To those unfamiliar with the Italian political history of the last 25 years, most of Donald Trump outbursts and controversial stunts must rightfully appear unprecedented and illogical in the pursue of a serious victory of the next US elections. How can a billionaire with a highly debatable profile and a penchant for racist and chauvinistic slurs conquer the favors of a nation, one that is being particularly mined by internal tensions and growing concerns about the public security? Ask Italian media tycoon and former president Silvio Berlusconi, one who had successfully been there and done that long before Donald Trump.
Like Silvio, Like Donald
When Silvio Berlusconi, owner of the 3 most important Italian private television channels and president of Milan football club announced his candidacy to the Italian presidency on the 26th January 1994 there were few people believing in the possibility of such election.
Just like The Donald in 2016, he was a billionaire and a bon viveur highly cited in the gossip, debated for some dubious financial operations and was stodgy to the whole left-winged part of the nation. The whole Berlusconi campaign, from associating with the Italian separatist party Lega Nord to the trivial recruitment of showgirls and celebrity supporters looked so crass it couldn't turn out in anything but personal embarrassment. We can admit it now, the man knew better. He was cementing his presence in the elector's minds with his awkward jokes, the gossip about his private life, the unashamed rhetoric of saving a nation here and now and he won his way to the coveted chair among the disbelieved eyes of many. It didn't matter how many mistakes Berlusconi has made through the years, before and after his election and the inability to keep most of the promises he made. He got re-elected for a second mandate with the same marketing strategy, raising concerns in the majority of the foreign press and some governments.
Both Berlusconi's and Trump's appeals are at the opposite spectrum of JFK's or Obama's. Unlike these two beloved american presidents who were equally able at profiting from media exposition, Donald Trump is responding to the nation's fears and lower survival instincts rather than reminding it its highest values, knowing he can win by the numbers. Like Berlusconi, he knows Scott Adams was right when he said "You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public". And just like him, Trump is aware that the sole perception of him as a successful businessman that can make the whole country profit as he did with his own investments can give him the vote of many electors and private investors.
(Do you) Like Hillary?
The main factors that helped Berlusconi in his victory and could help Trump ascension too, were the pure lack of a stronger contender on the charismatic level and the growing fracture in the internal opinion about immigration and separatism that made the nation hostile to different, less spectacular propositions.
Is Hillary Clinton enough of a strong opponent with her decade long seeming inability to make the nation fully trust her competence for such mandate? Or does Donald Trump really stand a chance for the winning with his highly publicized declarations of intolerance and disruptive remarks? Is she offering a more palatable alternative to the indecisive electors, one that is just not seen as more reasonable and compromising but ultimately also exciting for the masses? The issue is certainly not that Hillary Clinton would be the first woman elected as president, the issue is if she has what it takes to win; Donald Trump and his camp sensed it and are smartly hitting on this. Just like they seem to have taken down a note or two from the story of Berlusconi, perhaps Trump's opponents will know better how to deal with him if they start doing the same. #DonaldTrump #silvioberlusconi #hillaryclinton