Curioso davvero: un candidato alla Casa Bianca con scarsa propensione alla politica viene percepito dai suoi come un leader religioso…
We can talk about the Trump phenomenon. I used to lecture about political crowds, from the fascists to contemporary Western leaders. There are many different crowds, from the very disciplined Nazi crowds that awaited cues from the Fuhrer that kicked off the raised right arms and chants of “Heil Hitler,” to the equally disciplined but unenthusiastic crowds that sat through interminable Marxist-Leninist sermons from Comrade Stalin and his tedious successors. Then there were crowds whose members had a bit, or a lot, of spontaneity, who would shout at the leader and implore him to pick up a favorite theme. Mussolini crowds were like that, an ongoing give and take between the Duce and the masses. Roosevelt crowds were also like that, as when FDR would start criticizing Republican congressmen Martin and Barton, and people in the crowd would shout “what about Fish?” “Wait a minute, wait a minute,” the president would say, and eventually all would chant in unison: “Martin, Barton and Fish.”
JFK was sexy, but it was his brother Bobby who produced the “jumpers,” a phenomenon I haven’t seen since. Some of his fans got so excited they couldn’t stand still, and jumped up and down when the candidate appeared.
One of the most interesting crowds was the German one that gathered for JFK’s famous “ich bin ein Berliner” speech. When he delivered the line, the Germans responded with a deep, guttural cry of approval. A very Germanic sound, let’s say…
First, Trump’s incoherence on issue after issue matters less than it would for the others. His crowd wants him, not necessarily his platform. They want the anti-pol. His chances of success depend on his ability to retain the magic he’s shown to date.
Second, although I’m talking about an intensely emotional and in many ways irrational phenomenon, it is driven by real and very rational contempt for the current ruling class.
Yes it’s funny that a man who doesn’t much care about religion is in large part a religious leader, but it’s quite a common historical phenomenon. And sometimes such leaders are triumphant.