How To Copy Italian Greatness To The Letter: Elect Silvio Trump
With Trump’s recent call for Russia to hack his opponents’ emails (a proxy-Watergate except standards of conduct are so twisted in this foul year of our lord 2016 that what used to be considered an impeachable (or at least inconsolably treasonous) offense is written off as just more campaign bluster)(though misuse of email is worthy of prison, of course), a lot of the talking heads are claiming Putin will be controlling America. At the least he’ll be Trump’s top global backer (ironic, considering Russia was America’s number 1 “geopolitical foe” according to the GOP a mere 4 years ago), the numero uno intellectual international investor in the orange one’s privately-traded campaign firm. Or maybe just as his inspiration; many have started saying Trump is America’s Putin. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Putin was (is) KGB. While he was fighting James Bond, Trump was squabbling with the DOJ over his right to evict tenants and refuse to serve blacks. No doubt Putin sees Il Trumpo as an easy mark, not his equal, and Trump seems all too happy to look the part of Putin’s prison wife. No, to find Trump’s real pater from the old country, one need look only at media mogul (self-made, and his lucre hoard is bigger than Trump’s, which means he’s a better businessman and, of course, a better human)(as an aside), sports team owner, appreciator of beautiful women and all-around playboy Silvio Berlusconi. Call it the emergence of Silvio Trump as the man who will make America “great” again. Just like he did with Italia.
From the time Berlusconi stormed Rome in 1994 (serving 1994-1995, 2001-2006, and 2008 until he was run out on a flaming pile of scandal) to the time he left it in 2011, Italia went from great center of culture and wealth to being lumped in with Spain and Portugal and even Greece, goddamn, as just another Mediterranean black sheep not pulling its weight in the ECB. Berlusconi left the nation with debt at 116% of GDP that reached up to 128% of GDP just a few years after his departure, 2nd-worst in Europe after Greece at 175%. GDP growth went from 2.152% in 1994 to 0.7% when he left in 2011, followed by a drop to -2.9%, -1.8%, -.3%, finally rebounding into the black at .6% in 2015.
Over his time as PM Berlusconi was sued multiple times, was implicated in one of the biggest sports scandals in the modern era when the team he owned (AC Milan) was punished for fixing a few Serie A games, has been caught up in lurid sex allegations and dropped more than a few verbal gaffes a man as controlled as Putin would not. He eventually was chased out of office by a conviction for tax fraud (or was it for having sex with an underage prostitute, can’t remember)(BTW, interesting Il Trumpo still won’t release his tax returns, eh?).
I could analyze Silvio’s and Trump’s analogous blowhard paths to prominence; could talk about their countless personal and busines scandals and the conditions of their nations that led to their political rises. But plenty of other journalists have written about this, most of them more accredited and, hell, let’s admit it, most of them much better journalists than myself. So I figure I’ll just let the men speak for themselves.
Just a few months ago I showed the connection between Bernie Sanders and the ill-fated George McGovern campaign through a few Hunter S. Thompson quotes. You can tell a lot about a public man from the reporter who helped propel him to the top. But for men who consider reporters rats (always trying to use facts and quotes to attack honest billionaires and keep leaders in check, skivey bastards), who view the press as something between a nuisance and a 24-7 reality TV crew (you just gotta kill it in the ratings), the most telling quotes are the ones they say themselves, when they are just “feelin’ it” and want to connect with “the people.” It’s when they’re stumping and go off script because their own instincts are obviously better than those of some square with a computer and a speechwriting degree that we get a glimpse of the man behind the tinted Rolls window. And if the shared histories and similarities aren’t enough (as a reverse Fellini, Trump is a Berlusconi parody, balding pate and big business film villain smile included), here are just a few quotes to show America that Silvio Trump would lead our nation into the international shitter alongside Italy:
On Their Roles As Saviors:
Out of love for Italy, I felt I had to save it from the left.” – Silvio
Nobody knows the system better than me — which is why I alone can fix it.” — Trump
I don’t need to go into office for the power. I have houses all over the world, stupendous boats… beautiful airplanes, a beautiful wife, a beautiful family… I am making a sacrifice.” — Silvio
I’ve given up a tremendous amount to run for president. I gave up two more seasons of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ ” — Trump
I Don’t Need Anybody’s Money. It’s Nice…I’m Really Rich.” – Trump
On Their Sexual Attractiveness And Proclivity
When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, ‘Yes’, while the other 70% replied, ‘What, again?’ ” — Silvio
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money.” — Trump referring to himself in the third person
All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” — Trump
The women of the Right are certainly the most beautiful … the Left has no taste, not even when it comes to women.” — Silvio
So any girl you have, I can take. That I guarantee. And that was proven before.” — Trump
On Islam And The Press When It Calls Them Out On Said Bigoted Islam Statements
We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and — in contrast with Islamic countries — respect for religious and political rights, a system that has as its value understanding of diversity and tolerance…” — Berlusconi
and after he was called out for that perhaps not being very “correct”:
I did not say anything against the Islamic civilization… It’s the work of some people in the Italian leftist press who wanted to tarnish my image and destroy my long-standing relations with Arabs and Muslims.”
Meanwhile, Il Trumpo said:
Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind.” — Trump to Fox News after the Orlando attacks.
The WaPo took that to mean Trump was implying perhaps Obama was Muslim and had some sort of unholy alliance and our nation’s capitol’s newspaper wrote as much. After the article in the WaPo came out:
We are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.”
Of course he also said at another point:
I love the Muslims. I think they’re great people.”
But we know what Trump’s said. By now we could all quote a few of his mad one-liners from heart, the type of ignorant rambling usually reserved for drunk frat boys in the privacy of their own house; we know his cadence, his crudeness and his “honesty.” So I’ll let you hear a few more lines from Silvio to keep it fun and fresh; connect the dots in your own damn head:
[Mr Obama is] young, handsome and suntanned.”
It’s better to like beautiful girls than to be gay.”
Only Napoleon did more than I have done. But I am definitely taller.”
I’ll try to soften it and become boring, maybe even very boring, but I am not sure I will be able to do it.”
I always win, I’m cursed to win.”
Which of course brings the Trump-soul-brotha back into the game:
We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning. Believe me.” — Trump
On Rape In The Military
26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?” — Trump
We could not field a big enough force to avoid this risk [of rape]. We would need so many soldiers because our women are so beautiful.” — Berlusconi
Putin, The Biggest Dick In a Room Full Of Dicks
Though of course it’s hard to deny the Putin quotes too, the crudest uttered in a leader-to-leader conversation, others issued to the proud Mother Russia but all showing the kind of nationalist, hubristic dick-wagging peacock who, if Berlusconi is Trump’s father or maybe even his brother from another mother, Putin is certainly the strong grandfather they both revere:
He turned out to be a strong man, raped 10 women. I never would have expected it of him. He has surprised us all, we all envy him!” — Putin, October 2006, joking to Ehud Olmert about then-Israeli-president Moshe Katsav.
We are a victorious people! It is in our genes, in our genetic code!”
If you want to become an Islamic fundamentalist and be circumcised, come to Moscow. We are multiconfessional. We have very good specialists. I can recommend one for the operation. He’ll make sure nothing grows back.”
Though then he says something like this and we see a deeper, more literary, more structured mind, an almost-poetic quote more profound than anything we could ever imagine being vomited out of the mouth of America’s favorite “genius” blowhard:
Comrade Wolf knows who to eat, as the saying goes. It knows who to eat and is not about to listen to anyone.”
Then it’s back to more petty castigation of his opponents and overt jingoism:
This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them [the Americans], and we assume they are decent people, but he [John Kerry] is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad.”
The biggest nationalist in Russia: that’s me.”
But then we get into more violence with animal analogies (he loved Jack London, that Putin) and again see a well-read speaker:
In any case, I’d rather not deal with such questions, because anyway it’s like shearing a pig — lots of screams but little wool.” — Putin, on not wanting to deal with the US re: Edward Snowden
And then we get:
Sometimes I think, maybe it would be better for our bear to sit quiet, rather than chasing around the forest after piglets. To sit eating berries and honey instead. Maybe they will leave it in peace. They will not. Because they will always try to put him on a chain, and as soon as they succeed in doing so they tear out his fangs and his claws.”
Though of course he’s also said:
He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that… He is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it.” — like a shark seeing a whale lumber into the room who he knows is most easily disarmed to accept the con by puffing up the whale’s oversized ego.
Putin knows a mark. He saw one in his previous pal and admirer, Silvio Berlusconi. Now we can bring in the press quotes, specifically the Financial Times:
Controversy has long surrounded the relationship between Mr Berlusconi and Mr Putin, the odd couple of international politics. For years western diplomats have tried to fathom the nature of their friendship, with one US ambassador in Rome alleging shady business dealing and wild parties, according to cables released by WikiLeaks. … Mr Berlusconi, who holds ambitions of mounting a highly unlikely political comeback, has sought to fashion a role for himself as an intermediary between Moscow and the west.”
Trump wishes he were Vladimir Putin. But in reality he’s Silvio Berlusconi. Because Putin is a stronger man than a spoiled American playboy could ever be. And because Putin can incarcerate his castigators and bankrupt his oligarchic criticizers and get away with it in a nation where such behavior is considered moderate beneath Stalin’s long shadow of murdering dissidents.
Trump can’t do that. That’s why he called on Russia to do the dirty work that Nixon and company was tough enough to do themselves back in the day. That’s why he’s declared bankruptcy over and again instead of being able to pull a few strings and having the people he owed jailed for impugning his good name. That’s why he tells folks in his crowd to punch out protesters (I bet Trump’s never thrown a punch in his life)(not that we want a brawler for a leader but at least if he was he would be as authentic as all the Trumpkins claim he is).
Silvio Trump, The New International Joke
No, Trump is no Putin. He would not be able to keep his people mostly united and unwaveringly proud in the face of a collapsing economy and international disdain like Putin has. He’s an American reincarnation of Silvio Berlusconi, a misogynist hater of gays and minorities with hideous hair and a penchant for making deals with less-skilled business foxes often for no reason other than they made the mistake of trusting him to keep his commitments (hell, even the Lannisters paid their debts). A person who can navigate the shady world of big business because he’s willing to fuck over the little guy but has no place as a leader of a citizenry, with all its conflicting interests and values and socioeconomic strata, all its countless ways to be considered successful. He has no place playing games with leaders on the world stage whose lifetimes of experience have given them long razors with which they’ll shear him like the political lamb he is. Even if his campaign manager has advised and worked for many of the most despicable strongmen and shady politicians in the world, the orange one loses his cool if he gets tough questions from the media.
Silvio Trump’s hardcore supporters may give him carte blanche to say whatever the fuck he wants as long as he promises that a white man with a high school degree won’t be put out of his job by men with darker skin and people with fancy college degrees from big cities rambling on about “global warming” and “equality.” Trumpkins may be able to ignore the many quotes that denigrate their mothers and daughters and sisters and may welcome quotes that threaten to cut the very immigrant thread that holds together our great and diverse nation because they’re so afraid of becoming irrelevant and unemployable in their own nation that they’ll bow down to anybody promising to kick out everybody they blame for the simple fact that their atavistic skill sets and outlooks have no place in the 21st century.
But as a writer I’m a strong believer in the power and truth of the words a man utters, especially the ones he utters in public. And those words above paint a frightening picture for an America under Trump: a twisted amalgamation of the funboy leadership and scandal-ridden economic-ignorance-fueled collapse of Italy with the heavy-handed assaults on liberty tied to Russia’s neo-Soviet alpha male. Silvio Trump with a man crush on the Western world’s bad boy pin-up. And considering the direction both those nations are heading, we should be very, VERY afraid of the prospect of Trump ever coming anywhere near the inside of the White House gates.
At the same time, there is one more Trump quote we should take very seriously, especially since he is a man who knows how to judge people and always tells it like it is:
I know Hillary, and I think she’d make a great President.” — Donald Trump, 2008