Russian president Vladimir Putin has been praising Donald Trump, who has been returning the favor. When it was brought up that Putin has a habit of killing his critics, Trump said that our country also does a lot of killing. (See details after the jump.)
It isn’t just that the two have a mutual admiration society going. David Ignatius says that Trump is America’s Putin.
I think what we are seeing is the strongman syndrome. Democracies, by their nature, make for weak central governments and so have trouble “getting things done.” So when things get bad, at some point, the very people who constitute the democracy, turn to a “strongman” to solve their problems, even though he will also do away with their rights.
This happened with the Greek democracy and the Roman Republic. It happened when the French revolution turned to Napoleon and when the Russian revolution turned to Stalin. It happened again after the fall of Communism, when the Russian people turned away from the messy democracy they had been trying in favor of the authoritarian Putin. It happens regularly in Latin America. Isn’t this what is happening in this country with the popularity of Donald Trump? [Read more…]