Profile of a populist.

Where do we stand? What do we need to do? These questions imply a different mindset from “what’s going to happen to us?” Trump the loose gun represents a problem for everyone, beginning with the US; we can get a grip on the situation by understanding what other populists have done before, as well as his own limitations.

The race is more important than the actual prize. Once in power he won’t know what to do with it, such is the curse of the small p politician.

Berlusconi? Sarko? Boris? Been there, done that. Putin is weaker because in an outright dictatorship you need to look under the bed every single night, lest you not wake up.

Man of action. Seizes the opportunity. Doesn’t see why others waver or stumble, ends up attributing it to their stupidity and his own cleverness.

What this tells us: One dimensional, the world works in a certain way, all you have to do is learn it and use it. Until reality kicks you up the ass, and then you talk of bad luck or plots. This is a rodent’s view of the world and of power. Culture is a burden. Other points of view are also a burden. Lack of empathy makes the psychopath.

Response: cut the dunce down to size. Even meek Hollande managed to get the upper hand.

From another era. Success: Flash, cash, suit up, watch the hair, get to the top. He’s won the rat race! Top of the world! What are women for if not for using them? Trophy wife all the way. Never got the sixties, has no idea what generation X means, never mind Y. But granpa sure showed them.

Craves respect, fear, adulation. Response: It is ours to withhold.

Ultimately at the mercy of his own impulses and the wider system. The “natural leader”seeks full control, which he can never have. He lashes out in direct proportion to his frustration, itself a proxy for that lack of control.

Response: he cannot control us, when he himself is but a product of his tiny bubble.

Once in power this particular populist will get bored, particularly given that unlike in plain dictatorships there won’t be a challenge for four years. Will he delegate and drift, mollycoddled by the office? Pick a fight internally or externally? It might simply be that worrying about the hair keeps him too busy to do anything too bad.

 

Advertisements