.
They are both big personalities.
They like to f--k.

Thats probably as far as it goes.

Mick
 

TakeitAll

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They are both rich.
They are both big personalities.
They like to f--k.

Thats probably as far as it goes.

Mick
Let's face it, there must be some temptation when you are super rich as women love money and would be so many putting it on a plate. Seen a repeat of apprentice us a few days ago, think it was celebrity one but didn't know most of them. All the women were tarted up and most seemed right bimbos. Trump was a bit pervy I thought but not in an offending way if that is possible :)
 

Mick Mac

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Let's face it, there must be some temptation when you are super rich as women love money and would be so many putting it on a plate. Seen a repeat of apprentice us a few days ago, think it was celebrity one but didn't know most of them. All the women were tarted up and most seemed right bimbos. Trump was a bit pervy I thought but not in an offending way if that is possible :)
Its possible, its possible it was a bit pervy says the lad called TakeItAll.
:p

Mick
 

Accidental sock

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Trump loves Berlusconi.

Berlusconi knows all the best people.

He is a smart guy. He is so smart. He makes the best pizza. Everyone says so.

He's Italian you know?....he's super. Like Mario.....only, not a plumber.

If he was a plumber....he'd be a great plumber....a very very good plumber....the best...

I still wouldn't pay him.
 

milipod

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Trump loves Berlusconi.

Berlusconi knows all the best people.

He is a smart guy. He is so smart. He makes the best pizza. Everyone says so.

He's Italian you know?....he's super. Like Mario.....only, not a plumber.

If he was a plumber....he'd be a great plumber....a very very good plumber....the best...

I still wouldn't pay him.
You're fired.
 

Prof Honeydew

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I started this thread four days ago in the hope that the US and the world would ignore Trump's sillier and more destructive outbursts. I used the Berlusconi as an example where his crass and ill-informed statements rarely transformed themselves into actions that would have a long-term detrimental effect on Italy.

Events since can't be regarded as grounds for optimism. The John Lewis affair, the Brexit horse$hit and the attack on Merkel and the EU have not only displayed a complete inability to understand what makes society and politics tick over but have also shown a personality defect to stir the $hit regardless of the consequences.

It might be OK for a childish alt-right p.ie poster trying to impress his fellow attention-seekers from his bedroom but it is a different story when the oracle of these pointless rants occupies the most powerful position in the world. Over the past few days, Trump has gone far beyond anywhere Berlusconi ever went in his obsession to draw attention to himself with his needless rants about anything that comes to mind or in his compulsion to belittle anyone who criticises him.

This is a silliness even beyond what the likes of Hitler, Mao and Stalin came up with. While they may have harboured the most dark and evil thoughts about anyone they perceived as an enemy, they never quite felt the urge to turn them into public pronouncements at every opportunity.

Trump's behaviour since his election has astounded both friend and foe alike and it's hard to comprehend where this behaviour, getting more and more erratic by the day, will end up. The only recent example who comes anyway close was Idi Amin and even he showed occasional moments of lucidity. In terms of global impact, the nearest parallel that comes to mind are the reigns of nutcase Roman emperors like Caligulus and Nero.

We can only hope that some sense will dawn after his inauguration on Friday.
 


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