Donald Trump and Benito Mussolini

Published 9:16 am Thursday, February 11, 2016

My last column severely criticized Hillary Clinton for her e-mail malfeasance. It’s only fair that I should shine a light on the Republican front-runner, Donald J. Trump, whom I also intensely dislike as a presidential candidate.

Have you ever noticed how Trump’s mannerisms and his political platform resemble the mannerisms and political platform of Benito Mussolini? Probably not.

Seriously, if you can, please view videos of Mussolini speaking before the war. Some of his mannerisms are over the top and probably might appeal only to an audience in 1920s or 1930s, but most show Mussolini’s contempt for his opponents.

His mannerisms highlight that he was the alpha male of Fascist Italy. I know almost no Italian, but it’s not hard to imagine what Mussolini was saying to the crowds in those videos. He told them that he would make Italy great again. Does that sound familiar? He told them he would make the trains run on time. Does that sound familiar?

Mussolini may have laid out his platform in detail, but I doubt it. I have not heard how Trump will carry out one single Trump plan. For instance, how would he force Mexico to pay for a wall along our mutual border? Imagine you are the president of Mexico. How would you present that proposal to your Mexican people, especially after Trump referred to some illegal aliens from Mexico as “rapists”?

How would Trump round up over 10 million illegal aliens and deport them? Even the Nazis couldn’t capture every Jew in German-occupied places during WWII.

Wouldn’t that effort create a new class of criminals among American citizens some of whom would hide illegals or otherwise aid them? I’m sure that many churches might join that group of new criminals. Who would want that to happen?

Donald Trump stated that he would halt the entry of Muslims into the U.S. until we figure out what’s going on concerning refugees from the Middle East. Parts of that might be sensible.

For instance, stopping the migration of some Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis, Yemenis, etc., until we investigate their backgrounds seriously and determine there is no possibility they are terrorists might make sense.

Would we really halt the immigration of every Muslim? How would we determine whether a person is Muslim or not — ask them? Anyway, this country does not have religious tests.

My point is that sometimes he opens his mouth before his thought is fully formed.

If Trump wants to get tough with the Chinese, that’s fine with me, but has he thought through what actions China might take in response? For instance, would they sell their portion of our Federal debt? Trump wrote, “The Art of the Deal.” That might be valuable for negotiations with capitalist entrepreneurs, but countries are not individuals. Some are not even rational entities. Besides “The Art of the Deal,” in what else does Trump believe?

Finally, the American presidency, according the Constitution, does not possess a lot of power. Its principal advantage is Theodore Roosevelt’s “bully pulpit.” The president can’t raise taxes, declare war, or even pick his own cabinet by himself.

Does anyone believe that any Democrat or Republican would cooperate with a President Donald J. Trump? Could you imagine serving in a Trump cabinet? If you didn’t please him, would he fire you like on “The Apprentice?” How would a Trump administration get anything through Congress?

If we could return to one of my earlier points, what would a President Trump do? I have no idea. I predict he might continue to insult his domestic and international opponents. I also assume that our allies would be dismayed by a President Trump. The British have already debated in Parliament whether to ban Trump from setting foot in the United Kingdom.

I don’t relish the thought of a president with his finger poised over the nuclear button being someone who likes to see the other fellow sweat.

However, if Americans want somebody to talk tough, entertain them with his bragging and strut around with a Mussolini scowl on his face, then by all means vote for him.

I fear for my country.


Michael Waldron is a retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army, who was born and raised in Niles. He previously served on the Niles Community School Board of Education. He can be reached at