Trump Echoes Demagogues and Would-be Dictators

The rise of Donald Trump to be the Republican front-runner recalls other demagogues in American history:”Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, governor of South Carolina and later senator; Alabama Governor George Wallace, who ran for president in 1964, 1968 and 1972 on a platform of racist backlash to civil rights for African Americans;  Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who contemplated a military coup d’etat against the government in 1932 and later defied an order from President Harry S. Truman; William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher who engaged in “yellow journalism” and incited the Spanish-American War; Louisiana Governor Huey Long, who opposed Franklin Roosevelt before he was assassinated in 1935; and President Andrew Jackson, the first populist president.

It’s also true that the vulgar and narcissistic way Trump speaks in public is the way Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon spoke in private. Here’s an example from Lyndon Johnson, who was notorious for holding press conferences in the bathroom while he was sitting on the can. He frequently bragged about his penis-size to reporters.

Trump has also been compared to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and German dictator Adolph Hitler.


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