What do Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have in common? – an authoritarian agenda.
The rise of Donald Trump has been accompanied by predictable murmurs of “only in America”. But the Trump phenomenon is better understood as part of a global trend: the return of the “strongman” leader in international politics.
Rather than leading the way, America has arrived late at this dispiriting party. Historians might one day highlight the year 2012 as the turning point. In May of that year Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin as president of Russia. A few months later Xi Jinping was installed as general secretary of the Chinese Communist party.
Democracies elected Hitler and Mussolini to get their dysfunctional democracies working again. Citizens were willing to give up certain rights for the security of knowing that Mussolini would ” get the trains to run on time”.
In fact, Mr Trump exhibits many of the characteristics of the current crop of strongman leaders, including Messrs Putin, Xi, Erdogan, Sisi, Modi, Orban and Duterte.
Bernie Sanders promises that the power of government would rectify disgruntled voters discontent with Income inequality and wage reversals. Donald Trump promised that his bullying would get things back to where they once were. Both are authoritarian attitudes, relecting the world-wide trend of the return of the strongmen.