(See: Just Above Sunset: In the Alternative Universe)
As we all continue to struggle to find the slam-dunk analogy to explain the Donald Trump phenomenon, let me offer a new one.
It's just that I noticed, while watching the debate, in certain camera shots of Trump, especially when he's looking over at Kasich as he was talking, something oddly reminiscent of a bygone age. Finally I realized it was that his pose, with his head tilted slightly back and his defiantly downturned mouth, reminded me of photos I'd seen of Benito Mussolini, striking that very same pose.
If you get a chance to see those shots, look closer. Imagine the Donald without a stitch of hair. It's amazing!
But I also began noticing similarities in their personalities. Both shouters; both bullies; both having done their share of whoring around, possibly believing it made other men envious of them; both disdainful of society's rules; neither caring much about the weak and feckless losers they found themselves surrounded by. Both men started out with more liberal views, but later switched to Social Darwinist views of hierarchies.
Most worrisome is that both seemed to find their appeal in times when so much of the public is tired of all those other people, and willing to take a chance on maybe trading an orderly democracy that doesn't seem to work for them for some powerful person who seems perfectly willing to kick somebody's ass, just for the fun of it.
So I had already settled on this characterization of Donald Trump as "Il Duce with a combover", when I noticed some other commenter on a blog describe him with those exact same words. There's obviously something happening here that's catching people's notice, which is that there are disturbing similarities between the days we're living through now, and the times leading up to a truly horrible time in world history.
Then again, I could be wrong about this. If we're lucky, we're not destined for the second coming of Mussolini at all, but merely on the cusp of a new historical first: America's first lounge-lizard president.