Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022

Trump plays the ousted autocrat struggling to recapture past glory

Trump plays the ousted autocrat struggling to recapture past glory


Trump plays the ousted autocrat struggling to recapture past glory

From plastering his name on buildings to hiring his own children, from salivating over military parades to savaging the media, from befriending fellow strongmen to defying the will of the people, Donald Trump has done much to invite comparisons with autocrats.

On Tuesday he continued to play that role to perfection. Only now he was the ousted dictator, drained of power and surrounded by a dwindling band of loyalists in his last redoubt, the opulent Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. As a rule, the grander the palace, the weaker the man.

A primary between Trump, DeSantis and possibly Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo and others threatens to be a Republican Lord of the Flies. Trump would start with the disadvantage of multiple federal, state and congressional investigations hanging over him. Maybe he thinks, probably erroneously, that becoming a presidential candidate will shield him from the justice department.

Mar-a-Lago itself is allegedly a crime scene: it was here, on the plush 20-acre estate, that Trump stored hundreds of classified documents that should have been given to the National Archives (he has claimed that he could declassify them just by thinking about it).

Then, bizarrely, came a deafening roar of Do You Hear the People Sing? from the musical Les Misérables and the more tried and trusted God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood.

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