Andrew Roberts says Trump is the Mussolini of America with double the vulgarity

Historians in the News
tags: election 2016, Trump



Andrew Roberts is a British historian and journalist. His public commentary appears in periodicals such as the Daily Telegraph and The Spectator.

The only time I met Donald Trump told me all I needed to know. It was at an American Red Cross dinner-dance to raise money to fight cancer, held at his opulent Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach a few years ago. It was of course extremely generous of him to lay on the place gratis for the night – there was a synchronized swimming display in the swimming pool, I remember – and the evening did indeed raise over $5 million, but in personally deciding the placement for the dinner he did something so unforgivable that the real man was exposed in all his egotistical vulgarity. 

He sat his wife at the same table as a lady – and I must be careful here – who several of his friends present strongly believed to be his mistress. The rest of us at the table were dumbfounded and embarrassed; Trump himself obviously found it amusing as he ruined the evening for both pneumatic and almost identical women. The obscene self-regard of the man was laid bare for us all.

It is something that would not even have been done by the statesman who most closely resembles Donald Trump in history, Benito Mussolini, who at least respected the outward appearances of marriage in his most Catholic of countries. Otherwise, Mussolini – the other master of the ludicrously bombastic speech and the deliberately jutting jaw and the impossible-to-fulfil promises – is clearly Trump’s secret template. And now the Iowa caucus looks like being the first step of the Trumpian equivalent of Mussolini’s infamous March on Rome. 

Where Mussolini was hard to pin down in the political spectrum between the socialist newspaper editor and right-wing dictator, Trump has embraced universal healthcare for all, then said that it’s too expensive, then said that he was in favour of comprehensive health insurance for every American. Where Mussolini made comparisons between his Italy and the Roman Empire, Trump promises to make America great again without saying how. Where Mussolini attempted to make good his imperial promises by, in Churchill’s words, “frisking up to the side of the German tiger”, Trump has publicly praised Vladimir Putin, who is fast turning Russia into a dictatorship.

Where Mussolini unrealistically promised the Italian people that he would capture Gibraltar from Britain, Trump promises to make Mexico pay for an impenetrable wall on the Rio Grande. Only in Trump’s utterly unenforceable promise to ban all Muslims from entering America – something that would wreck the US economy and destroy her influence in the world – is there no possible equivalent from “Il Duce”. ...




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